Why I’m voting for Eluned Morgan

Carmarthen East in 2015

This has been an incredibly long campaign for the Welsh Leadership Election, but from the off Eluned Morgan has shown the energy and enthusiasm to drive change and renewal in Welsh Labour, and that’s why I’m going to be voting for her. As ballots drop this weekend I want to persuade others to do the same by explaining why I decided to vote for her.

In the beginning, I like many others assumed that Mark Drakeford was going to be the unity candidate who would reach out to members who want to see change in the way things are done in Cardiff Bay. From her election to the Assembly, I have thought Eluned would make a great First Minister, but I also thought that Mark could be a bridge to the next generation of leaders in the Assembly. From very early on, I came to the conclusion that there is no need to wait.

I started to think we needed a debate about NOW, not 4–5 years time. And when the Welsh Assembly Labour Group started to look like it couldn’t/wouldn’t put a woman on the ballot it confirmed to me that we need a shake up. We are the first party to criticise others for not having a woman on the ballot, but have so little self awareness that almost did it ourselves.

Then: Eluned was quick of the mark (no pun intended) with new ideas around the economy and making Wales a nation that can generate its own wealth rather than rely on a Westminster Government, or the hope of a Labour one, to give us a hand out. She speaks of a confident Welsh Labour and Welsh nation determined to take poverty on through building skills and lifelong learning opportunities across Wales.

It may have been seen as a gimmick by some, but her ‘Beyond the Bubble’ exercise demonstrated that she understands what so many others don’t quite get: The bubble exists and it has alienated so many people outside of it. It’s time to grab new ideas and run wit them, rather than sit in committees and advisory groups but not follow up. It’s ok to be part of the bubble, as long as you reach out of it!

Eluned’s pro European stance has also won many people over. We need someone who will go to the negotiation table and simply not accept what we’ve been offered by the UK Government post Brexit. She’ll take the fight to them from the off, challenge the very notion of Brexit, and she has a ‘burning desire’ to do so.

The Wales barometer poll put “don’t know” above all three candidates when Labour supporters were asked, but Eluned was ahead of the other two candidates with Labour voters and the general public. In my opinion the don’t knows come from the fact that there is much overlap between all three candidates e.g all three support a national care service and similar policies. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but Eluned has energy and drive to make change happen.

She has my vote, and I hope she has yours.

“change starts here with you”- Eluned Morgan