A senior Welsh Conservative has said the party could work with Plaid Cymru if the Tories fail to win a majority at next year’s Senedd election.
Wales Office Minister David TC Davies said there would be no pre-election deals with Plaid, but stressed his desire to remove Labour from office.
He said it would be “rather strange” not to consider it in light of the 2010 Tory/Lib Dem Westminster coalition.
Plaid Cymru said it had “no interest” in talking to the Conservatives.
On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Welsh Conservatives at their conference in Llangollen to build on their general election success and make assembly group leader Paul Davies first minister in 2021.
However, no party other than Labour has ever led the Welsh Government, although it has previously formed coalitions with Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats.
Speaking to BBC Wales at the conference, David TC Davies said: “My attitude is we’re not going to start doing deals with people before an election.
“We will go out there and we will fight to win 31 seats – if we don’t get 31 seats we would have to look at things again.
“We are very determined to have Paul and other people in as ministers in a Welsh government.
“We need to get Labour out, we’ve had them in for 21 years.”
The Monmouth MP added: “Obviously in 2010 the Conservative party in London worked with the Liberals in order to show what a Conservative government could deliver, so it would be rather strange if I was to suggest Paul shouldn’t do the same thing in that situation.
“We’re not there yet – we are out there to fight to win.”
A Plaid Cymru spokesman dismissed the suggestion the party could work with the Conservatives.
He said: “Plaid Cymru is the only party that offers hope, and [Plaid leader] Adam Price is the only credible first minister that can bring about change.
“We have no interest in talking to a party that has starved Wales of funding and is hell-bent on stripping our Senedd of its powers.”
An ICM St David’s Day poll for BBC Wales this month suggested broadly even support for Labour, the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru with just over a year to go until the next Senedd election.
BBC Welsh Affairs Editor Vaughan Roderick said this could result in “a period of unprecedented political turmoil” if the three parties won a similar number of seats.