Saturday, 1 May 2010

A Look @: Glamorgan (Part I)



Notional Majority

Swing Needed




Madeleine Moon





LAB Hold

Cynon Valley

Ann Clwyd




LAB Hold


Huw Irranca-Davies

14, 838



LAB Hold


Kim Howells




LAB Hold


Chris Bryant




LAB Hold

Vale of Glamorgan

John Smith




CON Gain


Bridgend, the council for both Bridgend and Cynon Valley, is the only one out of the three featured here to have gained Labour seats. Bridgend's MP, Madeleine Moon is running again and against the same Tory candidate, Helen Baker. Last time she got a good majority, especially since most of the other votes are divided fairly evenly between Tory and LibDem. Moon did face criticism over her expenses, dubbed "Furniture Parliamentarian of the year" in the Telegraph. However she only had to pay back little over £500 as her claims were technically legitimate. Despite this there was reasonable coverage in the press both local and national. Clearly Labour has strong support in this region though, and even with increased LibDem support I think that voters will once again be divided in opposition between them and the Tories leaving Moon. Prior to becoming Bridgend MP in 2005, Moon was mayor of nearby Porthcawl for 13 years, so she has a firm standing in the area. I expect her to win again this year. LAB Hold.

Ann Clwyd has been MP for Cynon Valley since 1984, winning the By-election, called as a result of the death of Ioan Evans. Clywd has had a colourful political career with stints as MEP for Mid and West Wales, and chairwoman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, as well as being a supporter of the Iraq war. She did have to pay back over £2000 in expenses but hasn't really done anything particularly troublesome. As for the coming election, Clywd has had huge majorities for quarter of a century in office so I doubt her re-election is in any doubt at all. LAB Hold.

Labour lost 13 seats in the 2008 council elections for Rhonnda Cynon Taff. They still hold the council though with 44 seats, Plaid Cymru are the closest contenders with 20 seats, so still a way to go. The Ogmore, Pontypridd and Rhonnda are within the Rhonnda Cynon Taff council and as you can see from the table the odds are good for Labour.

Ogmore MP Huw Irranca-Davies was elected in a 2002 by-election. His predecessor, Ray Powell, had a majority of 14,574 in the 2001 election. Davies managed 5,721 in the by-election however in 2005 he increased this to 13,703 and importantly for Davies the votes for LibDem, Tory and Plaid are fairly evenly distributed and also pale in comparison. LAB Hold.

Kim Howells, the MP for Pontypridd who has held a number of ministerial roles in transport, culture and education, is standing down this year. Owen Smith is Labours candidate for this election; he also has had a fairly interesting career thus far, producing the BBC's politics show 'Dragons Eye'. Regardless of the candidate Pontypridd is considered a 'safe' Labour seat with Labour receiving consistent majorities and so I think they would have to pick someone rather awful to not be expected to win this seat. LAB Hold.

Rhondda's MP Chris Bryant is an interesting fellow indeed. Bryant was formally a vicar until he realised that it wasn't particularly compatible with his open homosexuality. He was also originally a Conservative member during his time at Oxford University, however he made the switch to Labour in 1986. There were calls for his resignation in 2003 when he was found on a gay dating website in his underwear. Despite this he was re-elected in 2005 with a very slightly bigger majority of 16,242, one of the largest in the country. More recently Bryant has been a prominent figure in the expenses scandal, not only claiming large amounts (legitimately, he only had to pay back £4,439 and did without appeal) but also for flipping his second home. All this aside, Rhonnda is still considered a safe Labour seat, echoed in the previously mentioned Rhonnda Cynon Taff council election results. I'm not sure what Bryant would have to do to lose here, he held two-thirds of the vote last time and I can't imagine he'll lose that many votes having survived this far. LAB Hold.

Finally the Vale of Glamorgan, current MP John Smith will be standing down, stressing that the decision is due to health problems rather than expenses controversy. Alana Davies will be running for Labour this will be running for Labour this year. The bad news for Davies is that this seat is certainly not a safe Labour seat with many elections being won by very slight majorities. In the last general election Smith beat Conservative Alun Cairns by a small majority, Cairns is standing again this year. The council elections saw an increase in Tory seats giving them control over the council, previously no party secured a majority. Tories went from 20 to 25, Labour 16 to eat. Hardly huge changes by some Welsh council standards but nonetheless in such a tight constituency it may be concerning for Labour, especially since Smith announced that he would be standing down quite a while after the council elections. Unless Davies has some excellent tricks up her sleeves I suspect that the Tories might gain this seat back. CON Gain.


1 comment:

  1. Plaid really should be winning seats in places like the Rhondda - the policy of trying to outflank Labour on the left has been a dismal failure. The party is more and more the party of Welsh speakers and it's also seen as part of the mainstream consensus which many people have turned against. I regret to say I'm expecting to see UKIP and even the BNP making progress in some valley seats.