Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A look at Cardiff North

The blog now moves to look at the interesting seats in the South Wales Central region. It moves to this area having ignored the seats in the South Wales West region predicting that there is unlikely to be any shock results in that region. This analysis is based on the polling information that the tide is running Labour's way and are unlikely, therefore, to be worried by the challenge from the other main parties contesting the seats in the South West.

2007 Assembly election results

Votes Cast
Morgan, Jonathan
Howe, Sophie
Bridges, Ed
Liberal Democrat
Jones, Wyn
Plaid Cymru
Llewelyn, Dai
Electorate 65,554 Turnout: 51.4%

Cardiff North is a mixture of rich areas and poor. In the leafy suburbs you have the old garden village of Rhiwbina, which was set up to house the ‘artisan class,’ but has long since ceased to fulfill it’s original charitable objectives and now houses the professional and prosperous classes. Likewise Llanishen, and Whitchurch both of which would be seen as up market area of Cardiff. In contrast, there are less affluent areas such as Gabalfa and Llandaff North. These contain some very large Council estates.
Many of the voters are employed in the public sector; it has the greatest proportion of white-collar workers than any other constituency in the UK. The constituency has three hospitals .The University Hospital of Wales, which is Wales’s largest hospital, Whitchurch, which caters for those with mental illness and Felindre, which specializes in the treatment of cancer. It also has a large tax office and other government buildings
Political profile
Cardiff North was always regarded as a safe Tory seat. It and its predecessor seat Cardiff North West always returned Conservatives to Westminster. It fell to Labour in 1997 in the Blair landslide when Julie Morgan captured the Parliamentary seat. In 1999 Sue Essex for Labour won the seat in the Assembly election defeating Jonathan Morgan by a margin of 2,304 votes. She again repeated the act in 2003 but Morgan reduced her majority to 540.
Jonathan Morgan won the seat with what would seem to be a comfortable majority in 2007. But now faces Julie Morgan, as the Labour challenger. A re-run of the 2005 Westminster election when Julie Morgan was the successful Labour candidate and Jonathan Morgan was the loser on that occasion.
Both candidates have a track record of being diligent constituency members, and both in their different ways have a valuable contribution to make to the work of the Assembly.  Both sides are campaigning hard as one would expect in such a marginal seat.
The prospect of cutbacks in public sector jobs will give Labour a marginal advantage in the seat but are dependent on getting their vote out. The Tories would seem to be the better organized. But her charismatic husband Rhodri, the ex-First Minister, is helping Julie Morgan; his presence always goes down well on the doorstep. However, whether this translates into votes in the box remains to be seen.  The result is likely to be close. This is the type of seat that Carwyn Jones must win if he is to gain a majority.
Prediction: Labour gain 
Julie Morgan
Julie Morgan was a former Labour Member of Parliament for Cardiff North. She held the seat from May 1997 until May 2010.
Born in Cardiff and educated at Dinas Powys Primary School and Howell's School in Llandaff. She studied at King's College, London, and Manchester University. She holds a postgraduate diploma in Social Administration (CQSW) from Cardiff University.
Employed as a social worker with Barry Social Services, and an Assistant Director of Barnardo's. Councillor for South Glamorgan Council between 1985 and 1997 and was a Cardiff Councillor from 1995.

Jonathan Morgan
Jonathan Morgan has been an Assembly Member since 1999 First serving for eight years as AM for South Wales Central and then was elected as Assembly Member for Cardiff North in May 2007.
He is a graduate of the University of Wales, Cardiff, where he gained a degree in Law and a Masters degree in European Policy. Before election to the assembly, Jonathan was European officer for Coleg Glan Hafren in Cardiff.
After serving as education spokesman during the first assembly term – he was handed the health brief in 2003 he served as Shadow Minister for Health and Social Services for six years.
In 1997 he stood for Parliament in Merthyr Tydfil and was the Conservative Party’s candidate for Cardiff North at the 2005 General Election.
Liberal Democrat
Matt Smith
Matt Smith was born in Cardiff in 1988, and I was educated at Whitchurch High School and the University of Glamorgan. He currently works for a call centre in Central Cardiff.
He has lived within the constituency for about 15 years of his life.
 Plaid Cymru
Ben Foday
Ben Foday is married with three daughters, and lives in Cardiff. He was born and educated in Sierra Leone but has lived in the Welsh capital for more than 30 years. Ben served as a Labour Councillor between 1993 and 1999 but has been a member of Plaid for several years. His professional career has been in working for an employment agency. A well-known local campaigner, Ben’s political interests include social justice and economic development.


  1. Gareth, it's strange that you say:

    "A re-run of the 2005 Westminster election when Julie Morgan was the successful Labour candidate and Jonathan Morgan was the loser on that occasion."

    ... but don't mention the more recent and therefore rather more relevant fact that she lost the seat in 2010 to Jonathan Evans. If she hadn't lost then, she wouldn't be fighting for the Assembly seat now.

    Of course it will be close, but I'd put my money on Jonathan Morgan. Some of us have got to hope that Labour don't get a majority ;-)

    ... and I hope that at least some who live in the constituency and support Plaid, the LibDems or the Greens will realize that holding their noses and voting tactically for this Tory is in fact the best way of getting (or holding) a list seat for their first choice party; as I've tried to show here on Syniadau.

  2. I agree that if the aim is to prevent an outright Labour victory this is the type of seat that tactical voting could play a part. However, I don't see much evidence in play that this is likely to happen.
    Yes, of course Julie Morgan lost her seat to Jonathan Evans but only by the slightest of margins when the tide was running away from Labour. The polls indicate the opposite is happening now.
    Jonathan Morgan if he fails would be a great loss to the Assembly and shows what a nonsense it is that candidates can't fight list seats as well as constituencies. The Assembly would be the poorer, if we lost Jonathan Morgan, Nick Bourne, Helen Mary Jones,or Nerys Evans which is of course theoretically possible.

  3. Do you really think that Bourne, Jones or Evans would be missed?