Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Llanelli: Labour breathing down Plaid's neck?

2007 Assembly election results

Votes Cast
Jones, Helen Mary
Plaid Cymru
Thomas, Catherine
Morgan, Andrew
Townsend, Jeremy
Liberal Democrat
Electorate 56,154 Turnout: 49.2%

Llanelli associated with the heavy industries of steel and tin plate. Whilst these industries have declined it is still a town that is dependent on manufacturing. Tourism has increasingly played a part in the local economy with the development of the Millennium Coastal Park. The old mining valley of Gwendraeth is also part of the constituency. It has a high number of Welsh speakers(41.5%) spread throughout the constituency but particularly strong in the old mining valleys.
Political Profile
Labour has held this seat in Westminster since 1935. First, by Jim Griffiths a deputy leader of the Labour party and the first Secretary of State for Wales, until 1970, and then Denzil Davies until 2005. The current Member of Parliament is Nia Griffiths
However, Plaid Cymru has challenged Labour’s hegemony by winning the seat in Assembly elections. Helen Mary Jones for Plaid Cymru won the seat in the first Assembly elections but lost the seat to Labour in 2003 with the slender of margins 21 votes to be precise. Plaid Cymru won the seat back with a comfortable majority at the last election. With nearly a 4000 majority it would now seem to be a relatively safe Plaid Cymru seat.
For Labour to get their overall majority in the Assembly this is the type of seat that they have to win. It is on their hit list of seats. Carwyn Jones and Peter Hain have made frequent visits to the area , even the Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Milliband has also made an appearance. What impact these high profile visitors will make against a well-organized local Plaid machine remains to be seen.
There is a potential problem for Plaid Cymru in the form of Sian Caiach. She is a former member of Plaid and has decided to throw her hat in the ring under the “Putting Llanelli First” banner. Any votes she garners in are likely to be at Plaid Cymru’s expense.
The national polls have also indicated a movement away from Plaid to Labour. If this was to happen in this seat it makes things very close indeed.
Prediction: Too close to call

Putting Llanelli First
Sian Caiach
A Carmarthen County Councillor, who was formerly a member of Plaid Cymru but removed from Plaid Cymru's list of approved election candidates after being accused of leaking stories to the media.
Keith Price Davies
Is a former teacher who became an education administrator finishing his career as Director of Education for Carmarthenshire he lives in Furnace is married with two teenage boys. He is a community governor at Furnace School and a parent governor at Strade School.

Plaid Cymru
Helen Mary Jones
Helen Mary Jones was the Deputy Leader of Plaid Cymru at the National Assembly for Wales and spokesperson for Health & Social Services. She was also Chair of the Children & Young People's Committee in the National Assembly.
She has worked in youth and community work, has been a special needs teacher and immediately before she was elected, worked for the Equal Opportunities Commission in Wales as their Deputy Director promoting equality between women and men.


Andrew Morgan

Is the Chair of Llanelli Conservative Party and works in finance and is from the area.
Liberal Democrat

Cheryl Philpott
Cheryl Philpott is a Swansea County Councillor for the Sketty area.


  1. The Conservative Candidate, Andrew Morgan, stood for Parliament in Carmarthen East & Dinefwr last year saying he was from Llandovery. How can he now say he's from Llanelli? Unless of course he just means the same county!
    As for working in Finance.....yes, he does. He works in the London square mile for the very same people who got the country in this mess.
    I don't know why I'm going off on one...he hasn't got a hope anyway.

  2. To be fair to Andrew, he did contest the 2007 Assembly election in Llanelli, so it's not just a case of dropping in.

  3. 'Too close to call' isn't really a prediction.

    It's too by the way, not to. I hate to appear pedantic, I'm a victim of my job I'm afraid.

  4. Too close to call may not be a
    prediction as such but the fact that a majority can be reduced such shows that the momentum is running with Labour. I guess that it will come down to the side that is better organized on the day but my view is that only an handful of votes will be between the winner and the second place.