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Etholiad Seneddol Tŷ Isod Cymru 2008
All 174 seats to the Ty Isod
15 May 2008
Turnout 100%
First party Second party Third party
Carwyn Jones - Leader CDP Dafydd Iwan - Leader Socialist Party style="text-align: center; border-bottom: 6px solid Template:Plaid Ymlaen Y Ddraig/meta/color"| John Marek - Leader Forward Dragon Party
Leader Carwyn Jones Dafydd Iwan Iwan Meurig
Party Christian Democratic Party Socialist Party Plaid Ymlaen Y Ddraig
Leader since 2005 2002 2006
Last election 34 seats (17.5%) 60 seats (32.3%) Eight seats (5.1%)
Seats won 41 32 26
Seat change +7 −28 +18
Popular vote 828,542 577,699 577,699
Percentage 21.8% 15.2% 15.2%
Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Ann Clwyd -Leader SDP Jon Owen Jones - Leader Catholic Party Molly Scott Cato - Leader Green Party
Leader Ann Clwyd Jon Owen Jones Molly Scott Cato
Party Social Democratic Party Plaid Catholig The Green Party
Last election 38 seats (22.1%) 16 seats (12.0%) Six seats (4.7%)
Seats won 25 20 16
Seat change −14 +4 +10
Popular vote 562,496 535,891 429,473
Percentage 14.8% 14.1% 11.3%
Chancellor before election
Dafydd Iwan
Socialist Party
Carwyn Jones
Christian Democratic Party

The sixth general election of the Levelinian era (latinised version of Llywelyn) would see Plaid Sosialaidd which had dominated Welsh politics since 1994 defeated by Plaid Gwerinwr Cristnogol (Christian Democratic Party). The election was a hard fought one and dominated by talk of the economy. The earlier Ty Uchaf election in 2006 had set the tone for the final two years of the Iwan Government, and faced with a hostile Upper House, the Government had faced a demanding final run to the elections. Plaid Sosialaidd had stormed to a commanding position in the Lower House following the 2002 elections which had seen a Socialist/PGCy coalition of 82 seats (6 short of an outright majority) grow to a majority coalition of 98 seats. As the election of 2008 grew nearer, however, dissent within the PGCy, scandals within the upper ranks of the Socialists, economic mismanagement and a general rise in popularity of the new party (the PYyDd/The Dragon Leads Party) had eaten into the confidence of the ruling parties.

Parties Contesting the Election

  • Christian Democrat Party (Plaid Gwerinwr Cristnogol) - Centre right party
  • Social Democrat Party (Plaid Gwerinwr Cymdeithasol) - Centre left party
  • The Socialist Party (Plaid Sosialydd) - Left wing party
  • The White Eagle Party (Plaid Eryr Gwyn) - Far right party
  • The Dragon Leads Party (Plaid Ymlaen y Ddraig) - Centerist party
  • The Green Party (Y Blaid Werdd) - Environmental party
  • The Catholic Party (Plaid Catholig) - Right wing party
  • The Communist Party (Plaid Comiwnyddol) - Far left party

Electoral System

For seats in the Ty Isod the Assembly Members are elected by a mixture of First Past the Post (FPTP) constituencies and then the Additional Member system whereby an element of proportionality is introduced to the system. The System is designed to favour the national vote with 111 of the 173 seats coming by way of the National List, with 62 AM's representing the constituencies. This system was first introduced following the Great War of 1939-45 when the American's were influential in trying to prevent a Communist takeover of the country.

The Additional Members are elected via a simple national list. The parties post a list of candidates and these are selected in order according to the percentage of the national vote.

The 2008 Campaign

During the campaign itself the two main parties engaged in very negative tactics, with the PGCr and the PS tearing chunks from each other. The PGCy under Ann Clwyd tried to justify its time in government, but the party which made the most ground was the PYyDd. Under Iwan Marek the party had grown in popularity and in contrast to the two main parties, the PYyDd engaged in a positive campaign, highlighting what they had to offer to Wales rather than what the other parties could not offer. This positivity gave the PYyDd another large surge in the polls. With the exit polls indicating that Plaid Sosialaidd would lose large numbers of seats talks began between the parties to determine the new coalition.

Back in 1997 the PGCr had emerged as the largest single party, but its inability to form a coalition had given the reins of power to the Socialist/PGCy alliance and had ushered in 12 years of Socialist rule. Carwyn Jones was not prepared to make the same mistakes as his predecesor and began to hammer out a deal with Iwan Marek.

In the end a PGCr/PYyDd alliance was not sufficient to form a majority government so talks were enlarged to include Jon Owen Jones' Plaid Catholig. Giving them some concessions led to a deal and a month after the nation went to the polls a new right wing PGCr/PYyDd/PCath alliance government with Carwyn Jones as Chancellor was sworn into office.

Party Direct Vote Seats Additional Member Seats Total Seats
Christian Democratic Party - Plaid Gwerinwr Cristnogol 17 24 41
The Socialist Party - Plaid Sosialydd 15 17 32
The Dragon Leads Party - Plaid y Ddraig Ymlaen 9 17 26
Social Democratic Party - Plaid Gwerinwr Cymdeithasol 9 15 24
The Catholic Party - Plaid Catholig 4 16 20
The Green Party - Y Blaid Werdd 3 13 16
The Communist Party - Plaid Comiwnyddol 4 4 8
The White Eagle Party - Plaid Eryr Gwyn 1 5 6
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