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Nick Bourne would be better to follow Annabel Goldie's approach and not enter any formal deal but work with a Plaid-LibDem administration on individual issues.

Not sure I like the sound of this. What on earth have we in common with Plaid? Or for that matter the Lib Dems? I hope the lure of office has not proved overwhelming.
Remember if we become part of an administration like this,we will be blamed if (when) things go wrong whether it is our fault or not.
Reminds of the Ken Clarke/John Redwood 'dream ticket'!

With such a distribution of parties in the assembly, I would have put in a Plaid/Lib Dem minority and then supported it on popular policies ("Welsh Tories ride to the rescue on ABC") whilst remaining free to vote down unpopular moves ("Nick Bourne blocks XYZ"). But I can't get terribly excited one way or another. Presumably we get a large slice of the portfolios?

Pros: Conservatives in government, raised profile, increased infuence on legislative agenda.

Cons: pretty hard left co-alition partners means that most of the legislative agenda won't be to our tastes, and that we'll share in the blame when it goes wrong.

I suspect many of us actually have more in common with Labour's programme (at least in its Blairite guise) than with Plaid. I'd agree that operating on an issue by issue basis may be preferable.

Minority governments are never terribly stable, especially when they're reliant on a non-partner party just to give them the largest vote block in the assembly. There would be the danger that the Conservatives would be seen as blocking all attempts to get anything done by creating uncertainty and leaving the long term future of the government in doubt.

There's actually quite a lot of common ground between the three parties, particularly when it comes to more powers for the national assembly and reform of the NHS in Wales.

I do have a nagging suspicion that it will all end in tears though.

REALLY not sure about this.

I'd rather let Labour continue and let them get totally demolished in 2009/2011.

If our coalition is rubbish, how will that affect our pick-up of seats in Wales in the next GE??

I can only imagine it would damage our chances.

In 2011, we should overtake Plaid as the second party.

For the time being, we should STAY OUT.

Alarm bells ringing on this one.

Given the opportunity, we should show that we are prepared to take responsibility for government. That's what the electorate expect of their politicians and what we promised during the election.

While being prepared to listen and compromise, you can be sure that Nick Bourne AM will not agree to anything that goes against Conservative principles or policies.
John Bell
Deputy Chairman, Clwyd South Cons. Ass.
Conservative Welsh Assembly Candidate for Clwyd South 2007

Nothing says we're back in contention more than a governing role in Wales, one of Labour's supposed heartlands. Plaid may claim to be socialists, but their desire to turn Wales into a British "Celtic Tiger" should mean that they are willing to at least consider policies which conservatives would champion, such as cuts in corporation tax and increased choice in public services.

Introducing PR into Welsh local government could also do much to undermine Labour's local power base, which would bring big dividends come election time.

Plaid were promising laptops for children and big subsidies for first-time homebuyers. They are a big government party. We should not be in coalition with them.

This is a really fascinating clash between the traditional adversarial culture at WEstminster and the possibility of a newer sort of politics in devolved assemblies (Apologies for sounding Blairite, but I've got my political science hat on).

Will it work? The electorates in Wales and Scotland have been pretty sophisticated in their use of the new electoral systems so I have no doubt they will be able to pick up the nuanced differences betwee ncoalition-building as a norm (in PR assemblies) and coalitions from weakness (as it would be at Westminster).

I say go for it - noticing that the Welsh constoituencies haven't selected yet it could be a chance to build up momentum.

There is indeed a fascinating clash between the politics of Westminster and those in the devolved assemblies. The danger is that it works, alters people's expectations of government and encourages talk of reform for Westminster. We must oppose PR for Westminster.

So Plaid have changed their tune. They were saying that could never govern in coalition with the Conservatives. We should not sell out our principles for the sake of power with a bunch of nationalist socialists. Sadly, I do not trust Nick Bourne despite what John Bell says.

Let's remember that this is the Welsh Assembly we're talking about. There are lots of things which we would disagree with Plaid about which are not part of the Assembly's powers - eg tax.

It would be really odd to decide not to go into coalition on the basis that if we did have tax-changing powers (which we don't) we would want to cut them and Plaid would want to raise them.

"Nick Bourne would be better to follow Annabel Goldie's approach and not enter any formal deal but work with a Plaid-LibDem administration on individual issues."

No he has nothing to learn from the Scottish Conservatives.

You are getting more opportunistic than the LibDems!

Most Welsh want change. That can work best only if all 3 opposition parties work together. Work with PC and the LibDems....it is what most Welsh want...do what the electorate wants.

Good move.

A tricky decision but people are getting tired of politicians arguing between themselves. We have a responsibility to make the changes we all talked about during the campaign such as proper core funding for our hospices etc. So long as the deal is right then it may be the only real option but we should not do this at any costs and I would not support PR in local govt,

Matt Wright

Well thats Wales and Scotland ,remarkably both now areas of precipitate decline for Labour . When is the Conervative party going to get serious about England . This will involve getting nasty with Brown and will involve mentioning the fundamental fact that he no mandate in England - on repeated and daily basis.

Or is bland Dave going to spend all his time dodging the issue and looking for hoodies to hug ?

It seems rather an unholy alliance, if the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats backed Plaid Cymru in confidence motions and then allowed them to take the flak and left them to have to find a coalition on each issue that might be an option.

Or maybe the Conservatives could abstain leaving Labour to form a minority and having to find a majority on every issue, the Conservatives could demand a different Labour First Minister from Rhodri Morgan or even propose one of their own.

It might make more sense though for the Conservatives to hold coalition talks with Labour or even try to form a Grand Coalition including all parties.

The coalition between Conservative, PC and Liberal Democrat probably will end up backfiring on both the Conservative Party and Plaid Cymru.

This is in Cameron's spirit. Getting into power every which way.

Vote blue get rainbow coalition!

I fail too see how 3 such disparate parties squabbling amongst themselves (as is surely inevitable) is going to benefit anyone other than the Labour opposition.
I cringe at the prospect of reconstructed nationalist socialists like Ieuan Wyn Jones being the leader of a Tory backed government. Maybe it would be different if the leader was someone with more gravitas and intellectual capacity but unfortunately Daffydd Wigley did not get elected.

The point is that across the manifestos there is a degree of common ground and therefore the basis for agreement, with some give or take.

Nick Bourne and the Welsh party have built a Welsh identity and are regaining those parts of Wales that we lost in the last decades of the 20th century. Opposition is not what we aim for, principled or not. In government each policy will need agreement from the three parties so we will have a larger impact on how Wales is governed than we would outside. We will not be able to carry through a full Conservative manifesto but parts will make it and those policies we most oppose in Plaid and LD will not.

and Labour will be the unaccustomed opposition.

Yes its a risk - with Government comes responsibility and a failure will damage our support. Success will strengthen it. We came close in 4 other Welsh constituencies - in a couple very close - this time. Carpe Diem should be the Welsh Party's other motto so we do even better next time.

Matt Wright who posted above being one of those very near misses.

I trust the Welsh Conservatives and as Matt says lets try to deliver the changes we promised. Though I think despite his reservations PR at local level might be conceded which I'm not keen on.

How can there be a Tory-socialist alliance?

Let's wait and see the details, if an agreement is reached.

People who are saying that we should stay out negotiations and just support a Plaid / Lib Dem coalition on key votes seem to be missing a fundamental problem - without Conservative participation, there will be no Plaid / Lib Dem coalition. They couldn't hope to form a stable government with just 21 AMs, purely on the understanding of Conservative support.

There is no prospect of a non-Labour government in Wales that doesn't include Conservatives - not only now, but almost certainly after the next few Assembly elections. Unless we are prepared to consider a coalition - if the terms are right - then we are essentially giving Labour an opportunity to govern indefinitely.

We campaigned in Wales on a message that a vote for Welsh Conservatives was a vote for change in Wales. Now we might be in a position to offer that change, we have an opportunity to show whether we meant what we said or whether the slogan was all talk.

I'm an obessive fan of British politics, but I must confess that I find Welsh politics to be incredibly boring and inconsequential.

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