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Via @glynbeddau

With the Ukip contest for the leadership in the Welsh Assembly bring resolved with the election of their most controversial (and that saying something) Gareth Bennett winning with a total vote of 269, we still have three leadership contest to come.


Whilst Labour’s is yet to see how many challengers for the soon to be vacated “Welsh” Leader position with only Mark  who rapidly emerged as the frontrunner, but three ministerial colleagues in the Welsh government â€“ health and social services secretary Vaughan Gething apparently being the only AM to get the required nominations at the moment they still have to decide what voting system they are going to use after the debacle of the Deputy Leadership contest where Caroline  Harris’s victory comes despite more party members backing her rival Julie Morgan. The Swansea East MP won more votes among AMs and MPs, and groups linked to the Labour party including unions.

Plaid’s has kicked off and arguably with three “Star” candidates it could create divisions within the party or generate interest beyond that whoever wins could lead to a polling bounce,

So what of the Tories ?

There seems to be nothing like the activity in the Plaid Race and the latest BBC report has  the  Welsh Conservative leadership hopeful Paul Davies has dismissed the idea that he is a colourless politician.

The interim leader of the Tory assembly group has been described by a party insider as a “man in a beige suit”.
The Preseli Pembrokeshire AM said neither he nor his colleagues thought he was “grey”, but the right person to be first minister.
He and Suzy Davies are in the running to succeed Andrew RT Davies, who stood down as group leader in June.,
Mr Davies told BBCWales’ Newyddion9 programme.

“I wouldn’t think I’m grey. My colleagues don’t think I’m grey,”
“My colleagues think I’m the right person for the job, not just to be leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the National Assembly but first minister of Wales.”

 Both he and rival candidate Ms Davies – AM for South West Wales – want the next assembly group leader to be known also as the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, a distinction which has appeared to cause conflict within the party in recent years.

 he said.

“Devolution is devolution,”

“We obviously develop our own policies here at an assembly level and we develop policies that actually suit the needs of the people of Wales.”

Mr Davies denied playing the role of a “silent assassin” in removing Andrew RT Davies, who stood down from the leadership feeling he had lost the support of his colleagues.

“I’m no assassin at all,” 

“There was a discussion within the group, the group obviously expressed views and Andrew reflected on those views and decided to let someone else lead the group.”

“I’d like to think I’m open,” he added.
“I’ve been the business manager [for the Conservative group] over the last few years. I’ve built up relationships with other parties on that basis and I’d like to think people would be able to approach me.”

The 12-strong Conservative group is the second biggest in the assembly and has been in opposition to Labour-led administrations since devolution in 1999.
The leader will be elected by a postal ballot of party members in Wales, with the winner to be announced on 6 September.
There is probably a feeling among “Welsh” Tories that they do not need a high profile leader in the Assembly in the manner of Ruth Davidson in the Scottish Parliament , probably thinking that, they can rely on their voters in Wales to vote in accordance with the leadership in Westminster rather than Cardiff Bay.
They could be wrong people do vote differently in Assembly elections even in 40 first past the posts seats, and with Plaid displaying that their leadership challengers could not be called grey in any shade , the Tories may be mistaken to think that having a Paul or Suzy Who? at the helm in the Siambr may not be what they need,