Labour’s shadow Welsh secretary Peter Hain today laid down the gauntlet to his party to regain the political initiative.
Speaking on the final day of the Welsh Labour conference at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff, Hain said the national party should learn from the lessons of the Cardiff Bay administration.
He said First Minister Carwyn Jones and his team were “showing every day the Labour alternative to the right-wing Westminster agenda”.
He added: “Our challenge is immense. We need to defy recent electoral history and become a one-term opposition.”
But at a fringe meeting hosted by pressure group Progress, Mr Hain, MP for Neath, later warned of the challenges the Welsh government faced.
“We need to make sure Labour in Cardiff Bay does not become more and more managerial like it did in Westminster,” he said.
At the same meeting, Cardiff South and Penarth AM Vaughan Gething told delegates the party must not adopt what he called “a differential manifesto” by focusing on different issues in different parts of Wales, using the example of the difference between parts of his constituency – Tremorfa in Splott and Penarth.
In a conference hailed by party figures as a success, Mr Hain said Labour was taking the fight to the Conservative-Liberal Democrat UK coalition government.
He said: “Ed [Miliband] has set the right course, and we are beginning to win the argument – on bankers bonuses, on the squeezed middle, on the scandal of young people thrown on the scrap heap.
“We’ve bounced back.”
Meanwhile the Welsh Liberal Democrats will hold their spring conference at the Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa, central Cardiff, between March 2 and 4.
Plaid’s spring conference, when the party’s new leader is to be announced, will take place later in March.
The Conservatives were forced to cancel their Welsh conference which had been due to take place at the beginning of February.