Wednesday, 5 May 2010

A Look @: Clwyd



Notional Majority

Swing Needed




Betty Williams




CON Gain

Clwyd West

David Jones




CON Hold

Vale of Clwyd

Chris Ruane




LAB Hold

Alyn and Deeside

Mark Tami




LAB Hold


David Hanson




LAB Hold


Ian Lucas




LAB Hold

Clwyd South

Martyn Jones




LAB Hold

This county is made up of four separate councils, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. In the Conwy council elections, 2008, the Conservatives were the main winners gaining 8 seats to make 8, Plaid also gained, although just the 1 seat totalling 12. Elsewhere seats were lost, Labour lost 5 and the Liberal Democrats lost 1 making 7 and 4. Despite the Tories seat gains the council is made up of 59 seats so no one has control here. The new constituency of Aberconwy, a result of quite substantial boundary changes, replaces the old Conwy constituency. 17 of 23 wards of the Clwyd West constituency are also found in this constituency.

Betty Williams, the MP for Conwy since 1997 will not be standing in the new Aberconwy seat. The boundary changes are likely to have a significant effect on the outcome here. The previous boundaries included some strong Labour territory, such as Bangor. Instead the demographics of this new seat will be quite similar to its neighbouring seat, Clwyd West, which is currently Tory. With this in mind Labours Ronnie Hughes will likely be unexpected to win this seat, no doubt music to Guto Bebb, the Tory candidates, ears. The boundary changes coupled with the Tories success in the last council elections added to the national situation makes the chances of the Tories gaining this seat quite likely. CON Gain.

In Denbighshire 2008 council elections the Tories doubled their seats to 18, mostly gained from independent candidates, Plaid gained 1 to make 8. Labour kept their 7 seats and the LibDems lost 1 of their 2 seats. Though the Tories have the most seats no one has overall control of this council. The remaining 7 wards of Clwyd West are within this council, as is the Vale of Clwyd constituency and 3 wards of the Clwyd South constituency.

Clwyd West straddles the councils of Conwy and Denbighshire. Both have had strong results for the Conservatives in the council elections. Tory MP David Jones won this seat in 2005, beating Labours Gareth Thomas by just 133 votes. Since then this area has seen a real shift towards the Tories, so much so that, as the odds suggest, this seat is hardly in doubt for the Tories. Given that Jones has done little wrong and that the Labour party are on the back foot in this election it should be no contest. CON hold.

Chris Ruane, the Labour MP for the Vale of Clwyd will be hoping to hold his seat, he has been MP here since 1997. He currently has a majority of 4,669 although a breakdown of the council elections here shows the Tories having more seats than Labour. Local Tory candidate Matt Wright will be hoping to build on this and the general consensus is that this could be another close seat. This is a strange seat really because nothing major has really happened; it's just a tight seat! I'm not sure that the council results and the national situation will give the Tories quite enough here, Labour could just hold on, especially since this seat really is a choice between Labour and Tory, votes elsewhere would likely be wasted. I can't see many Labour supporters here switching to Tory, not enough anyway, the Tories will be hoping to gain anti-Labour seats from elsewhere, of which there aren't that many. LAB Hold.

Flintshire council is home to the Alyn and Deeside and Delyn constituencies. Labour took quite a bashing in the last council elections, losing 13 of their 35 seats and also losing control of the council. The LibDems took 1 of these to make 11 and the Tories gained 5 to make 9. The remaining 7 of Labour's lost seats went to independents.

Alyn and Deeside really is a Labour stronghold. MP Mark Tami has held the seat since 2001 and will be expected to keep it this time around. A majority of 8,378 will be hard to dent despite Labours losses in the Flintshire council elections. The LibDems Paul Brighton will be challenging again having come third last time with 6,174, a fair amount. Will Gallagher will be hoping to make some headway with the Tories as their chosen candidate this time around but Labour are just too far ahead. LAB Hold.

Delyn is a similar story only with Labour MP David Hanson having held the seat since 1992. Hanson is also quite prominent within the Labour party, he is currently Minister of State for Security, Counter-Terrorism, Crime and Policing, a position he has held since last year, prior to that he was Minister of State for Justice. His last majority was 6,644 which will be hard to beat. Both Tory candidate Antoinnette Sandbach and Lib Dem candidate Bill Brereton will be hoping to make up some ground here. Last time around the Tories received 8,896 votes whilst the LibDems received 6,089. Labour would probably have more of a chance if there were one clear contender but the LibDems did reasonably well here last time, have a decent number of elected councillors and have the national LibDem surge on their side. So I feel that non-Labour votes will still be divided and Labour will hold this seat quite comfortably. LAB Hold.

Most of the Clywd South constituency and the Wrexham constituency are within Wrexham council. Labour lost quite a lot of seats here too, losing 9 seats to make 12 meaning that whilst the LibDems lost 2 seats they now have the most here with 12. Otherwise the Tories gained 1 seat to make 5 and Plaid Cymru gained 4 when they previously didn't have any.

Wrexham constituency is quite similar to in that there is no clear contender to Labour, votes are split between Conservative and Labour. Also the LibDems have a significant of councillors, in this case they have more than Labour. The current MP is Labours Ian Lucas, prior to him John Malek held the seat for Labour from 1983. Therefore in light of the fact Lucas has done little wrong, has a majority of 6,819 and is sat in a Labour stronghold with no clear contender probably resulting in a division of non-Labour votes, I think he'll be feeling quite confident. I would expect the LibDems to gain a bit of ground, but certainly not enough. LAB Hold.

Finally, Clwyd South. A few of the Clwyd South wards are in the county of Denbyshire, although the majority are in the county of Wrexham. Martyn Jones has held this seat since 1987, interestingly in 1997 he beat Boris Johnson here. Jones is standing down this year and Susan Jones, previously a Southwark councillor, will be standing for Labour instead. John Bell will be standing for the Tories and Bruce Roberts for the LibDems. A breakdown of councillors in this constituencies shows that no party has a significant number. Both the Bell and Jones seem to be campaigning hard for this seat, its #186 on the Tories list of target seats. I think that the Tories would have to do really, really well to turn this seat blue. They'll certainly have to do better than I'm expecting. LAB Hold.


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