UKIP leader Nigel Farage has pulled out of an expected walkabout in the centre of Swansea after arguments between UKIP supporters and opponents who'd gathered for his arrival. He's expected to go ahead with a meeting in the city later.
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage will arrive in Swansea today as part of his UK wide tour in the run up to the European Elections.
Mr Farage is due hold a walkabout in the city centre and a rally at the Liberty Stadium in the evening.
Welsh Labour have welcomed today's opinion poll that puts them on course for two seats in the European Parliament, with support well ahead of the second placed party, UKIP.
The poll also suggests that if voters were choosing a new Assembly, Labour would slip from 30 seats to 29 in the Senedd, leaving the party outnumbered by the combined opposition.
Today’s poll shows clearly that the people of Wales value the hard work of Welsh Labour standing up against the Tories and Lib Dems in Westminster, and delivering for Wales in the Senedd. It’s evident that the Tory war on Wales has backfired and failed to give them the boost of support they were hoping for. Only a vote for Labour in May’s European election will send a message to David Cameron.
– Welsh Labour
For Leanne Wood and Plaid Cymru this poll is not just bad - it’s embarrassing. The so-called party of Wales have stagnated under her leadership. If this poll is accurate only around one in ten people will vote for her party this year and next.
UKIP's candidate in the European elections, Nathan Gill, has now issued a full response to Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood's criticism of UKIP as 'un-Welsh.'
I have been called today by dozens of our supporters and members who are horrified by Plaid Cymru Leader, Leanne Woods claim that somehow to vote UKIP means that you are un-Welsh.
We understand that Plaid Cymru is afraid of losing their coveted MEP, as a recent ITVWales/YouGov opinion poll shows that UKIP are now polling 20%, well above Plaid.
However, for the party to descend to gutter politics and mud slinging is bigoted and outrageous. They are very much one of the establishment parties, and have now closed ranks with the LibLabCon in trying to attack UKIP and our supporters, instead of presenting their own case.
– Nathan Gill, UKIP
Are Plaid Cymru really saying that the 100,000 of people in Wales who will be voting UKIP on May the 22nd are not Welsh?
And who was it who made Leanne Wood and Plaid Cymru the arbiters of who is and isn’t Welsh?
Jonathan Edwards, the Plaid Cymru MP showed the true colours of Plaid Cymru politics by attacking our Wales Rugby Captain, Sam Warburton, questioning his captaincy just because he feels that he is British.
UKIP has begun responding to criticism from Plaid Cymru's leader Leanne Wood. In her speech to Plaid's conference in Cardiff, she's expected to say that 'a vote for UKIP is a vote against Wales.'
UKIP's lead candidate in the European election, Nathan Gill, has taken to twitter to hit back.
The first data from the latest Wales Barometer opinion poll shows UKIP now in second place for the European Election in May. A big increase in the party's support since the last poll in December means it has overtaken the Conservatives. Labour are still well ahead.
- Labour 39% (41% in December)
- UKIP 18% (13% in December)
- Conservatives 17% (20% in December)
- Plaid Cymru 12% (13% in December)
- Liberal Democrats 7% (9% in December)
- Others 7% (4% in December)
Wales has four seats in the European Parliament. At the last election, in 2009, UKIP won a Welsh seat for the first time, with 13% support. The Conservatives, with 21%, Labour on 20% and Plaid Cymru on 19%. each also won a single seat.
If the latest opinion poll figures are repeated on election day, Labour would win the first two seats, UKIP the third seat and the Conservatives the fourth. Plaid Cymru would be without an MEP for the first time since the present voting system was introduced in 1999.
UKIP's MEP for Wales, John Bufton, says Welsh taxpayers will still lose out despite the approval of more than €2bn of European aid. He said:
– John Bufton MEP, UKIP
Signing over such a huge amount of money to the EU is a disastrous move, not least for taxpayers in Wales who will undoubtedly be left hugely out of pocket once again.
In the last funding period, Wales’ taxpayers paid £1.65 for every £1 received back in structural and cohesion funding and under this new EU budget we are likely to see more of the same.
Cohesion funds constitute 34% of the EU spending budget which means we are talking about €325 billion over the next seven years – this figure should really get people thinking about the extortionate cost attached to our membership of the EU.
UKIP has unveiled its Welsh candidates for next year's European Parliament elections. The party currently has one of the four MEPs sent from Wales to Brussels. The four candidates are:
- Nathan Gill
- James Cole
- Caroline Jones
- David Rowlands
UKIP's candidate in last week's Ynys Môn by-election says the party is winning support because it's offering 'a new political voice' in Welsh politics.' Nathan Gill was responding to a Conservative councillor who claims UKIP is winning the votes of traditional Tory supporters in Wales.
– Nathan Gill, UKIP
It’s not just the Tories we are taking votes from. It’s Labour too. You just have to look at the results of the Ynys Mon by election to see that. But this isn’t about one policy that is turning people to vote for us. It’s about there being a new political voice in what is otherwise a stagnant status quo in politics, not just in Cardiff but in Westminster too. People are waking up to the fact that we openly and bravely tackle the big issues and there is nothing wrong with voting for us. We are not an alternative for disenchanted Conservatives, we are a genuine alternative for all voters.
UKIP's facing its own internal debate on devolution. Its leader Nigel Farage signalled a major shift in policy when he called for the party to embrace devolution - something not everyone in the party supports. Nathan Gill says it doesn't mean UKIP wants more government in Wales.
– Nathan Gill, UKIP
What we are saying is the Assembly Government needs to be streamlined. It needs to be cost effective and it needs to be delivering. However since its establishment The Welsh Assembly has seen public services deteriorate, poverty increase and standards of living drop. That’s a real problem. But UKIP want to challenge the establishment and shake up the way politics works, not just in Brussels, or Westminster but in the Senedd too. Our recent increase in popularity reflects a general public who are crying out for that.
In response to a warning from one of the Welsh Conservatives' own councillors that the party risks losing support to UKIP unless it changes its approach to devolution, a spokesperson defended that approach, saying that 'we are doing Conservative things with devolution.'
Citing devo-scepticism as a reason for this result is an odd observation – given UKIP’s recent loud calls for far more Assembly powers, tax and criminal justice devolution to Wales, and a federal Britain.
The Welsh Conservatives are the only party in Wales consistently bringing forward innovative new policies – from reversing the decline of the high street, to boosting financial support for small businesses, to growing the nationalised Cardiff Airport and helping Welsh taxpayers get their money back.
– Welsh Conservatives spokesperson
We are doing Conservative things with devolution – that’s the way forward and that’s what will make Wales a global success.
With a record 14 Assembly Members we are the official opposition and we will continue holding a failing Labour government to account.