Senedd Election 2021: What are the Welsh Conservatives promising?

  • Political Correspondent Owain Phillips outlines the main Conservative pledges

The Senedd Election 2021 is fast approaching, with all political parties beginning to outline what they will do if they win.

The Welsh Conservatives recently lost their leader, have only just picked candidates in some target seats and have seen some talented members calling it a day.

Hardly an ideal start - but the polls show them in a buoyant state.

Why? It seems their hopes are firmly in Boris Johnson's hands - with his post-Covid bounce rubbing off on the Welsh party.

In launching their campaign, there were promises of new roads - including an M4 relief road in Newport and a council tax freeze - both distinctive and different from the other two main parties.

They said the commitments were part of a package to help families, workers and businesses bounce back after the Covid-19 crisis.

The new Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies launched his party's campaign online. Credit: Welsh Conservatives

New leader Andrew RT Davies has also repeatedly emphasised a push for no new powers for the Senedd, and more focus on following UK government schemes.

This feels like a way of tempting voters who want to scrap the Senedd, but also an attempt to quell those in his own party who are skeptical of devolution.

Mr Davies said: "The Senedd election on May 6 is the most important in Wales for a generation. We are at a crossroads and this election will decide which road we take.

"Our economy is currently experiencing the deepest downturn since records began, and evidence shows that Welsh communities could be amongst the worst hit in the UK. We need a plan for recovery and for jobs.

"The people of Wales can't afford another five years of Labour propped up by the nationalists. The same old Labour that has allowed the problems in our country to mount up over the past two decades and have no plan to fix things.

"Welsh Conservatives will build a better Wales and create the opportunities Wales needs, and solve the challenges Wales faces, with more jobs, better hospitals and first class schools."

Elsewhere, there are promises of 100,000 new homes over the next decade, to end land transaction tax for first-time buyers, and the introduction of a new funding formula for schools. 

The Conservatives are the second largest group in the Senedd with 11 seats and are hoping for a repeat of the 2019 General Election, when the party won six Welsh seats from Labour.

It will also be the first election in which 16 and 17-year-olds and legally resident foreign nationals will be allowed to vote in Wales.

The Welsh Conservatives did well in 2019 - particularly in north east Wales - but getting those same supporters to the ballot box has eluded them in past devolved elections.