As Labour’s lead North Wales regional list candidate I have been campaigning across the nine constituencies in the region: from the industrial North East to the Welsh language heartlands of the North West. We were narrowly beaten to the final seat by the Liberal Demmocrats in the last assembly elections and given the collapse in their vote it is quite possible it will be between me and Ukip this time around. Back in 2011 if everyone who voted for Labour with their constituency vote had done so with their regional vote, we would have won that seat and had 31 seats out of 60 rather than only 30.

Despite being one short of an overall majority we have delivered on our promises. We have maintained free prescriptions and capped the weekly cost of homecare for those who need it. We have kept Flying Start for pre-schoolers (similar to Sure Start in England), maintained our school building programme, kept Education Maintenance Allowance for sixth formers, ensured Welsh university students pay a third of what English students have to pay and set up Jobs Growth Wales – a scheme so successful the Tories want to copy it.

But we know campaigning on our record is not enough – we also have a strong offer for the future. Our manifesto offers childcare support for working parents; more money for schools; 100,000 all age apprenticeships; tax cuts for small businesses, a new treatment fund for the National Health Service, and a better deal for people who need care in old age. In North Wales where our key economic and transport links are across the border into North West England, we are planning a metro with improved services, integration and through-ticketing as well as investment in jobs and infrastructure. Our first minister, Carwyn Jones, is clearly head and shoulders above the others competing for the title, as evidenced in both ITV and BBC Leaders’ debates. He is standing to complete the second half of his decade of delivery: we recognise progress has been made, but there is still more to do.

We have also been lucky in our opponents. The Tories’ smears against the Welsh NHS have been undermined by crises in England: not least the junior doctors strike. Here we are working with doctors, not imposing a contract and surprise, surprise do not have a strike. When I was on a recent BBC Wales panel from Wrexham town centre members of the public spoke up for their experience of the Welsh NHS and condemned the politically-motivated attacks from the Tories and Plaid Cymru. Plaid, of course, have their own internal struggle between those who want to position themselves to the left of Labour and those wanting to work with the Tories. As elsewhere across the United Kingdom, the Lib Dems are collapsing. And although I expect Ukip to gain their first assembly members, I suspect their vote may be lower than some predictions. They have little in the way of ground game to get their vote out and their supporters’ focus is on the referendum in June. Turnout will be key and we are working to make sure people vote once, twice, three times for Labour: for their constituency assembly member, assembly regional list and police and crime commissioner.


Mary Wimbury is Labour’s lead North Wales regional list candidate. She tweets @MaryWimbury


Photo: National assembly for Wales