Keir Starmer has praised Welsh Labour’s proposals for the devolved nation ahead of the Senedd elections and argued that the party and its leader Mark Drakeford have “the right plan to power the economy with a jobs first recovery”.
Commenting ahead of a visit to Gower on Thursday, the UK Labour leader commended the work of the Welsh Labour administration and declared that the vote in May is an “opportunity to give them the tools to finish that work”.
“Welsh Labour’s guarantee of a good quality job or training for every young person underscores the determination to make Wales the best place in the UK – and Europe – to be young and to have a family,” he said.
“Welsh Labour is also building the green economy of tomorrow. Wales is already a world leader in recycling, and I’m determined to work with Mark Drakeford and his team to create green jobs and ensure Wales is a world leader in the green industries of the future.”
Earlier this month, Welsh Labour launched its manifesto for the upcoming Senedd vote with six key pledges to help the devolved nation recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and set out a “real plan to move Wales forward”.
Among the policy pledges unveiled was a young person’s guarantee, which will give all in Wales under the age of 25 the guaranteed offer of a job or a place in education, training or help to start their own business.
Drakeford explained in his launch speech how the party plans to create thousands of new jobs across the country in a low-carbon house building revolution, including building 20,000 new low-carbon social homes for rent.
The party has committed to delivering a £15bn capital investment programme over the next term, regenerating towns, supporting businesses in green industries and investing in innovative housing, renewable energy and digital technologies.
Welsh Labour has said it will develop the new Global Centre of Rail Excellence in the Dulais Valley to promote rail innovation, creating 300 jobs over the next few years, and complete the £750m investment in electrification of the South Wales valleys.
Starmer’s visit on Thursday is his first to South Wales as Labour leader. He is expected to appear in Wales on a number of occasions to engage with the campaigning activities in advance voter heading to the polls on May 6th.
The first Welsh Political Barometer poll of 2021 in January showed Labour ahead in the contest for the Senedd, with 34% of voters backing Welsh Labour. This was down four points on the previous research carried out in October last year.
A YouGov poll released at the start of March predicted that the party is on course to lose seven seats in the upcoming vote and that, while Labour would remain the largest party in the Senedd, it would not secure overall control of the Senedd.
The research suggested that the party will secure 33% of the constituency vote and 29% of the list vote. The Tories are projected as coming second, with the backing of 28% and 25% of the electorate in the constituency and list votes respectively.
Despite the most recent research, Labour sources are optimistic about the party’s prospects. MS Mick Antoniw described it to LabourList as a “rogue” poll and predicted “not a great deal of change in terms of the number of Labour seats”.