Tuesday, 4 December 2012

By-Election Preview: 6 December 2012

This post is by Andrew Teale, our resident expert in local by-elections.  Read his full introduction here on the English Elections blog.

The last electoral test in Wales this year is a council by-election in a safe Labour ward in Neath.


Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Glamorgan; caused by the death of Labour councillor Mal Gunter.  Mr Gunter had served in local government since 1987, including a year as Mayor of Neath Port Talbot in 2008/9, and had a 37-year career at BP in Llandarcy.

Neath Abbey
  © Copyright Mick Lobb and
licensed for reuse under this 

Creative Commons Licence.
One of the things Neath is rather famous for among electoral geeks is its misnamed electoral divisions.  The four wards covering the Neath community are called Cimla (pronounced Kim-la), Neath North, Neath South and Neath East, which looks rather uncontentious until you look at a map and realise that Neath East is actually the furthest west of the four.  Neath South is rather misnamed as well, as it contains a large part of Cimla including Cimla Hospital, being largely a residential ward going up the Cimla Road.

Neath South is a Labour ward as you would expect, with the runners-up at the last three elections coming from the Neath Port Talbot Independent Party (formerly the Residents Association) who were fairly close in 2004 but have faded away since then.

The new Labour candidate is 28-year-old Andrew Jenkins, a Swansea University politics graduate from up the valley in Resolven, who narrowly lost out on election in Bryncoch South ward in May.  The Neath Port Talbot Independents, Plaid and the Tories are not standing after being badly burnt here in May, but the Liberal Democrats have ensured a contest by selecting another young candidate, Charlotte Cross from Cimla.

Parliamentary and Assembly constituency: Neath
Assembly electoral region: South Wales West
ONS Travel to Work Area: Swansea Bay

Charlotte Cross (LD)
Andrew Jenkins (Lab) (@Jenkins_Voice)

May 2012 result Lab 718/665 Neath Port Talbot Ind 207/190 PC 153 C 146
May 2008 result Lab 700/663 Neath Port Talbot Res Assoc 469/441
June 2004 result Lab 557/549 Neath Port Talbot Res Assoc 439/433 LD 184 Grn 129

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