2018 Plaid Cymru leadership election

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Plaid Cymru leadership election, 2018
← 2012 7 August – 28 September 2018 Next →
Rhun ap Iorwerth AM (27555192223).jpg
Candidate Adam Price Rhun ap Iorwerth Leanne Wood
First round 2,863 1,613 1,286
Percentage 49.7% 28.0% 22.3%
Second round 3,481 1,961 -
Percentage 64.0% 36.0% -

Leader before election

Leanne Wood

Elected Leader

Adam Price

The 2018 election for the leader of the Welsh political party Plaid Cymru began on 7 August.[1] Voting closed at midnight on 27 September,[2] Adam Price was declared the winner on 28 September.[3]

A prospective leadership election was first announced after Rhun ap Iorwerth, assembly member (AM) for Ynys Môn and Adam Price, AM for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, both declared their intention to challenge the incumbent, Leanne Wood.[4] Speculation about a leadership election arose after what were perceived to be disappointing showings in recent elections, which led some figures within the party to comment that Plaid was potentially stagnant.[5][6][7][8]


The winner was declared on 28 September.[9]

Candidate First round Second round
Votes % Transfers Votes %
Adam Price 2,863 49.7% +618 3,481 64.0%
Rhun ap Iorwerth 1,613 28.0% +348 1,961 36.0%
Leanne Wood 1,286 22.3%
Total 5,762 966 5,442


Leanne Wood was elected leader of Plaid Cymru in March 2012 with 57% of the vote, defeating Elin Jones and Dafydd Elis-Thomas.

Under Plaid Cymru's constitution, the leader is subject to re-election every two years, but this is usually uncontested.[10] The window for any leadership challenge closed on 4 July 2018, when Wood was challenged by two of her Assembly colleagues.[11] Wood submitted her nomination papers in June 2018.[12]

Wood admitted that she was preparing to resign following Plaid's results in the 2017 General Election until the result in Ceredigion came through showing a Plaid Cymru gain.[13] During the summer of 2017, Rhun ap Iorwerth publicly announced that it would be 'very probable' that he would stand when a vacancy arose.[14] On 13 June 2018 Wood stated that she would resign as leader in 2021 if she failed to become First Minister.[15] She had previously stated that she would welcome any challenge to her leadership.[10] On 14 June it was revealed that a letter had been circulated by AMs Llyr Huws Gruffydd, Sian Gwenllian and Elin Jones, asking colleagues to consider putting their names forward.[16] The Carmarthenshire Plaid council group wrote to encourage Adam Price to stand against Wood.[17]

On 26 June former MP Elfyn Llwyd said in a BBC Radio Cymru podcast that "[Plaid Cymru has] been standing still for five to seven years now and perhaps that suggests that it's time to change the team."[18] On 1 July 2018, fifty-three (out of about 200) of Plaid Cymru's principal Councillors wrote to pledge their allegiance to Leanne Wood ahead of any potential leadership challenge.[19]


On 4 July 2018, both Rhun ap Iorwerth and Adam Price formally announced that they would be challenging Wood for the party leadership. Wood reaffirmed her plan to stand as a candidate in the ensuing election.[4] Whilst Wood is seen as ideologically close to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, ap Iorwerth is considered more willing to work with the Conservative Party, while Price has advocated "equidistance", advocating for Plaid Cymru to position itself equally between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party.[20]

Wood ruled out making any sort of deal with the Conservatives after the 2021 assembly election, while Adam Price ruled out a coalition deal with either the Conservative Party or the Labour Party.[21][22]

Price proposed changing the name of the party to the "New Wales Party", and set out a timeline for Welsh independence by 2030.[23]

The candidates disagreed about Wylfa Newydd, a proposed nuclear power station on Anglesey. Adam Price opposed it, describing it as "incompatible with independence", whilst ap Iorwerth, who represents the area in the Assembly, supported the scheme. Wood said that the party would review its energy policies if she were to be re-elected.[24]

In July, Price proposed increasing income tax by 1p to fund education.[25] In August, he proposed reducing all income tax rates by 9p as well as abolishing business rates and council tax.[26] He said that this second proposal would be funded by a 3% land value tax levied on non-agricultural land.[26]

Ap Iorwerth proposed a new infrastructure commission, and increasing the proportion of government procurement spending inside Wales.[26]


Hustings were held across Wales during the campaign period in September. The location and dates were as follows:[1]


Candidate Portrait Seat Endorsements
Rhun ap Iorwerth RhunApIorwerth Nov2014.jpg Ynys Môn since 2013
Adam Price Adam Price 2016 (cropped).jpg Carmarthen East and Dinefwr since 2016

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (UK Parliament seat) 2001–2010

Leanne Wood Leanne Wood AM (27555056394).jpg Rhondda since 2016

South Wales Central 2003–2016


  1. ^ a b Leadership election. Plaid Cymru (official website). Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Plaid Cymru on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Plaid Cymru leadership contest: Adam Price wins". BBC News. 28 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Plaid Cymru leadership bids by Adam Price and Rhun ap Iorwerth". BBC News. 4 July 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  5. ^ "It's time for Leanne to go". 15 June 2017.
  6. ^ "'Unite or weaken' warning at Plaid Cymru conference".
  7. ^ "No plans to challenge leader - Plaid AM". BBC News. 12 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Are the men in grey suits coming for Leanne Wood?". 11 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Adam Price replaces Wood as Plaid leader". BBC News. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Wood would 'welcome' leadership challenge". BBC News. 15 June 2018.
  11. ^ Dafydd, Aled ap (14 June 2018). "Plaid AMs call for challenge to Wood". BBC News.
  12. ^ Mosalski, Ruth (14 June 2018). "Plaid Cymru AMs call for leadership challenge against Leanne Wood".
  13. ^ "Did Leanne Wood consider resigning?". BBC News. 2 August 2017.
  14. ^ "AM 'would consider' Plaid leadership". BBC News. 8 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Wood to quit if not first Plaid FM". BBC News. 13 June 2018.
  16. ^ Aled ap Dafydd (14 June 2018). "Three Plaid Cymru AMs call for challenge to Leanne Wood". BBC News. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  17. ^ Mosalski, Ruth (14 June 2018). "Plaid Cymru AMs call for leadership challenge against Leanne Wood". walesonline. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Plaid Cymru needs new leadership and direction, ex-MP says". BBC News. 26 June 2018.
  19. ^ "Plaid Cymru councillors pledge support to Leanne Wood". BBC News. 1 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  20. ^ Aled ap Dafydd (4 July 2018). "Plaid Cymru leadership contest - a pivotal moment". BBC News. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  21. ^ Dafydd, Aled ap (10 September 2018). "Plaid's Wood rejects centre ground". BBC News. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  22. ^ Dafydd, Aled ap (11 September 2018). "Coalition off the table, says Plaid AM". BBC News. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Call for Plaid Cymru to change its name". BBC News. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  24. ^ "Plaid's 'nuclear compromise must change'". BBC News. 28 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Plaid AM backs 1p tax rise for education". BBC News. 22 July 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  26. ^ a b c "Tax cut plan by Plaid leadership hopeful". BBC News. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  27. ^ "Rhun ap Iorwerth wins former minister's support in leadership bid". Nation.cymru. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  28. ^ "Adrain Masters on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  29. ^ "Rhun ap Iorwerth on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  30. ^ "Former Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones throws weight behind Rhun ap Iorwerth". Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  31. ^ "Rhun ap Iorwerth on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  32. ^ a b c "Plaid Cymru MPs call for change in party leader". www.bbc.co.uk.
  33. ^ "Plaid Cymru leadership: Wigley backs Rhun ap Iorwerth to succeed Leanne Wood". ITV News. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  34. ^ "Adam must lead Plaid". 25 August 2018.
  35. ^ "Adam Price is the visionary leader that Plaid Cymru needs". Nation.cymru. 17 July 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h "Adam Price on Twitter".
  37. ^ "North Wales AM backs Adam Price for party leadership". South Wales Guardian. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  38. ^ "Adam Price AC/AM". www.facebook.com.
  39. ^ "Siân Gwenllian endorses Adam for Plaid Cymru Leader".
  40. ^ "LeanneWood 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 on Twitter".
  41. ^ "LeanneWood 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 on Twitter".
  42. ^ "Diolch Lindsay Whittle". Twitter.com. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.

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