At the recent ITV Welsh Leaders’ Debate, Carwyn Jones faced sustained criticism from all five of the other leaders taking part.
But the man who’s been First Minister for the last seven years expects nothing less, as he tells me in tonight’s Election Bites:
You are there to be hit. You are the First Minister, there will be people who write to you, who are unhappy on all manner of issues. And the people in other parties - their leaders want your job. So they all want to knock you off the perch; it’s all part of it. But, that’s what makes democracy so vibrant.
The election next week is shaping up to be a difficult one for Labour. Although our Welsh Political Barometer poll consistently shows the party’s support to be far ahead of its opponents, it also shows that it’s slipped significantly over the five years since the last Welsh election.
What’s more, as the party which has led every Welsh Government in the seventeen years since the Assembly began, Labour has to to take the blame for failings in public services as well as the praise for things that have gone well.
The idea of this series is simple: to find out about the people behind the politics. After all the parties have put their trust in these leaders as the people they believe to be most likely to convince us to give them our vote.
We do this in an unusual way: each of the leaders cooks me dinner. As they prepare it, I offer my help as sous chef and try to distract them by asking them questions about their motivation, their families and what their lives are like in politics.
Then over dinner we go into more depth about the policies and promises they hope will win them votes this coming Thursday.
Carwyn Jones talks about his family, the way they keep him down to earth and how little work/life balance they get:
Oh it’s, there is no average day. It can be, I mean you don’t get weekends apart from going on holiday in August for two weeks I haven’t had a weekend free in about 3 years. A complete weekend between Friday and Sunday. The thing is what you do then. You try and keep Sunday basically as free as you can, if you can and spend some time with the family really.
He talks about the support of his parents, and how his late mother saw him win the leadership of Welsh Labour before she died.
It’s a personal and political conversation that just happens to be served up with a side dish of risotto. Join us for dinner tonight at 8pm on ITV Cymru Wales.