2017 General Election in Wales
- Against the UK backdrop of a hung parliament and a reduction in the number of Conservative MPs, Labour captured 3 seats from the Conservatives in Wales: Cardiff North, Gower and the Vale of Clwyd.
- Despite early opinion polls at the start of the campaign suggesting the Conservatives could overtake Labour in Wales, the party has proved to be remarkably resilient and increased its share of the vote by 12.1% and held on to key Tory targets in Bridgend and Wrexham.
- The Conservatives had a largely disappointing night, despite its share rising by 6.3%, as it – along with Labour – picked up the support of former UKIP voters. It has been a largely difficult campaign for the party in Wales, with reports of infighting and disunity that manifested itself in the controversy around who would represent the party during the televised debates. Clwyd West AM Darren Millar remarked that, unlike their colleagues in Scotland, the party had failed to run a campaign that was distinctly Welsh enough.
- Meanwhile, for the first time in over 150 years the Liberal Democrats will not have a Welsh parliamentary representative, with its share of the vote dropping by 2% and Mark Williams losing Ceredigion to Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake.
- While Plaid Cymru will be pleased to have regained Ceredigion following a 12 year hiatus, many would regard its performance as relatively disappointing, as its vote was squeezed by both Labour and the Conservatives. The party clung on to Arfon by a slender majority, came a distant second in the Valleys target seats of Rhondda and Blaenau Gwent and was pushed into third place in Ynys Môn, despite high hopes that it could capture the seat.
- Plaid’s leader Leanne Wood has indicated that that she would be prepared to work with Jeremy Corbyn at Westminster to block the Tories.
- UKIP’s vote in Wales collapsed by 11.6%, with the party’s influence dramatically diminishing despite having 5 Assembly Members in Cardiff Bay.
- Turnout was up 3% on the last election, with both Albert Owen in Ynys Môn and Ben Lake in Ceredigion partly attributing their victories to high voting numbers among 18-25 year olds.
TEF Results on hold
Following the outcome of the general election, the Cabinet Office has confirmed that pre-election (or ‘purdah’) restrictions on public announcements will continue until a new Government has been formed. Beyond this point, there will continue to be consideration of the implications of the election outcome across Whitehall and Westminster. As a result, the TEF results announcement has been postponed. Further details to follow.
Study in Wales – #WalesNAFSA in Los Angeles, 29 May – 2 June
Universities Wales has been delighted once again at the success of the Welsh presence at the annual National Association of International Educators (NAFSA) conference. Universities used this opportunity to meet with partners from the USA and beyond, and hundreds of delegates visited the Study in Wales booth to discover more about Wales and opportunities for students.
The annual Study in Wales reception, this year at the British residence in Los Angeles, was extremely well-received and memorable, and was supported by LA-based Welsh actors and guest speakers Owain Rhys Davies and Luca Malacrino. British Consul General Chris O’Connor welcomed the guests, who included Welsh university partners from around the world and guests from the British Council, Welsh Government, and Universities UK. Magician Paul Vu entertained the guests, and Hannah Schill photographed the reception.
We would like to thank the universities for helping to further strengthen Study in Wales in 2017, with a special thanks to Angela Jones of Swansea University for organising our presence at the NAFSA Expo Hall and to Kath Griffiths of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David for organising the reception this year.
The next international event for Study in Wales will be the EAIE International Education Conference in Seville, Spain in September 2017.
Left to right: Kath Griffiths (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David); Chris O’Connor (British Consul General); Emma Raczka (Universities Wales); Owain Rhys Davies; Luca Malacrino (Photo credit: Hannah Schill)
Chris O’Connor & Guests
Photo 3 Angela Jones, Swansea University and Kath Griffiths, UWTSD