15th March sees a fundamental change in the party after over a decade. Ieuan Wyn Jones has led Plaid Cymru for over ten years but has divided it is time to pass the baton over to a new leadership regime. But who is going to take over the mantle? Who will lead to party on and progress welsh thoughts and opinions? Welsh Assembly Simon Thomas has withdrawn from the race leaving only three main contenders left. Mr Thomas pledged his support and to join nominee Elin Jones as her deputy on a joint ticket. Yet even with this public support, the front runner of the leadership is Leanne Wood. She has received 14 nominations, compared to Ms Jones’s 5 and the other candidate, Lord Elis-Thomas’s four nominations.
What do we know about the contenders?
has a secret weapon in this race – he has led Plaid Cymru before! 20 years after vacating the leadership position, he is back for more! He is campaigning under a banner of sustainability and pragmatism and wants to spread success all across Wales.
has a record in government which gives her credentials where others are lacking. Her role as Rural Affairs Minister in the Labour- Plaid Cymru coalition saw her rise into one of the major assets of Plaid Cymru. Her experience will help in her bid to lead, and she is campaigning on a mandate for Welsh independence. She supports the idea that if Plaid Cymru can win two consecutive elections, then Wales should have a right to vote on independence. She was also Aberystwyth’s youngest ever town mayor!
still lives in the village of Penygraig in Rhondda where she grew up. It is a focal point of her leadership bid, as she believes the heartlands is pivotal to Plaid success in the upcoming elections. She has a controversial past, calling the Queen Mrs Windsor and afterwards refusing to withdraw the remark which saw her expelled from the assembly’s chamber in 2004!