Thursday, 14 April 2011
Camarthen West: too close to call
CAMARTHEN WEST & SOUTH PEMBS
2007 Assembly election results
Electorate 57,478 Turnout: 49.7%
The seat was established in 1997 and combines rural west Carmarthen with the southern coastline of Pembrokeshire. The number of Welsh speakers (26.7%) tend to live in the eastern part of the constituency, with the Pembroke part been described as ‘little England beyond Wales.’ The economy activity is based on the deep water ports of the Haven with its refineries, tourism based on the ‘Welsh riviera and agriculture. Camarthen town is also an administrative centre with many jobs in the public sector.
This seat can be described as very much a three -way marginal, with only 250 votes dividing the Conservative, Labour and Plaid Cymru candidates at the last Assembly elections. The sitting Labour being pipped at the post by the Conservative by 98 votes.
At the last general election the Conservative candidate overturned a 2,043 Labour majority to gain the seat with a 3,423 majority.
All the indications are that this election is coming at the wrong time in the election cycle for Angela Burns the incumbent. If fields could vote the Conservatives would be home and dry on the poster count, but unfortunate for them the election system is based on ballot papers in the box. It is likely that her vote will suffer a dramatic decrease and all the indications are that it is a two horse or to be more accurate a two mare race between Labour and Plaid Cymru.
In the industrial base of Pembroke Dock Labour have the advantage but in the more rural parts and the Welsh speaking east Plaid Cymru have the edge.
It is likely to go to the wires and it may all be determined by which party machine is most effective at getting the vote out. In campaign terms Plaid Cymru seem to be the most energetic and may nose in front.
Conservative defeat but Plaid/Labour too close to call.
Christine Gwyther who is from Pembroke Dock, held the constituency seat from
She failed to retain her seat in the 2007. Before going into politics, she worked as a
Development Officer for Pembrokeshire County Council
During the first term of the Assembly, she was the Minister of Agriculture under the leadership
of Alun Michael. but was dismissed from her post as Welsh agriculture minister by Rhodri
Morgan on the eve of the Royal Welsh Agricultural show.
She fought the neighbouring seat of Camarthen East in the last general election.
Angela Burns lives in Pembrokeshire with her husband and two young children. She describes herself as a businesswoman having worked for both large and small businesses. She was elected an Assembly Member in May 2007and has served as party’s Shadow Minister for Finance and Shadow Minister for Regeneration and Transport. She was also Chair of the NAW’s Finance committee. She was appointed Shadow Minister for the Environment and Planning in February 2009.
Selwyn Runnett lives and works in West Wales. He has been a property professional for over 30 years and is currently a letting and estate agent. He is a Town Councillor and has campaigned on issues relating to rural communities and market towns including the campaign to re-open St Clears railway station and to achieve better train services for West Wales.
Nerys Evans is Plaid’s Director of Policy and was elected to the National Assembly in 2007. She holds Plaid’s Education portfolio. She read Politics at Manchester University and began working as Plaid Cymru Community Organiser in Carmarthen East in 2002.