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Elections in Wales in 2018: a summary

I thought it would be appropriate to round off the year on the blog by summarising the electoral year just finishing.

2018 did not see a general election in Wales – although one occasionally seemed possible – nor an Assembly election. Although we had a number of opinion polls during the year (and from three polling companies – YouGov, ICM and SkyData), actual votes cast were limited in number.

There was one Assembly by-election in 2018, after the tragic death of Carl Sargeant late in 2017. The outcome of the by-election was as detailed here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Alyn_and_Deeside_by-election) with Jack Sargeant winning a very substantial victory in his father’s former seat. In the particular circumstances of this by-election few broader conclusions about party support could be drawn from this outcome – other, perhaps, than it reinforcing the strong sense that Plaid Cymru were stagnating electorally.

There were also five by-elections for council seats in Wales’ twenty-two principal local authorities. My friend Harry Hayfield (@HarryHayfield on Twitter) has very kindly prepared a detailed summary of all of these contests:

 

Trevethin on Torfaen (Lab defence; February 22)

Labour 233 votes (51% unchanged on 2017)

Independent 210 votes (46% -3% on 2017)

Green Party 15 votes (3%, did not contest 2017)

Labour HOLD with a majority of 23 votes (5%) on a swing of 1.5% from Ind to Lab

 

Saron on Carmarthenshire (Plaid defence; July 19)

Plaid Cymru 747 votes (65% +16% on 2017)

Labour 239 votes (21% -15% on 2017)

Conservatives 146 votes (13% -2% on 2017)

Liberal Democrats 14 votes (1%, did not contest 2017)

Plaid Cymru HOLD with a majority of 508 votes (44%) on a swing of 15.5% from Lab to Plaid

 

Gurnos on Merthyr Tydfil (Lab defence; July 26)

Independent 519 votes (56% +1% on 2017)

Labour 368 votes (40% -5% on 2017)

Conservatives 32 votes (3%, did not contest 2017)

Independent GAIN from Labour with a majority of 151 votes (16%) on a swing of 3% from Lab to Ind

 

Gwynfi on Neath and Port Talbot (Lab defence; August 16)

Independent 327 votes (70% +26% on 2017)

Plaid 73 votes (16%, did not contest 2017)

Labour 60 votes (13% -43% on 2017)

Conservatives 4 votes (1%, did not contest 2017)

Independent GAIN from Labour with a majority of 254 votes (54%) on a swing of 13% from Plaid to Ind (34.5% from Lab to Ind)

 

Pembroke : St. Mary’s North on Pembrokeshire (Con defence; September 13)

Independent 470 votes (82% +44% on 2017)

Labour 61 votes (11% -11% on 2017)

Conservatives 45 votes (8% -31% on 2017)

Independent GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 409 votes (71%) on a swing of 16.5% from Lab to Ind (37.5% from Con to Ind)

 

Total Votes Cast:

Independents 1,526 votes (43% +11% on 2017) winning 3 seats (+3 on 2017)

Labour 961 votes (27% -14% on 2017) winning 1 seat (-2 on 2017)

Plaid Cymru 820 votes (23% +6% on 2017) winning 1 seat (unchanged on 2017)

Conservatives 227 votes (6% -4% on 2017) winning 0 seats (-1 on 2017)

Green Party 15 votes (0% did not contest 2017) winning 0 seats (unchanged on 2017)

Liberal Democrats 14 votes (0% did not contest 2017) winning 0 seats (unchanged on 2017)

 

Obviously, with such a small number of by-elections it is difficult to draw general conclusions. It is perhaps worthy of note, however, that  only Labour and the Conservatives of all the parties even managed to put up candidates in the clear majority of these contests. However, in terms of electoral performance neither Labour nor the Tories actually did particularly well.

Comments

  • Geraint

    I’m not sure the way the Pembroke result has been written up clearly reflects the actual election. In 2015 there were three candidates (One Labour -122 votes, one Independent – 211 votes and one Tory – 217 votes) with the Tory candidate winning the seat by six votes. The by election caused by the jailing of the Tory councillor resulted in eight candidates standing for election. The Tories and Labour put up candidates and six Independents also stood for election. The Independent who stood for election in 2015 stood again and won the seat although his vote fell. The Independents came first, second and third and I would have thought the majority should be calculated by taking the second Independent vote from the winning candidates vote giving a majority of 108 votes.

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