Wednesday, 10 December 2014

By-election Preview: 11th December 2014

With eleven by-elections to cover this week, there is a certain lack of detail in this week's previews.  Welsh Elections takes us to rural Carmarthenshire...

Carmarthenshire county council
Caused by the resignation of independent councillor Dai Thomas, who has represented the area in local government for over fifty years, on health grounds.

Road South West out of Trelech
This deeply rural division is in western Carmarthenshire, generally to the west and north-west of Carmarthen.  Trelech itself lies about ten miles north-west of Carmarthen, and the division runs south from there along the B4299 road to the village of Meidrim, which according to the notice of poll is actually the ward's largest settlement (although only 496 electors are registered there).  It's strongly Welsh-speaking, and did I say deeply rural earlier?

Dai Thomas - "Dai Trelech" as he was known locally - had been the councillor here for an extremely long time, certainly since before the reorganisation of 1974 when Carmarthen Rural District was the local authority.  He was 90 years old at the time of his resignation, and had faced contested elections for his last two terms: at the most recent poll in 2012 he beat Plaid by 50%-34%.

Carmarthenshire council is run by a Labour/Independent coalition, and for the by-election the independent group have nominated Hugh Phillips, from Cwmbach, one of the scattered villages within the division.  Plaid will stand Jean Lewis, from Meidrim, and the Lib Dem candidate is Selwyn Runnett, also from Meidrim.

Parliamentary and Assembly constituency: Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire (Mid and West Wales region)
ONS Travel to Work Area: Carmarthen and Llandovery

Jean Lewis (PC)
Hugh Phillips (Ind)
Selwyn Runnett (LD)

May 2012 result Ind 471 PC 321 LD 133
May 2008 result Ind 655 PC 305

June 2004 result Ind unopposed