Gwlad (Welsh for "country" or "nation") is a centre-right[2] Welsh nationalist and pro-independence political party. Its current leader is Gwyn Wigley Evans.

Gwlad
LeaderGwyn Wigley Evans[1]
FoundedAugust 2018; 3 years ago (2018-08)
HeadquartersBenglog
Llanddeiniol
Llanrhystud
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
SY23 5AW
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right[2]
House of Commons (Welsh seats)
0 / 40
Senedd
0 / 60
Local government in Wales
0 / 1,253
Community Councils in Wales2 seats
Website
www.gwlad.org/en/

The party has one councillor who was originally elected as an independent[3] member for the Hengoed ward of the Llanelli Rural Community Council,[4] and another councillor who was elected in 2017 as a Plaid Cymru[5] member for the Lower Ward of the Ynysybwl and Coed-y-cwm Community Council in Rhondda Cynon Taf.[6]

BackgroundEdit

In late 2017, a preliminary meeting held by Royston Jones[7] in Aberystwyth over the formation of a new pro-Welsh independence party.[8] In August 2018, Ein Gwlad (English: Our Nation) was founded in Llanelli, with Gwyn Wigley Evans as its leader.[8] Evans said he wanted to dismantle the established and archaic UK political system that has "shackled and exploited the people of Wales for so long",[8] whilst party member Siân Caiach claimed that "A lot of people in all parties, not just in Plaid Cymru, really would like Wales to be a better place, have a better government and have more autonomy and even independence."[9]

In February 2019, Ein Gwlad changed its name to Gwlad Gwlad (English: Nation Nation).[1] For the 2019 United Kingdom general election, Gwlad Gwlad announced its intention to stand candidates in the four Welsh seats where Plaid Cymru had stood down in favour of other parties taking an anti-Brexit position as part of the "Unite to Remain" pact: Brecon and Radnorshire, Cardiff Central, Montgomeryshire and the Vale of Glamorgan.[10] Evans said: "The 'Remain Alliance' has been cooked up in London between the Lib Dems, the Greens and Plaid, without local consultation of any sort. By standing in the four constituencies, we want to give an opportunity for people to cast a vote for real Welsh independence. A large number of people asked us to step into the breach, and this is what we have done."[11] Ultimately, the party only stood in Cardiff Central (280 votes, 0.7%),[12] Montgomeryshire (727 votes, 2.1%)[13] and the Vale of Glamorgan (508 votes, 0.9%).[14]

On 24 March 2020, Gwlad Gwlad changed its name to just Gwlad.[1]

The party stood candidates in 14 of the 40 parliamentary constituencies in the 2021 Senedd election and a full slate of four candidates in each of the five Senedd regional lists.[15] It averaged 0.6% in the regional lists, coming tenth with no candidates elected.[16] The same day, Gwlad also stood in the 2021 election for a Police and Crime Commissioner for the Gwent Police area.[17] Its candidate was Clayton Jones, who is a councillor on Ynysybwl and Coed-y-cwm Community Council.[6] He came last with 2,615 votes, representing 1.4% of the total.[18]

On 21 September 2021, Gwlad was fined £200 by the Electoral Commission for late delivery of weekly donations and transactions reports for the 2019 UK general election, as well the late delivery of its campaign spending return.[19]

PoliciesEdit

Gwlad, which describes itself as "the first syncretic party in Wales",[9] is committed to achieving full independence for Wales, including the creation of a separate currency[15] called the Hywel.[20] It also stated its intention to accept the result of the Brexit referendum in 2016, in which Wales voted 52% to Leave.[21] The party wants to move the Senedd to Llandudno Junction.[22][23]

Despite being labelled "a Welsh UKIP" by some critics,[9] Gwlad claims to be neither right-wing nor left-wing, but describes itself as being committed to enterprise and free markets.[21] Evans said that Wales "really need[s] to move away from the Westminster circus" and that his party was "working hard to promote the cause for independence by attracting the 90 per cent of Welsh electorate who do not vote for Plaid Cymru."[11]

Electoral performanceEdit

General electionsEdit

House of Commons of the United Kingdom
Year Votes Votes % Seats Change
2019 1,515 votes 0.0%
0 / 650
New party

Senedd electionsEdit

Year Regional vote Constituency vote Overall seats Change
2021 6,776 votes 0.6%
0 / 20
2,829 votes 0.3%
0 / 40
0 / 60
New party

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "View registration - The Electoral Commission". search.electoralcommission.org.uk. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Second party to complain to Ofcom over lack of Senedd election coverage". Nation.Cymru. 19 April 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  3. ^ Town and Community Council Election Results 2017, Carmarthenshire County Council. Retrieved 22 April 2021
  4. ^ "Sian Mair Caiach". Llanelli Rural Council. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  5. ^ Jones, Clayton (4 April 2018). "Western Mail letters". WalesOnline. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Councillors". Ynysbwl & Coed-y-cwm Community Council. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  7. ^ Duffryn, Tom (19 September 2018). ""Er gwaetha pawb a phopeth" - The vision of a socialist Wales isn't dead". The Lever. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Crump, Eryl (2 November 2018). "New Welsh independence party launches with a swipe at system 'that's exploited Wales for so long'". Daily Post. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  9. ^ a b c Mansfield, Mark (20 December 2018). "Populist and proud or a Welsh UKIP? – an interview with Ein Gwlad". Nation.Cymru. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Gwlad Gwlad standing in four seats where Plaid Cymru have withdrawn 'to offer people a pro-independence vote'". Nation.Cymru. 15 November 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  11. ^ a b Betteley, Chris (20 November 2019). "Pro-Welsh independence party 'steps into the breach'". Cambrian News. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Cardiff Central (Constituency) 2019 results - General election results - UK Parliament". electionresults.parliament.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  13. ^ "Montgomeryshire (Constituency) 2019 results - General election results - UK Parliament". electionresults.parliament.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  14. ^ "Election result for Vale of Glamorgan (Constituency) - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament". members.parliament.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Welsh election: Separate currency plan from Gwlad independence party". BBC News. 22 April 2021. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  16. ^ "Welsh Parliament election 2021". BBC News. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  17. ^ Mosalski, Ruth (14 April 2021). "These are the people vying to be Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent". WalesOnline. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  18. ^ "Election of Police and Crime Commissioner for the Gwent Police Area" (PDF). Blaenau Gwent CBC – Voting and Elections – Gwent Area PCC Election. 6 May 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  19. ^ "Electoral Commission fines Welsh pro-independence party". Nation.Cymru. 21 September 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  20. ^ Axenderrie, Gareth (27 April 2021). "Meet Gwlad, the pro-independence party who see on opening on the right". County Times. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Gwlad - a new voice for an independent Wales". Gwlad. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  22. ^ Mosalski, Ruth; Morris, Lydia (16 April 2021). "The Welsh Independence party that wants to move Senedd to North Wales". North Wales Live. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  23. ^ Mosalski, Ruth (14 April 2021). "Gwlad party wants a new currency for Wales and an army". WalesOnline. Retrieved 12 May 2021.