This promises to be a very big year for the prospects of further devolution. Starting this Wednesday, Emyr Jones Parry and the All-Wales Convention will be starting their consulation roadshows in Port Talbot, with Plaid’s Oscar apparently in charge of catering…..
I cant go myself, so would be very interested to get some feedback (at least on the food).
We have already had a leadership contest by the Lib Dems, who have selected the pro-devolution anti-coalition Kirsty Williams as their leader, and avoided a Labour love-in from Jenny Randerson.
Later in the year we should see a lively squabble between the pro-devolution Carwyn James and the Plaid-hating Huw Lewis for the Labour leadership. Not sure if Andrew Davies will throw his hat into the ring (or if anyone will notice), but the winner of this competition will have a major influence on the future direction for more devolution.
But before then we could also see a battle for the Conservative leadership – I dont think Nick Bourne can hang on much longer, and the only question really is will he jump or will he be pushed. Jonathan Morgan looks like his probable successor, but I dont see this leading to any major policy shift, with Conservatives staying firmly on the devolution fence. It is a pity David Davies isnt a contender , then we could see some real fireworks !
And then of course at Westminster there is the possibility of a General Election, which could either lead to a Conservative government which would create tensions with Cardiff Bay, or the possibility of a hung parliament where Plaid & SNP hold the balance of power.
So quite an interesting year ahead…….