Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Labour snatch a seat in Wales

The result of last night's rare Tuesday by-election in Torfaen was a comfortable gain for Labour. The vacancy in the Snatchwood division was caused by the death of Cllr. Tom Gould, who had been sitting as an Independent following the disbandment of the People's Voice movement in Torfaen.

For the second time this year Labour turned their apparent advantage in a Torfaen by-election into an extra Council seat as Barry Taylor eased to a 78 vote victory. Another thing this contest had in common with the earlier Torfaen by-election in Pontypool is that the Independent candidate Mike Harris was Labour's nearest challenger, polling 161 votes in both elections. The remnants of the People's Voice party again faired badly as Steve Joy, who was effectively their candidate, was a disappointing third in a division they won just over three years ago.

The victory edges Labour closer to that elusive majority in the Torfaen as they now hold 21 of the 44 seats. They should be confident emerging from the all out elections next May with full control of the Council.

Torfaen County Borough Council




















By-Election Candidate


Vote %

Barry Taylor (E)



Mike Harris



Steve Joy



Nigel Harris



Caroline Powell



Richard Overton




Tom Harris


  1. May 2012 will be a different story. Pontypool was a by-election held on 26th March with a total of eight candidates in the race, five of whom were 'Independents'. The total number of votes for Independents in that election was 324 and although the vote was split, it revealed a clear message that the ward wanted an Independent. In this by-election, the Labour candidate enjoyed the full weight of the Labour Party with Paul Murphy MP and Lynne Neagle AM campaigning on the streets...every day. Last nights Snatchwood result was also a by-election with a total of six candidates in the race. Turnout was poor, it was a peak holiday period and the election was confusingly held on a Tuesday. Again, the full weight of the Labour Party, including Paul Murphy MP, campaigned on the streets...every day. The Snatchwood election was fought by the Labour Machine with a much stronger marketing campaign than the Pontypool election some four months earlier and the elected Labour candidate, Barry Taylor, won with 239 votes (43 votes less than he achieved in 2008). Next May, there will be only two or three candidates for each of the 44 seats in Torfaen; Paul Murphy MP will be unable to physically support all Labour candidates across the 44 wards. The Torfaen Labour Party are far from this space!

  2. I agree with the post earlier; labour will not be able to have the 'precence' they had in the full council elections in 2012.
    Now...the candidates 'spiel' on the doorstep will be put under scrutiny, there were certain things said by two candidates that were to say the least lies. this space.

  3. Labour tried to portray their candidate has a 'local campaigner' when nothing is further from the truth.
    Paul Murphy the 'hapless' MP was the one trying this on the electorate. The labour candidate actually got a lot less votes than when he lost to Tom Gould.
    He has been the 'Community Councillor' for 12 years and had done nothing for the community at all.
    It is really sad that the voters in Wales vote labour while all their services and education are the worst in the westwrn world?

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  5. I agree with the last post, i have known Mr Ian Williams for many years and have heard him on many occasions praising the policies of Blair, Brown and now Miliband in Pontypool Workingmens Club. The man is VERY argumentative, VERY labour and clearly knows very little about politics as the last two By-elections suggest!

  6. I have just been informed of the two posts above; anonymously of course. They are either, mischievous, stupid or both!!
    For me an ex-serviceman; to actually ‘praise’ the policies of the ‘war criminal’ Blair who sent over six hundred soldiers to their death; is beyond belief!! Particularly when labour tried to reduce the compensation of those who have lost limbs and been wounded!!

    The person (sic) who purports to know me from Pontypool Workman’s; would have great difficulty, has I do not go there! Again never let the facts get in the way of the truth. By the way, I did not know Milliband/Labour actually had any policies?

    Please do check out our website; you will find it expresses issues about democracy and people – hardly labour is it?
    If the post was an informed one, he would know that I left labour to form Peoples Voice Torfaen, so this is the only answer to these two clowns – unless they identify themselves!!


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  8. I actually voted for Ian Williams in the March By-Election as i live in Osbourne Road, Pontypool. I often wave to him when i see him in his taxi in the mornings while i'm out collecting my cans. I've just seen his website and can't believe how LABOUR he really is!! Ian, sorry but you WON'T be getting my vote again in May 2012.

  9. I have just read Ian Williams's reply to the rather rude anonymous blog above. I have always followed Ians PDV site and read the interesting blogs on there. However, i am now deeply concerned that Ian is now backtracking from being a 'Tony Blair Supporter' having himself stood as a LABOUR CANDIDATE in May 2004 when Blair was actually Prime Minister!! Come on Ian admit it, you are just another Paul Murphy PLANT!!

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  14. There seems to be a lot of childish comments posted on here, remember this is a serious political site!I can remember Mr Williams (chairman of The Peoples Democratic Voice) vaguely whilst i was at Town School in Pontypool many years ago and we became friends when we both served together in Northern Ireland. Ian always seemed to have strong political views and appeared to be a labour fanatic. I have to say that i'm very disapointed to learn that Ian is now denying that he believes in the labour policies when his website clearly sends out a message that he does. Please Ian, be proud for what you believe in.....BE PROUD OF LABOUR!

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  17. About time blame was laid at the door where it is merited. Does the Labour Party in Wales think that all Welsh people have short term memories? For 13 years they systematically mismanaged Wales and now attack the new Government and lay blame at their door. We are fed up with sweets and whisky for the natives. Let’s have some good solid policies on public transport, on education and on health, not freebies and segregating the communities any longer. Enough is said when you see Peter Hain being awarded a fellowship of Swansea University and looking at his home patch of Neath which he has used as a launch pad to catapult himself to fame and fortune on the backs of poor welsh people.

  18. The Government of Wales cannot go on ignoring the huge challenges Wales faces today. Wales has some of the poorest parts of the United Kingdom and Europe. Unemployment remains unacceptably high, too many people are trapped in benefit dependency, thousands of children are growing up in severe poverty.
    This is an affront to everything we know Wales can and should be.
    The Welsh economy is "far too dependent on the state", a situation which was "simply untenable", and that some Welsh public services are too bureaucratic to deliver improvements, for the sake of the Welsh people, they need to ‘get a grip.’
    Labour in Wales, don’t you just love them?

  19. The news of the ‘deselection’ of Cllr Cynthia Beynon; was to me a complete shock!! Having worked with Cynthia when I was Chair of the party – I was totally aware of her loyalty, dedication and interest in ensuring we had a better Torfaen.

    When I found that Anthony Hunt was the ‘selected candidate’ in her place; the ‘penny dropped.’ He is a member of the staff of Paul Murphy MP, and quite recently moved into the Panteg Ward. Members of the branch have been ‘lobbied’ behind Cynthia’s back, being told that Anthony Hunt had the backing of Paul Murphy?

    For Panteg and Torfaen to lose someone whose work for her community is without parallel, and with abilities far superior to any of her colleagues is a crying shame!!

    Cllr Tomlinson – a political chameleon – after a very short time in New Labour, gets to be Deputy Mayor; and Cynthia Beynon is ‘pushed aside’ for political expediency!!

    I really hope the voters of ‘Panteg’ take account of this ‘disgusting’ episode, in the 2012 local elections.

    The labour party is known for its ‘underhand dealings’ and its predilection for ‘dirty tricks.’ We know who is responsible and will let every voter in the Panteg Ward know their names before the next local election. I wonder if the fact that one of the labour candidates lost to Cynthia by one vote last time around played its part; perhaps the ‘way had to be cleared.’

    Anyway; Panteg had the better councillor by far!!

    I'm thinking of standing in Penygarn in May as a labour or independant candidate, i haven't made my mind up yet!!

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  21. I don't like having to moderate anything on here but 20 anonymous posts is quite difficult to follow and I've had complaints (also from people remaining anonymous). This is going to get a good look at tonight and I apologise in advance for any offence caused if a post or two get removed...

  22. On more perhaps Tom..
    Lets have a look at the Snatchwood Election.... Held in a hot bed of Socialism ... Both Roy Jenkins MP and his father Arthur Jenkins MP were from Snatchwood ...and Paul Murphy from Abersychan..
    In a time of disinterestin politics by the public the low turn out was expected and with the poor quality of candidates those who voted would return to their safe tradional choice ..Labour!
    I have great admiration for Richard Overton who I have no knowledge of but who stood by his convictions and stood as a Conservative ... This is what politics is about , work hard join a political party and work your way thro the due process The preferred way it seems today is call yourself an Independant and off you go offering ill informed rhetoric with a great deal of untruths and little or no background.
    I believe that some candidates have have done a great deal of harm to their cause and should step back and decide have they really got anything to offer to the General Public who at this time deserve some down to earth and honest inspiration

  23. Well said Anonymous (I mean Ian). Tom Gould was a true Socialist like yourself. Pity you both couldn't follow Richard Overton's lead then and stand by what you both truly believed in. That website of yours is still a nice combi-shade of Yellow & Red, Ian. Please don't ever change it for us. You still claim to be a member of the Labour Party on the site yet you spend all your time slagging us off. Come and join us in the Chalet of Love for a drag on our peace pipe and let's all be friends. We can all agree that for the real politicians to stick to politics and for you to continue driving more our voters around in your taxi. Sounds like a good plan Ian? You never know who's listening!!! ;-)

  24. I am not Ian and do not claim to know any of the candidates ... just an old Abersychan man disappointed with what I am seeing in todays so called politics!

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