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Blaenau Gwent (UK Parliament constituency)

Blaenau Gwent
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Blaenau Gwent in Wales.
Preserved county Gwent
Population 69,814 (2011 census)[1]
Electorate 53,791 (December 2010)[2]
Major settlements Ebbw Vale, Abertillery, Brynmawr, Tredegar
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament Nick Smith (Labour)
Number of members One
Created from Abertillery, Brecon and Radnor and Ebbw Vale[3]
Overlaps
Welsh Assembly South Wales East
European Parliament constituency Wales

Blaenau Gwent is a constituency in South Wales created in 1983 represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Nick Smith of the Labour Party.[n 1]

History

Predecessor seats

Blaenau Gwent incorporates most of the area of Aneurin Bevan's old constituency and other areas as population expansion has been low or negative following the 1960s. The constituency was created in 1983, twenty-three years after Bevan's death, from the upper part of the former Abertillery constituency, the town of Brynmawr from Brecon and Radnor, and Bevan's old Ebbw Vale seat with the exception of the area of the Rhymney Community (formerly Rhymney Urban District). The then-Labour party leader Michael Foot, who had won Ebbw Vale in the by-election following Bevan's death, was the seat's first MP.

Strong Labour Party majorities

Until 2005, the constituency statistically ranked in the top 20 safest Labour seats in the country by size of majority and by continuous representation by candidates from that party. In the 1983 and 1992 general elections, it was Labour's safest seat.

In the 2010 general election, Labour candidate Nick Smith gained the seat with a 29.2% swing from Independent back to Labour; as one of three seats Labour gained in that election where its government fell. The 2015 result made the seat the 30th safest of Labour's 232 seats by percentage of majority.[4]

Period of independent representation

At the 2005 general election the Labour Welsh Assembly Member Peter Law ran as an independent and won the seat. He had resigned from the Labour Party in protest at the imposition of an all-women candidates' shortlist following the retirement of incumbent MP Llew Smith, and overturned a 19,313 (60%) Labour majority with a significant 9,121 (25%) majority. In 2006 the Labour Party decided not to require an all-women shortlist at the next general election.[5]

Law died of a brain tumour on 25 April 2006, prompting a by-election in the seat on 29 June. Labour failed to regain the seat as Law's former campaign manager, Dai Davies, was elected to replace him, beating Owen Smith, the Labour candidate who later became MP for Pontypridd.

Opposition parties

The Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats have both been very weak in the seat.From 1987 until 2017 neither had ever won 10% of the vote and the Conservatives had never achieved one eighth of the total votes cast. However, in 2015 the Conservatives achieved just under 15% of the vote, with Plaid Cymru in second place after Labour. In 2005 the Liberal Democrats received their lowest share of the vote in the United Kingdom and the Conservatives their second lowest, and both lost their deposits, though this particular election saw unusual circumstances.

The 2010 result was one of few where an Independent candidate kept their deposit, winning in excess of 5% of the votes cast, and pushed one of the main three parties into fourth place; the independent Blaenau Gwent People's Voice group fielded no candidate in 2015. Three non-Labour candidates exceeded 5% of the vote (the deposit threshold) in 2015, the foremost locally being UKIP; the Lib Dem and Green candidates failed to retain their deposits.

Boundaries

The constituency boundaries are analogous to those of Blaenau Gwent county borough. The main towns are Ebbw Vale, Abertillery, Brynmawr and Tredegar.

Members of Parliament

Election Member[6] Party
1983 Michael Foot Labour
1992 Llew Smith Labour
2005 Peter Law Independent
2006 by-election Dai Davies Blaenau Gwent People's Voice
2010 Nick Smith Labour

Elections

Elections in the 2010s

General Election 2017: Blaenau Gwent
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Nick Smith 18,787 58.0 +0.0
Plaid Cymru Nigel Copner 6,880 21.2 +12.2
Conservative Tracey West 4,783 14.8 +4.0
UKIP Dennis May 973 3.0 -14.9
Independent Vicki Browning 666 2.1 N/A
Liberal Democrat Cameron Sullivan 295 0.9 −1.0
Majority 11,907 36.8 -3.3
Turnout 32,419 63.3 +1.6
Registered electors 51,176
Labour hold Swing -6.1


General Election 2015: Blaenau Gwent[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Nick Smith 18,380 58.0 +5.6
UKIP Susan Boucher 5,677 17.9 +16.4
Conservative Tracey West[8] 3,419 10.8 +3.8
Plaid Cymru Steffan Lewis 2,849 9.0 +4.9
Green Mark Pond 738 2.3 N/A
Liberal Democrat Samuel Rees 620 2.0 −8.2
Majority 12,703 40.1 +5.3
Turnout 31,683 61.7 −0.1
Registered electors 51,335
Labour hold Swing −5.4
General Election 2010: Blaenau Gwent[9][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Nick Smith 16,974 52.4 +20.1
Blaenau Gwent PV Dai Davies 6,458 19.9 −38.2
Liberal Democrat Matt Smith 3,285 10.1 +5.9
Conservative Liz Stevenson 2,265 7.0 +4.7
Plaid Cymru Rhodri Davies 1,333 4.1 −2.4
BNP Anthony King 1,211 3.7 N/A
UKIP Michael Kocan 488 1.5 +1.0
Socialist Labour Alyson O'Connell 381 1.2 +1.2
Majority 10,516 32.5 N/A
Turnout 32,395 61.8 −4.4
Registered electors 52,442
Labour gain from Blaenau Gwent PV Swing +29.2

Elections in the 2000s

Blaenau Gwent by-election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Dai Davies[11][n 2] 12,543 46.2 -12.0
Labour Owen Smith 10,055 37.0 +4.7
Plaid Cymru Steffan Lewis 1,755 6.5 +4.1
Liberal Democrat Amy Kitcher 1,477 5.4 +1.1
Conservative Margrit Williams 1,013 3.7 +1.3
Monster Raving Loony Alan "Howling Laud" Hope 318 1.2 +1.2
Majority 2,488 9.1 −16.8
Turnout 27,161 50.5 −14.4
Registered electors 52,512
Independent hold Swing −8.4
General Election 2005: Blaenau Gwent[12][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Peter Law 20,505 58.2 +58.2
Labour Maggie Jones 11,384 32.3 −39.7
Liberal Democrat Brian Thomas 1,511 4.3 −5.0
Plaid Cymru John Price 843 2.4 −8.8
Conservative Phillip Lee 816 2.4 −5.2
UKIP Peter Osborne 192 0.5 +0.5
Majority 9,121 25.9 N/A
Turnout 35,251 66.1 +6.6
Registered electors 53,301
Independent gain from Labour Swing
General Election 2001: Blaenau Gwent[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Llew Smith 22,855 72.0 −7.4
Plaid Cymru Adam Rykala 3,542 11.2 +5.9
Liberal Democrat Charles Townsend 2,945 9.3 +0.6
Conservative Huw Williams 2,383 7.5 +0.9
Majority 19,313 60.8 −9.9
Turnout 31,725 59.5 −12.8
Registered electors 53,353
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s

General Election 1997: Blaenau Gwent[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Llew Smith 31,493 79.5 +0.5
Liberal Democrat Geraldine Layton 3,458 8.7 +2.3
Conservative Margrit A. Williams 2,607 6.6 −3.2
Plaid Cymru Jim B. Criddle 2,072 5.2 +0.4
Majority 28,035 70.7 +1.5
Turnout 39,630 72.3 -5.8
Registered electors 54,815
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1992: Blaenau Gwent[16][17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Llew Smith 34,333 79.0 +3.1
Conservative David Melding 4,266 9.8 −1.7
Liberal Democrat Alistair Burns 2,774 6.4 −2.5
Plaid Cymru (Green) Alun Davies 2,099 4.8 +1.1
Majority 30,067 69.2 +4.8
Turnout 43,472 78.1 +0.9
Registered electors 55,638
Labour hold Swing +2.4

Elections in the 1980s

General Election 1987: Blaenau Gwent[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Michael Foot 32,820 75.9 +5.9
Conservative Andrew Taylor 4,959 11.5 +0.3
Liberal David McBride 3,847 8.9 −6.2
Plaid Cymru Stephen Morgan 1,621 3.7 +0.0
Majority 27,861 64.4 +9.5
Turnout 43,247 77.2 +0.4
Registered electors 56,011
Labour hold Swing +2.8
General Election 1983: Blaenau Gwent[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Michael Foot 30,113 70.0 N/A
Liberal Gareth Atkinson 6,488 15.1 N/A
Conservative Talmai Morgan 4,816 11.2 N/A
Plaid Cymru Stephen Morgan 1,624 3.7 N/A
Majority 23,625 54.9 N/A
Turnout 43,041 76.8 N/A
Registered electors 55,948
Labour win (new seat)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer. As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
  2. ^ Dai Davies, Peter Law's former agent, stood as an independent with the support of the Blaenau Gwent People's Voice Group.

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Blaenau Gwent: Usual Resident Population, 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Beyond 20/20 WDS - Table view". 2011 Electorate Figures. StatsWales. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  3. ^ "'Blaenau Gwent', June 1983 up to May 1997". ElectionWeb Project. Cognitive Computing Limited. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  4. ^ List of Labour MPs elected in 2015 by % majority UK Political.info. Retrieved 2017-01-29
  5. ^ Tweedie, Neil (23 June 2006). "No welcome in these valleys for Labour". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  6. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 3)
  7. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-19. Retrieved 2015-02-19.
  9. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Election 2010: Blaenau Gwent". BBC. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Your election candidates - so far". South Wales Argus.
  12. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  13. ^ "Election 2005, Result: Blaenau Gwent". BBC. 6 May 2005. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  18. ^ "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Cardiff South East
Constituency represented by the Leader of the Opposition
1980–1983
Succeeded by
Islwyn