WELSH Labour launches its European election campaign today, after UKIP yesterday launched its bid to retain its Welsh seat in the election.
With opinion polls predicting Welsh Labour will win two MEPs the party’s number two candidate says the Euro election result isn’t a foregone conclusion.
Newport-based Jayne Bryant spoke ahead of the party’s launch of its pledges to voters including its vow to secure EU cash for Welsh regeneration projects.
Meanwhile the UK Independence Party’s Nigel Farage visited Wales yesterday with the launch of their own Welsh campaign, ahead of the May 22 polls.
Polling for the Welsh Governance Centre has suggested that Labour could win two MEPs, with the Tories and UKIP receiving one each.
MEPs are elected through a proportional representation system with members selected from party lists through the proportion of votes each group receives.
Welsh Labour candidate Ms Bryant said the polling was “good to see” but added: “What’s going to count on the day is people coming out and voting Labour. It’s not a foregone conclusion.”
The party is making five pledges to voters for the election – including protecting workers rights, getting new investment to boost jobs and tackling rising energy bills by reforming the European energy market.
Ms Bryant said she is “passionate about the benefits that we have got from Europe” which she said were “vital to Wales” with 191,000 jobs said to be linked to EU trade.
But she said: “Europe’s not perfect. There are lots of things that we would like to do to reform it... things like having two places for parliament”.
“With UKIP, we need to scrape past that veneer,” Ms Bryant said. “We need to look at their policies. They want to privatise the NHS, they are talking about legalising handguns.
“We need to make sure that, if people are voting that way, they know what they are voting for.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage visited Swansea on Wednesday to launch the party’s Welsh campaign.
The party’s seven-page-long manifesto says UKIP MEPs would have one goal - to make themselves redundant.
it claims that since 2010 3,600 new laws have been imposed on the UK by the EU, and that Britain has lost control of its borders because of EU rules on the freedom of movement.
UKIP number one candidate in Wales Nathan Gill said: “The key message is yes, we can do it. We can leave Europe, we can trade with the rest of the world.”
He suggested anyone talking about UKIP policies was jumping the gun, with the 2015 General Election manifesto not yet released.
“If people are saying this is UKIP policy and that is UKIP policy – the truth is it’s not in our manifesto, so how could they know what our policies are,” he said.
He added that he didn’t have an opinion on whether handguns should be legalised.