Wednesday, 15 October 2014

By-election Preview: 16 October 2014

Ten local by-elections are taking place on 16 October 2014.  One Welsh Conservative defence is covered here, while the rest will be covered over on the English Elections blog.

TOWYN
Conwy county borough council, North Wales
Caused by the death of Conservative councillor William Knightly at the age of 70, from motor neurone disease.  A former Mayor of Conwy, he was leader of the Conservative group on Conwy council, and shortly before his death was appointed MBE in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to the community in Conwy.  Away from politics, he ran Towyn's funfair and amusement park.

Towyn Funfair
A few weeks back this column covered a by-election in Abergele Pensarn division; this week we move immediately to the east along the North Wales coast to the tiny seaside resort of Towyn.  The only game in town here is tourism, and the demographic is similar to Abergele Pensarn: elderly and English.  In that context, it's surprising that there's no UKIP candidate; the purple party weren't far off winning in Abergele Pensarn.

This division has been safe Tory at each election this century; Knightly was unopposed at his last re-election in 2012.

There will still be a Knightly on the ballot paper in the shape of Laura Knightly, who looks young enough to be William's granddaughter; she worked in the City for a while before moving back to North Wales after being selected as PPC for the Flintshire constituency of Alyn and Deeside.  A crowded field contains four independent candidates: in alphabetical order they are Geoff Corry, Barry Griffiths, David Johnson and Michael Smith.  Labour's Beverley Pickard-Jones completes the ballot paper.

Parliamentary and Assembly constituency: Clwyd West
ONS Travel to Work Area: Rhyl and Denbigh

Geoff Corry (Ind)
Barry Griffiths (Ind)
David Johnson (Ind)
Laura Knightly (C)
Beverley Pickard-Jones (Lab)
Michael Smith (Ind)

May 2012 result C unopposed
May 2008 result C 411 Ind 120 Alliance for Green Socialism 101 BNP 60
June 2004 result C 430 Lab 256 BNP 68

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