Thursday, 7 April 2011

Will Plaid Hold Aberconwy?

Over the next few weeks this blog will look at some of the more interesting seats in the forthcoming Welsh General election. In the next few days seats in the North Wales region will be reviewed and in turn seats in the other regions,

2007 Assembly election result

Votes Cast
Jones, Gareth
Plaid Cymru
Jones-Evans, Dylan
Jones, Denise Idris
Hughes, Euron
Liberal Democrat
Electorate: 44,143 Turnout: 46.9%

This seat is in the Conwy County Borough Council and consists of Llandudno, Conwy, Llanrwst and Betws-y-Coed and the coastal villages of Penmaenmawr and Llanfairfechan. It is an area that is highly dependent on tourism with Llandudno and Betws-y-Coed being in their different ways attractive locations for visitors.
A large number of people outside of Wales have chosen the area for their retirement and as a consequence there are a large number of elderly voters in the constituency. 
In the last census the percentage of Welsh speakers was 34.1%
Political Profile
Aberconwy constituency was won last time by Plaid Cymru with a majority of 1,693. The candidate at the time was Gareth Jones, a popular retired headmaster of John Brights Comprehensive school Llandudno, is now standing down.  
In the last general election this newly created seat went Conservative with a majority of 3,398.  In this same election Plaid Cymru  came fourth with 5,341 behind both Labour (7,336)  and the Liberal Democrats (5,786). On paper this would make this seat a very interesting four way marginal, but with haemorrhage the polls have shown in Liberal Democrat support it is not likely that they will be in contention.
At the moment in Welsh polls Labour are riding high.  The most recent poll for the Western Mail showing them with  51%. The other parties are as follows Conservative 20%, Plaid Cymru 17% and Liberal Democrats 8%. This poll tends to reinforce the  ITVWales/YouGov's monthly poll over the last few months which has consistently shown Labour in the upper 40s. 
Of course there is always a health warning in taking a national poll and applying it to an individual constituency but if these polls are anywhere near accurate then Labour are in poll position to gain this seat from Plaid Cymru. 
UK wide polls are currently showing Labour 41%, Conservatives 35% and Liberal Democrats 11%
Labour gain from Plaid Cymru
Labour and Co-operative Party
Eifion Wyn Williams
A fluent Welsh speaker with local ties and was married two years ago in Llanrwst. Attended Aberystwyth University and  worked for the ex-North Wales Euro MP, Joe Wilson. 
For the past seven years he's been based in Conwy, carrying out an all-Wales role with Environment Wales and Cylch-Wales Community Recycling Network, 
Janet Finch-Saunders
Janet Finch-Saunders is is married to Gareth and they have a grown up Son Adam and a Daughter Hannah.A Conwy County Borough Councillor for 7 years in 2008 she became the Welsh Conservative Group Leader and Leader of the Opposition.
A town councillor in Llandudno  for 17 years becoming   Mayor of Llandudno in 2004 
Liberal Democrat
Mike Priestly
Married to Lorraine and I have two girls. A County Councillor representing the Marl Ward in Llandudno Junction and also a Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Environment. Chair of Governors at Ysgol Aberconwy 
Plaid Cymru 
Iwan Huws
Iwan Huws is the former Chief Executive of the Snowdonia National Park and Director of the National Trust in Wales.Outside of his years of experience in rural affairs, He also served on the BBC’s Broadcasting Council for Wales and on ITV Wales’ Advisory Council, and has an interest in local businesses through his current membership of Bangor University ’s Business School Advisory Board. He was educated at Bangor and Cardiff Universities. 


  1. I hope J F-S wins this - she has worked her socks off and gets the full support of the current MP, Guto Bebb.

  2. Gwilym ap Llew7 April 2011 at 20:26

    You're spot-on here. I've done some door-knocking with Eifion Wyn Williams, and as well as being particularly personable, he knows the constituency well. He has an energetic, committed campaign team and is getting very positive results on the door-step. Nothing can be taken for granted but I too predict a Labour win.