Wales Election 2016

Labour appeals to 'left-leaning' voters from other parties

Carwyn Jones and Leanne Wood
Image caption Carwyn Jones and Leanne Wood

Carwyn Jones has made a direct appeal to Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrat and Green supporters to lend their votes to Labour.

The Welsh Labour leader said left-leaning voters should side with his party to stop the Conservatives.

With three days to go, other parties are attack Labour's record in office.

Plaid said Labour had "managed decline" while the Lib Dems said Labour should be "ashamed" of its record on education.

The Conservatives said Mr Jones' record on the NHS showed Labour were "not up to the job" of governing Wales.

As the assembly election campaign enters its final week, Mr Jones used a speech in Wrexham - one of the Tories' target seats - to say Labour wanted to see an "confident, open, outward looking Wales".

He repeatedly attacked "the Tories, Plaid and UKIP", but made no mention of the Liberal Democrats. With polls suggesting that Labour will lose seats but remain the largest party, there has been some speculation that Mr Jones could seek to form a coalition with the Lib Dems after polling day.

Back on track

Mr Jones is keen to get his campaign back on track after Labour was rocked by claims of anti-Semitism last week.

In Wrexham he said the outcome would be decided in Labour/Tory battleground seats such as the Vale of Clwyd and Gower.

Opponents claim that under 17 years of Labour-led governments since devolution, standards in public services in Wales are not good enough.

But Mr Jones returned to two main planks of his campaign: that Wales has avoided a junior doctors' strike and the impact of spending cuts imposed in Westminster.

"So, if you're thinking about voting Liberal, or Plaid, or Green in the seats where it is a straight fight between Labour and Tory - think about that risk," he said.

"Think about importing that kind of politics into the assembly. And lend us your vote in those constituencies to stop it."

'Managed decline'

Speaking on Sunday, Plaid leader Leanne Wood said: "After seventeen years of managed decline in our public services, the people of Wales have a once in a generation opportunity to deliver real change for our nation."

Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams said a generation of children had been "left behind" under Labour.

She said: "Ministers say they took their eye off the ball, casually accepting that a generation of young people have been let down due to Labour complacency. They should be ashamed."

Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said: "Labour's management of the NHS proves they're not up to the job.

"The election this Thursday presents voters with their best opportunity in nearly two decades to deliver new leadership for Wales, and secure a strong, properly-funded NHS backed up by a strong economy. With Labour only one seat from losing power, a new start for our NHS is within reach.

"The Welsh Conservatives are the only party to have made a manifesto commitment to safeguard the NHS budget and to increase spending on health services each and every year during the Assembly term."

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