Plaid Cymru launch their local election manifesto in Ammanford this morning. The choice of location is meant to symbolise the party's ambition to gain ground under its new leader, Leanne Wood. Plaid are already the biggest party on Carmarthenshire Council and hope to take control next month, ousting an Independents/Labour coalition. Ammanford is a valleys town, the kind of territory where Ms Wood, who's from the Rhondda, is supposed to boost Plaid Cymru's appeal.
Party strategists presumably decided against holding the national launch in Rhondda Cynon Tâf, where Plaid face a very tough battle to win back a council they lost to Labour eight years ago. A crucial test will be in Caerphilly, also lost to Labour in 2004 but where Plaid made a comeback in 2008. They took over the council with the support of independents led by the former Labour Welsh Secretary Ron Davies, who has since joined Plaid Cymru.
Plaid Cymru currently have an overall majority on one council. They have regained full control of Gwynedd through defections and by-election victories despite setbacks four years ago. Many councils slipped from one party rule in 2008, with clear wins for Labour in just two authorities, Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Tâf, plus two for the Conservatives in Monmouthshire and the Vale of Glamorgan.
Although the Liberal Democrats do not have any outright majorities, they play a leading role on several councils, notably in Cardiff where their coalition partners are Plaid Cymru. There are elections in 21 Welsh counties and county boroughs on May 3. The only exception is Anglesey, where the vote has been postponed for a year.