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GPs and the Tour de France: Election Time is already here.

Labour’s pledge to make it easier for working people to get to see their GPs in the evenings and at weekends means that all four parties have now given us flavours of what they’ll be promising us in the Assembly election which is looming ever closer.

It may not be very popular with GPs but Labour reckons it’ll be a vote-winner amongst busy working people who currently have to take time off in the working week.

I understand the promise will be one of five key pledges that the party will go into the campaign with, and will probably be those listed on a pledge-card which has become a familiar part of election battles.

That also makes it likely to be one of the ‘red line’ policies which would be expected to survive any coalition talks after May 5th.

I doubt the Liberal Democrats’ pledge, also unveiled today, will be one of their top five, but they insist it is an important indication of what they want for Wales.

The party says it will promise to bid for a stage of the Tour de France to be held in Wales.

Pie in the sky? Not at all, according to Veronica German AM. Think back to the idea of Wales hosting the Ashes or the Ryder Cup? Plenty scoffed then, but both events took place and were considered big successes.

Ms German says it’s a matter of being confident about Wales. If London can do it, why not Wales?

I have to share, by the way, the snippet of info from the Lib Dems about Veronica German being a ‘keen cyclist’. She was 1968 Warwick and Leamington Child Cyclist of the Year and tells me she still has the cup to prove it.

Not that she’s pretending to be a competitive cyclist now. On the contrary she says cycling is one of those sports that can appeal to all fitness levels.

Plaid Cymru has already made a number of announcements including the idea of a not-for-profit company to run train services in Wales and a vow to halve illiteracy levels by 2015.

The Conservatives have released more manifesto policies than any of the others, including a Veteran’s Card to give ex-forces people free or priority access to services, the abolition of business rates, direct funding of schools and most famously or notoriously, protection of the health budget.

What does this tell us on this Monday morning in February? It tells us that with just over eleven weeks before we vote and with a referendum on Assembly powers in just over a fortnight, that all four parties are in an advanced state of preparation for the Assembly election.

Expect more to come.


About Adrian Masters

By day, Political Editor at ITV Wales. By night, obsessed with music and books.


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