Saturday, 19 February 2011

Look @: South Wales West (Part II - Swansea)

This post looks at the three constituencies in this region that are in Swansea. To find the four non-Swansea constituencies click here, and to find the list overview click here.




Swing Required

First Elected

GE2010 Result


Edwina Hart




LAB Hold

LAB Lean

Swansea East

Val Lloyd




LAB Hold

LAB Safe

Swansea West

Andrew Davies




LAB Hold

LAB Lean

Local politics in Swansea is a lot more competitive than recent Assembly and Westminster elections indicate. Although Labour have held all three Assembly seats since 1999, and the Westminster seats since 1964, they do not control Swansea Council. Despite Labour winning the most seats in the 2008 election the Liberal Democrats have formed a coalition with a group of Independent Councillors to run the Council. Typically for the Lib Dems their vote is concentrate in one constituency in the Authority area (Swansea West) leaving Labour as the main party in the other two seats.

Edwina Hart has represented Gower since the first Assembly election in 1999. She is a prominent Welsh politician who has held a number of portfolios during her time as an AM and she unsuccessfully stood for the Welsh Labour Leadership following Rhodri Morgan's retirement in 2009. She does not, however, have a terribly safe seat. Although Hart enjoyed fairly comfortably victories in the first two Assembly elections the 2007 result was a little close for comfort. In a constituency where Labour have historically secured 50% of the vote she enjoyed the support of just over one in three voters as the Conservatives came close to a surprise gain. Their candidate from that election, Byron Davies, has moved to the regional list and his replacement is WAS Anthony Ridge Newman (see comments below). The ex-Surry Councillor contested Anglesey at the General Election and he'll take this seat on a 2.2% swing. Unfortunately for him this is sure to be a Labour year and an increased majority for Hart is the likely result.

Swansea East has been represented by Val Lloyd since 2001 after she won the first Assembly by-election, which was cause by the dath of Val Feld. Lloyd is standing down at this election after ten years as an AM and she leaves a pretty safe seat for Labour to defend. They carry a handsome majority from the 2007 election and they currently hold 13 of the 24 Council seats within the constituency. Labour have selected local Councillor Michael Hedges* to contest this seat and he is in pole position to replace Lloyd as the next Swansea East AM. The Liberal Democrats are the only other political party with Councillors elected within this constituency and have often taken second place in recent elections. They don't appear to have selected their candidate yet, but given the party's current polling whoever it is will struggle to hold the runners up spot.

The final seat in this Council area is Swansea West, and Labour will have to work a bit harder here than in the East constituency. Incumbent AM Andrew Davies is standing at this election to seek 'new challenges'. He leaves a small majority for Labour to defend and they have selected lawyer Julie James as their new candidate. There will be no room for complacency as the Liberal Democrats have a strong presence in this constituency. Not only do they hold 17 of the 25 Council seats within Swansea West they were just 504 votes short of gaining the Westminster seat last year on a 5.7% swing. The Lib Dems have selected their perennial Swansea East candidate Cllr. Rob Speht to attempt to gain this seat but he'll be swimming against the Labour tide. James seems the likely winner in this contest.


  1. Incorrect in part - the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate in Swansea West last May was Cllr Peter May, not Cllr Peter Black AM.

  2. Cheers Mark! Too many Cllr Peter's.

  3. Anthony Ridge-Newman has mysteriously ceased to be the Conservative candidate for Gower. I am not sure who has replaced him. The Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for Swansea East is Sam Samuel.