Plaid and resources to Scotland

Plaid Cymru have published a press release which talks about the importance of Wales being represented at Parliament by as many of their MPs as possible.

No surprises there, it's exactly what you'd expect on the eve of their campaign launch.

But the release goes on to warn of the dangers, saying "otherwise all the attention, and resources, will be diverted to Scotland as a direct result of the SNP's growing influence."

To be clear, this is not Plaid saying that SNP success should be limited. In fact Dafydd Wigley says he wishes them well.

But the key point here is that it is warning of negative consequences for Wales if that nationalist success is not mirrored in Wales.


In other words, Plaid have introduced the possibility of a downside for Wales as a result of developments in Scotland.

Of course Plaid say the only answer to that potential problem is a vote for them but nevertheless it is a sign of the extraordinary success the SNP are having that of all the parties out there, even Plaid are saying there could be dangers for Wales.

It inevitably begs the question about what exactly the relationship is between Plaid Cymru and the SNP?

There are very close historical connections between the two parties and Leanne Wood says she has developed a personal friendship with Nicola Sturgeon.

Dafydd Wigley gave me the impression at their conference in Caernarfon earlier this month that there was a united approach when it came to Plaid's central policy of dramatically increasing the level of funding the Assembly gets from Westminster.

Centre stage

He said: "The SNP have said very generously and constructively that they would be quite prepared to put the needs for Wales to get a new funding formula as part of any packages going forward."

The relationship between Plaid and the SNP is key because Plaid have put centre stage the possibility of the nationalist parties and the Greens holding the balance of power in the event of a hung parliament.

After Lord Wigley's comments, I interviewed the leader Leanne Wood on Sunday Politics Wales where she gave me a more nuanced answer when it came to funding.

She said: "We share an awful lot of common ground with the SNP.

"But there are some areas that we don't share common ground, and this is one because their financial situation is already settled."

Wish well

At the time the SNP gave a statement which was hardly effusive in its support, saying they wished Plaid well.

Today there's been a more positive statement from their campaign director Angus Robertson who said: "People across the UK are desperate for an alternative to the continued austerity that is the only thing on offer from the Westminster establishment parties, who have all signed up for a further £30 billion worth of cuts.

"SNP MPs will work with our colleagues in Plaid Cymru to help build a progressive alliance at Westminster that will put forward a fairer alternative to austerity and ensure that neither Scotland or Wales can be ignored at Westminster."

Plaid say there's no shift in position and there will be no shift in tomorrow's message that people have a choice to stand still or emulate what's happening in Scotland.

Regarding Dafydd Wigley's position, a spokeswoman for Plaid said: "What he is trying to get at is that this is an amazing opportunity to emulate what they have done in Scotland.

"What he wants people to realise is to wake up to the magnitude of that. There is nothing negative in that.

"He is issuing a rallying cry to make an unprecedented effort to make Wales relevant and to follow the lead of the SNP."

Plaid have introduced a sense of urgency in their appeal to voters.

In the past it has always been that Wales should follow the lead of the SNP, at their conference it was that a vote for Plaid counted because they could hold the balance of power and now it's that a vote for Plaid is the only way to stop all the attention and resources going to Scotland.