Monday, 3 May 2010

A Look @: Powys



Notional Majority

Swing Needed



Brecon and Radnorshire

Roger Williams




LD Hold


Lembit Opik




LD Hold

Powys council has 73 seats in total, most of which are made up of independent councillors, often unopposed. As for the main parties, Liberal Democrats kept their 15 seats and Labour kept their 4 in the 2008 council elections. The Conservatives, on the other hand, gained 9 seats. The constituencies of Brecon and Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire can be found here.

Roger Williams has been MP for Brecon and Radnorshire since 2001. The Liberal Democrats have held this seat since they gained it from the Conservatives in 1997. As you can see from the council results, the Tories made a reasonable gain however LibDems are still the most represented party on the council here. The LibDems had a majority of 3,905 last time, which was a marked improvement on 2001's 751. Tories are the main competition here and will be encouraged by the election results however the LibDems have become increasingly popular themselves of late. Suzy Davies is particularly scathing of the LibDems and Roger Williams on her party website and whilst she does seem to be a serious contender. I think that victory is within Williams grasp though, especially since the LibDem's should be campaigning hard on the back of Clegg's success. LibDem Hold.

Montgomeryshire is currently home to one of my favourite MP's, Lembit Opik. A colourful character from apparently cursing everything he backs (a curse well and truly lifted with his backing of Nick Clegg) and dating random celebrities to motorcycling and near fatal paragliding accident. Oh, and of course a fascinating family including an astronomer as a Grandfather, which may explain his concerns about an asteroid hitting the Earth... All of this aside, he won Montgomeryshire in 1997 and has been there ever since, even slightly increasing his majority to 7,173. He'll be trying to keep this seat from the Tories who have picked Glyn Davies as their candidate. Davies is a fairly interesting character he has a blog called 'A View from Rural Wales' of which Iain Dale is a fan. But really, this is Lembit Opik we're talking about; he won't be toppled by a blog writing Tory. LibDem Hold.


  1. Apparently polls show Powys as the happiest place in Britain. Whether this is linked to its willingness to return Lib Dem MPs I will leave to other commenters to judge.

  2. Don't bank on joker Opik holding Montgomeryshire. People ar more than fed up of his antics, expenses claims and the way he trated our local girl Sian Lloyd. Bear in mind he put on extra votes when they were together. He has car crashed in spectacular fashion since then. I note you make no mention of the porno rag known as the Daily Sport that he writes for. It's cetainly not in the bag for this embarrassing MP for Hello

  3. I'm biased on Opik I must admit, but his track record doesn't look very good, especially since most of his public 'errors' have taken place since 2005 and thus cannot be argued to have influenced his election in the last Parliament much, but may influence his results now.
    Oh, and used to date a chick that comes from the same country as me and became famous for her and her twin's behind and their lack of singing skills. But officially we're not from the same country, or the same planet...

  4. The thing is though most of the negative things pointed out here are reported from tabloids and such like. Obviously he did break up with Sian Lloyd and he dated a cheeky girl but I doubt he’s out there in Montgomeryshire campaigning on the back of that! He’s involved in a number of charities and takes part in many events. The people voting for him are going to have more information about this side of him than the average Joe. Also don’t forget he is quite prolific in the LibDem party itself and despite the poor choices he’s made in the past party-wise he still got voted in with a good majority. Plus he backed Clegg, arguably the best LibDem decision in quite some time. Then there is a certain amount of name recognition, and ok so he’s a bit different but people often like that, look at Boris, he’s mayor of London. As for his expenses they’re meagre compared to many, especially some Tory expenses. And finally the Tories really need a substantial increase in votes, if people there are as happy as Chris says then I’m not sure what can happen now to send voters elsewhere.

  5. The point is he got re-elected with an increased majority when he was engaged to Sian Lloyd and trying to behave like an adult. She must have been responsible for some of the increae - local lass and popular to boot.
    Since those days, he's claimed his court fees for unpaid council taxes from the taxpayer, plus a two and a half grand TV and just a few months ago went on a freebie luxury cruise, for which he got a fee, whilst parliament was sitting. He did not turn up for the rural post offices vote in the HoC and his lifestyle problems ( hic ) are legendary. Then there's the revolting Daily Sport articles. He's lost a lot of support locally. I think Montgomeryshire might well provide a surprise on the night. Incidentally, the usual Lib Dems who bankroll his campaign are refusing to do so this time round. A lot of people have had enough

  6. As a Powysian and Plaid supporter I think that Roger Williams will win B&R fairly comfortably but I can't see Lembit holding on to Montgomeryshire. I can't see Lib Dems in this part of the world, they're old fashioned Welsh non-conformist Liberals in the main, supporting Mr Opik, especially since Glyn Davies is such a strong candidate.

  7. Sounds like an interesting seat. My two cents - 7,000 is a big drop. I mean, regional and national issues would have to have little to no affect for this to happen. From afar I'd say Cleggmania will allow Opik to sneak home but the Welsh are a perculiar bunch [voting wise :-)]. Local issues will have an exaggerated effect so it sounds like this could be a tight one.

  8. BTW I should add that Glyn Davies is a lot more than just a blogger who Iain Dale happens to like. He's a former AM who lost his seat due to the vagaries of the PR system, he's a local farmer from the English speaking side of the county who has learnt Welsh fluently - this goes down very well in the Welsh speaking parts, he's pro-devolution and was popular with all shades of opinion in the Assembly. Don't be too surprised when Montgomery goes blue.

  9. The Guardian are arguing that we have a 'buoyant Tory vote in Wales' ( and that, coupled with local issues and Opik's eventful mandate, will definetly make this an interesting battle.

    And if not, Montgomeryshire has been a rather amusing constituency anyway:

  10. You anonymouses should stick a bet on Davies, they're offering 5/1 at Ladbrokes! Sadly Opik winning at 1/14 would be a poor bet for me :(

  11. Drat! Oh well, Montgomeryshire is probably a safer place now...