Wednesday, 28 April 2010

A Look @: Cardiff

Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is split into four boroughs, Central, North, South and Penarth and West. The 2008 Cardiff Council elections resulted in a significant loss of seats for Labour, losing 14 in total leaving them in third place with 13 seats. Liberal Democrats added 3 to make 32. The biggest gain was for the Conservatives who gained 7 coming second with 17. However in a council of 75 seats Cardiff council is still in a state of no overall control.



Notional Majority

Swing Needed



Cardiff Central

Jenny Willott




LD Hold

Cardiff North

Julie Morgan




CON Gain

Cardiff S & Penarth

Alun Michael




LAB Hold

Cardiff West

Kevin Brennan




LAB Hold


Jenny Willott is currently the MP for Cardiff Central. She came second to Jon Owen Jones, Labour, in 2001. Willott beat Jones in 2005 to become the first LibDem and the first female MP for Cardiff Central. Every party vying for Cardiff central has a different candidate this time around. She's been a good MP regarding expenses and has become a Mum since being in office. With the current increase in LibDem popularity and her record in office so far, as well as the 2008 council results I can't see her losing this seat just yet. LD Hold.

Cardiff North is currently at number 20 on the Tory target seat list, the highest Welsh seat on the list. They've chosen Jonathan Evans to contest the seat. He was Brecon and Radnorshire's MP from 1992 until 1997. He was also elected as MEP for Wales in 1999 (he stood) down last year. Cardiff North's current MP, Julie Morgan, has held the seat since 1997 after coming second to Tory Gwilym Jones in 1992. Though she has won three consecutive elections her majority has reduced each time. The results in the council elections had 3 independents, 5 LibDems and 13 Tories, no Labour seats in Cardiff North at all. With this in mind, the diminishing support for Labour and the Tory choice of candidate I think Morgan will have a hard time holding on to this seat. At the same time she was declared a 'Saint' by the Telegraph amidst the expenses scandal. She was also against the Iraq war from the off, is against Trident and is against Top-Up fees. Overall it's quite a tough seat to call. Sadly despite her independent record I'm not sure Morgan will be able to hold on here. CON Gain.

Comparatively Cardiff South and Penarth's MP, Alun Michael (Labour), may not be a Saint after having to pay back £19,169.54 for "additional loans not shown to have been for an eligible purpose". Despite this minor expenses issue Labours opposition here appears to be split fairly evenly between the Tory and LibDems. This is less apparent in the council elections, in which Labour were still ahead in South and Penarth with 7 seats, Ld have 6 and Tories trail with 2. In the 2005 general election Labour won with 17, 447 votes, Tories came second with 8,210 and LibDems third with 7,529. As you can see there wasn't a great deal between second and third. With this in mind I can't imagine that Michael will lose this seat as there is no clear contender. LAB Hold.

Cardiff West is a traditionally safe Labour seat. It turned blue once in 1983 however changed back to red in 1987 when Rhodri Morgan, husband of Cardiff North's Julie Morgan and longest running First Minister of Wales, won it back. Current MP Kevin Brennan has held the seat since 2001 and secured a good majority in both this election and 2005,(albeit a slightly reduced, but nonetheless substantial, majority in 2005). Similarly to South and Penarth people voting not voting Labour seem divided between Tory and LibDem so I can't see either party getting a big enough vote to take Cardiff West from Labour a second time. LAB Hold.


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