Thursday 5 December 2019


The capital city of Wales is the eleventh largest city in the UK.  The Welsh name for Cardiff is Caerdydd, although only one in five residents can speak the language.  Despite being surrounded by one of Labour's most famous heartlands - the Valleys - Labour have rarely held all four Parliamentary seats over the years.  In 2017 they captured Cardiff North from the Conservatives and for the first time in 12 years the city turned completely red.  The city is split into these same divisions for elections to the Welsh Assembly (the Senedd) and all four seats are also currently held by Labour.  The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, represents Cardiff West in the Senedd.

Population (2017 est):  364,248
City & County Council:  Labour, since 2012
Composition:  Labour (38 cllrs), Conservative (21), Lib Dem (11), Ind (5)
Ethnic make-up (2011):  white 84.7%, Asian 8.0%, mixed 2.9%, black 2.4, other 2.0%
EU referendum:  60% Remain
Largest Parliamentary majority:  Cardiff Central (Jo Stevens, Lab) majority 17,196
Smallest Parliamentary majority:  Cardiff North (Anna McMorrin, Lab) majority 4,174

Cardiff is the seat of devolved power in Wales, despite voting decisively to reject devolution in the 1997 referendum.  The city returned a 56% no vote, but the national result meant devolution was carried by the slimmest of margins - 0.6%.  Labour became the biggest party in Cardiff's unwanted assembly following the first elections to it in 1999.  The party has been in government ever since, albeit never with a majority, governing by coalition or minority.  Following the last elections in 2016 Labour has been in government with the Liberal Democrats (for the second time).  Labour was also in a coalition with Plaid Cymru between 2007 and 2011.

The four assembly members for Cardiff are as follows:

Cardiff Central - Jenny Rathbone (Lab)
Cardiff North - Julie Morgan (Lab)
Cardiff South & Penarth - Vaughan Gething (Lab)
Cardiff West - Mark Drakeford (Lab), First Minister of Wales

For local government the city is administered by the City and County of Cardiff Council.  A bit of a mouthful it is usually referred to as merely Cardiff Council.  This replaced the former city council authority in 1995.  Labour has been the dominant power over the years, regaining full control in 2012 following the collapse of the Lib Dem vote.  The Lib Dems ran a minority administration between 2004 and 2008, prior to forming a coalition with Plaid Cymru.  The last time the Tories were in control here was in 1987.

Cardiff returned a significant Remain vote in 2016 and all four of its MPs are ardent Remainers.  When MPs voted on triggering Article 50 in 2017 the three Labour MPs at that time all voted against.  The Conservative MP for Cardiff North, Craig Williams, voted in favour.  In the 2016 leadership challenge to Jeremy Corbyn all the Cardiff Labour MPs supported Owen Smith.

Please note the following constituency details relate to Westminster seats.

Cardiff Central

Incumbent:  Jo Stevens (Lab), majority 17,196
Born:  Swansea, 1966
First elected:  2015
Leave/Remain:  Remain, voted against triggering Article 50
Notes:  A solicitor and ardent Remainer.  Endorsed Owen Smith in the 2016 leadership challenge.

Cardiff Central has been held by Labour since 2015, before which it was held by the Liberal Democrats since 2005.

EU referendum:  68% Remain, strongest Remain vote in Cardiff

General election 2017

Jo Stevens (Lab) 25,193 (62.4%) +22.4%
Gregory Stafford (Con) 7,997 (19.8%) +5.1%
Eluned Parrott (Lib Dem) 5,415 (13.4%) -13.7%
Mark Hooper (Plaid) 999 (2.5%) -2.5%
Benjamin Smith (Green) 420 (1.0%) -5.3%
Mohammed Sarul-Islam (UKIP) 343 (0.8%) -5.6%

General election candidates 2019

Jo Stevens (Lab)
Meirion Jenkins (Con)
Bablin Molik (Lib Dem)
Gareth Pearce (Brexit)
Brian Johnson (Socialist)
Siân Caiach (Gwlad)
Akil Kata (Ind)

Note:  This is a Remain Alliance seat where Plaid Cymru and the Green Party have stood aside to give the Liberal Democrats a free run.

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Cardiff North

Incumbent:  Anna McMorrin (Lab), majority 4,174
Born:  1971
First elected:  2017
Leave/Remain:  Remain
Notes:  Ardent Remainer.  She claims to have grown up near Brecon, but for some unknown reason her birthplace is a closely guarded secret.

Cardiff North has been held by Labour since 2017, before which it was Conservative.  The seat has been held by the Tories for most of its 69 year history, during which it has returned just three Labour MPs.

EU referendum:  61% Remain

General election 2017

Anna McMorrin (Lab) 26,081 (50.1%) +11.9%
Craig Williams (Con) 21,907 (42.1%) -0.3%
Steffan Webb (Plaid) 1,738 (3.3%) -1.2%
Matt Hemsley (Lib Dem) 1,714 (3.3%) -0.5%
Gary Oldfield (UKIP) 582 (1.1%) -6.6%

General election candidates 2019

Anna McMorrin (Lab)
Mo Ali (Con)
Steffan Webb (Plaid)
Rhys Taylor (Lib Dem)
Chris Butler (Brexit)
Michael Cope (Green)
Richard Jones (Ind)

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Cardiff South & Penarth

Incumbent:  Stephen Doughty (Lab), majority 14,864
Born:  Cardiff, 1980
First elected:  2012 (by-election)
Leave/Remain:  Remain, voted against triggering Article 50
Notes:  One of Labour's most ardent Parliamentary Remainers.  Endorsed Owen Smith in the 2016 leadership contest.

Cardiff South & Penarth has been held by Labour since its creation in 1983

EU referendum:  57% Remain

General election 2017

Stephen Doughty (Lab) 30,182 (59.5%) +16.7%
Bill Rees (Con) 15,318 (30.2%) +3.4%
Ian Titherington (Plaid) 2,162 (4.3%) -3.1%
Emma Sands (Lib Dem) 1,430 (2.8%) -2.1%
Andrew Bevan (UKIP) 942 (1.9%) -11.9%
Anthony Slaughter (Green) 532 (1.0%) -2.7%
Jebediah Hedges (Pirate) 170 (0.3%) New

General election candidates 2019

Stephen Doughty (Lab)
Phillippa Broom (Con)
Nasir Adam (Plaid)
Dan Schmeising (Lib Dem)
Green Ken Barker (Green)
Tim Price (Brexit)

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

Cardiff West

Incumbent:  Kevin Brennan (Lab), majority 12,551
Born:  Cwmbran, 1959
First elected:  2001
Leave/Remain:  Remain, voted against triggering Article 50
Notes:  A member of both the Blair and Brown governments.  Another ardent Remainer and backer of Owen Smith in the 2016 leadership election.
Scandals:  TiegateExpenses scandal

Cardiff West has been held by Labour since 1987, before which it was briefly held by the Conservatives for one Parliamentary term

EU referendum:  56% Remain

General election 2017

Kevin Brennan (Lab) 26,425 (56.7%) +16.0%
Matt Smith (Con) 13,874 (29.8%) +4.6%
Michael Deem (Plaid) 4,418 (9.5%) -4.4%
Alex Meredith (Lib Dem) 1,214 (2.6%) -2.1%
Richard Lewis (UKIP) 698 (1.5%) -9.7%

General election candidates 2019

Kevin Brennan (Lab)
Carolyn Webster (Con)
Boyd Clack (Plaid)
Callum Littlemore (Lib Dem)
Nick Mullins (Brexit)
David Griffin (Green)

BTLP general election prediction:  Lab HOLD

NEXT WEEK:  Southampton

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