Wednesday, 15 July 2015

By-election Preview: 30 June 2015

One by-election on Tuesday 30th June:

Cardiff city council
Caused by the resignation of Conservative councillor Craig Williams, who is now MP for Cardiff North.  He had served on Cardiff city council since winning a 2008 by-election.

This division is a rural area, covering the villages of Pentyrch and Gwaelod-y-Garth and part of Taff's Well to the north-west of Cardiff.  The division lies on the slopes of Garth Hill, thought to the inspiration for the book "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain", which gives good views of the city of Cardiff and the Bristol Channel.  Taff's Well is named after a hot spring, the only spa in Wales, but its traditional industry was ironworking.  Pentyrch division was annexed by Cardiff in 1996 and, according to the 2011 census, has Cardiff's largest proportion of Welsh speakers.

In 2004 Pentyrch was a three-way marginal, with Labour topping the poll on 35%, four points ahead of the Conservatives who were themselves five points ahead of Plaid.  The Conservatives gained the division from Labour in 2008 with a majority of 49 votes, but their new councillor Simon Roberts had to resign almost immediately on health grounds.  Craig Williams held the by-election in July 2008 with a majority of 12 votes, and made his seat safe in 2012 with a 54%-29% win over Labour, the Plaid score dropping to 12%.

The defending Conservative candidate is Gavin Hill John, who is campaigning against the planned reopening of Creigiau quarry nearby.  Labour have selected Paul Fisher, a barrister.  Plaid's candidate is local businessman Hywel Wigley, Ruth Osner stands for the Greens, Cadan ap Tomos for the Lib Dems and Munawar Mughal is an independent candidate.

Parliamentary and Assembly constituency: Cardiff West
ONS Travel to Work Area: Cardiff

May 2012 result C 772 Lab 413 PC 171 Grn 40 LD 22
July 2008 by-election C 554 Lab 542 PC 129 LD 97
May 2008 result C 478 Lab 429 PC 275 LD 110 Ind 99
June 2004 result Lab 482 C 421 PC 358 LD 134

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