In all the comment about Plaid’s performance in the elections, Caerffili has been almost ignored.
Certainly, it’s significant that Plaid lost Gwynedd – but as the seats went to another lot of Nats, there’s not much difference politically.
Far more important is what happened in the Valleys. From the insignificant mention in Plaid’s main comment on their election performance, you might have thought a couple of extra seats had come their way.
In fact, Plaid is almost certain to take control. And that should have been obvious to Ty Gwynfor last Thursday at 10pm. The brighter parts of the party hierarchy knew that a coalition with the resident Independents had been in negotiation for months.
All it needed was for Ron Davies – father of the activist sort of devolution that sometimes seems to be disappearing – to win in Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen. He topped the poll there, closely followed by colleague Colin Hobbs.
So Plaid will retake control of the council which they turned into one of the best run in Wales- although to be fair to them, Labour didn’t really let things slip in their time in control.
All Plaid will have to start to remember is that the party locally remember that Plaid is NOT primarily a vote-getting machine, but that it possesses a principle or two. One of them is that Welsh is the ancestral language of Wales – and that poetry was being written in Welsh not much more than a century ago addressed at occasionally-monoglot locals : for instance, a doggerel dealing with Piccadilly. Not in London, but the current five-way road junction and pub just north of the town centre.
Sometimes one wonders whether Plaid in Gwynedd and Caerffili are the same people.