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Does ‘Elections in Wales’ Have a Future?

The aftermath of a major election is generally a time for reflection and consideration. This is certainly so for political parties, and for those who cover elections in the news-media. But such is also very much the case for academics, including those strange people who run election-related blogs.

Having been given back much of the time in May which I expected to have to spend offering commentary on attempts to form a coalition or minority government, I’ve been able to spend a little time since 7th May thinking about the future of Elections in Wales. The good or bad news, depending on your point of view, is that I do intend to continue with the blog. However, there are likely to be a few changes and adjustments over the next few months.

First of all, over the next few months the pace of posting is likely to dip a bit. In the build-up to the general election I was sometimes posting several pieces a week. That is a bit difficult to sustain when I am doing the blog in my spare time: running this site is not what Cardiff University pay me to do as my day job. I therefore now intend to throttle back towards my more customary ‘cruising speed’ of one post a week. And even that rather more leisurely pace will not be maintained during the couple of weeks in the summer when I am on holiday.

Second, there may well be something of a re-design and refreshment of the look of the blog. The current look – which I like to think of as ‘basic but functional’, though others might reasonably take a more critical view – stems partly from the limitations of the platform that I use but mainly from the much more substantial limitations imposed by my own technical (in)competence. However, Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre – which is where I work – is having its web presence enhanced. As part of that process, we hope to be able to improve the look of this blog and link it rather more closely to the WGC web-site. The aim will be to retain all the good bits of the current site, but to make it look a bit better. (So, basically, to achieve the exact opposite of what the BBC did the last time that they ‘enhanced’ their news website …). Look out for that in the next few weeks.

Third, there will now be, fairly naturally, a shift in the focus of the blog, somewhat away from the UK general election and towards other matters. The most obvious of these is next May’s Welsh Assembly election: that will undoubtedly be a central focus for the blog in the next months. But there is also the EU referendum to consider, and I will be trying to make sure that the blog discusses the Welsh dimension of that vote. And then we have a potentially fascinating set of local government elections in 2017 as well.

In short, the outlook for elections (and referendums) in Wales in the period ahead appears anything but dull. And Elections in Wales will, I intend, be doing its own little bit to try to contribute to debates and understanding of these events.

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