Tuesday, 18 February 2014

By-Election Preview: 20 February 2014

CANTON
Cardiff City Council; caused by the resignation of Labour councillor Cerys Furlong, who is concentrating on her role as head of NIACE Dysgu Cymru, a Wales-wide adult learning body.

The Canton, Cardiff
  © Copyright Jaggery and licensed for
reuse under this 
Creative Commons Licence.
Treganna in Welsh, Canton goes back to mediaeval times as the site of South Wales' largest market.  There's still a fruit market in the area, but much of the ward was developed in the nineteenth century and became an area associated with immigrants to Cardiff; from Ireland in the mid-nineteenth century, from the subcontinent in the twentieth century.  The area is also starting to gentrify thanks to its proximity to the centre of Cardiff.  On the other side of the Great Western main line is the village of Leckwith on the left bank of the Ely, known for its sports; the city's athletics stadium is here, as is the Cardiff City Stadium, home of Cardiff City football club.  The Bluebirds are having a bad time on and off the field at the moment in their first Premier League season, with the manager being acrimoniously sacked over the New Year and a recent rebranding having changed the club colours from blue to red.

It might be argued that the club owner, Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan, was only reflecting the area's political orientation in rebranding the club, Canton being a safe Labour division after the party saw off a strong Plaid challenge at the 2008 election.  At the most recent poll in 2012 Labour polled 48% to 19% for Plaid and 16% for the Greens, who had not previously fought the division.  The Lib Dem candidate who finished bottom of the poll here in 2004, Alison Goldsworthy, is one of the alleged victims in the Lord Rennard sexual harassment case.

With Labour also performing well at a by-election last December in the neighbouring Riverside division, they will start as favourites to win the by-election.  Their candidate is Susan Elsmore, whose LinkedIn profile describes her as an independent public policy professional (whatever that means).  Translator Elin Tudur is the Plaid candidate.  The Greens have reselected Jake Griffiths, leader of the Welsh branch of the party and their top candidate here in 2012.  Also standing are Pam Richards for the Tories (who stood here in 2012), Matt Hemsley for the Lib Dems and Steffan Bateman for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

Parliamentary and Assembly constituency: Cardiff West
ONS Travel to Work Area: Cardiff
Postcode districts: CF5, CF11

Steffan Bateman (TUSC)
Susan Elsmore (Lab)
Jake Griffiths (Grn)
Matt Hemsley (LD)
Pam Richards (C)
Elin Tudur (PC)

May 2012 result Lab 2230/2130/2128 PC 910/837/824 Grn 730/564/503 C 505/468/426 LD 118/98/84 Socialist Labour 106 TUSC 90
May 2008 result Lab 1814/1580/1497 PC 1257/1170/1113 C 858/820/813 Grn 515/411/396 LD 361/331/224 Socialist Alternative 158
June 2004 result Lab 1657/1530/1404 PC 982/927/872 C 931/828/817 LD 899/702/687

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