Wednesday, 19 November 2014

By-election Preview: 20 November 2014

There is one Welsh local by-election taking place this week, covered below, along with the Rochester and Strood parliamentary by-election and two other local by-elections in England covered over on the English Elections blog.

Swansea city council
Caused by the resignation of Labour councillor Pearleen Sangha following criticism over her attendance.

The Grove, Uplands
This ward lies immediately to the west of Swansea city centre, covering the Uplands area to north and Brynmill on the seafront.  Uplands' Wikipedia entry paints a picture of a bohemian place; Dylan Thomas was born here and other past famous residents include Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis and (er) Michael Heseltine.  Brynmill, on the seafront, has a similar profile but also large numbers of students at Swansea University.

As befits this profile, this four-member ward (there were 23 candidates here in the 2004 election!) was safe Lib Dem during the Noughties, with local Lib Dem leader Peter May finishing at the top of the slate.  May was the Parliamentary candidate for the local seat (Swansea West) in 2010 and finished just 504 votes behind Labour.  Labour gained all four seats in the ward in 2012, but the majority of the fourth Labour candidate over Peter May (who again was at the top of the Lib Dem slate) was just ten votes.

Fran Griffiths is the defending Labour candidate.  The Lib Dems have selected Janet Thomas, one of the four councillors here who lost their seats in May.  Ashley Wakeling will fight the ward for the Greens, who usually perform relatively well here, and Josh Allard for the Conservatives.  Also on the ballot paper are Pat Dwan for the "Independents @ Swansea" group, Rhydian Fitter for Plaid, Ronnie Job for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and, interestingly, Peter May as an independent candidate.

Parliamentary and Assembly constituency: Swansea West
ONS Travel to Work Area: Swansea Bay

Josh Allard (C)
Pat Dwan (I@S)
Rhydian Fitter (PC)
Fran Griffiths (Lab)
Ronnie Job (TUSC)
Peter May (Ind)
Janet Thomas (LD)
Ashley Wakeling (Grn)

May 2012 result Lab 1302/1207/1161/1099 LD 1089/975/812/782 Grn 614/465 C 319/313/306/301
May 2008 result LD 1828/1706/1495/1488 Lab 817/792/765/729 C 593/500/472/403 Grn 561/391/346 PC 404 Ind 275/236/165/107
June 2004 result LD 1383/1354/1230/1120 Lab 769/710/692/676 Ind 649 Grn 616/463/376/352 Swansea Ind Alliance 600/493/482 C 507/472 PC 440/436/419/414 Democratic Alliance 83

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