This week on Foreign Correspondent Philip Williams takes the British political temperature in Wales.
While Labour is praying for one of history’s great comebacks in Britain’s election, something once unthinkable may be happening in Wales.
If you suggest you’re going to vote anything but Labour they look at you like you’re threatening to trash their car – Petrina Dendy, resident of Blaengarw, a traditional Welsh Labour stronghold
Come election day next Thursday, a few cars might well be metaphorically trashed in the streets of Blaengarw.
For nearly 100 years Labour has owned Wales. The Conservatives have been the anti-Welsh, English outsiders.
But now many Welsh are rethinking their Labour bonds. As Chief Foreign Correspondent Philip Williams reports, that could spell trouble for Labour MPs like 82-year-old Paul Flynn, who has held his seat since 1987. The early polling was looking especially grim for him.
According to the polls, I’m finished. I’d dead. I’m toast – Paul Flynn MP
The coal mines have mostly gone, along with memories of the anti-Thatcher battles that once bonded tribal communities. But that alone doesn’t explain Labour’s leakage.
Neither does the poverty that puts Wales near the bottom of the Europe heap, nor the anti-Europeanism that saw Wales narrowly back Brexit. There’s something else…
The Labour Party has gone insane unfortunately. We’ve elected someone as leader who can never be elected as Prime Minister – Paul Flynn MP
From the obscurity of the backbench, Jeremy Corbyn was propelled to the Labour leadership by a vote of the party’s rank-and-file members. It was not an entirely popular choice.
I compare him to your 1970s pot-smoking history teacher. There’s no substance to him – Paul Praid, taxi driver
Local MP Paul Flynn wrote off the election early in the campaign. He dreads the next five years: It’s going to be hell.
But terror attacks in London and Manchester have injected a sense of unpredictability into the contest. No one really knows how they will play out politically.
And pundits suggest voters might belatedly be warming to Corbyn – which is just the news Labour stalwarts like 72-year-old Marilyn Owen want to hear.
Everybody’s going to get a shock in the general election, this is my view now. If I’m wrong, God help us. That’s all I can say, God help us – Marilyn Owen
9.30 pm Tuesday June 6 on ABC.