Aberavon

2015 Result:
Conservative: 3742 (11.9%)
Labour: 15416 (48.9%)
Lib Dem: 1397 (4.4%)
Plaid Cymru: 3663 (11.6%)
Green: 711 (2.3%)
UKIP: 4971 (15.8%)
TUSC: 134 (0.4%)
Independent: 1137 (3.6%)
Others: 352 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 10445 (33.1%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Wales, West Glamorgan. Part of the Neath Port Talbot council area.

Main population centres: Port Talbot, Cwmafan, Baglan.

Profile: An industrial seat in South Wales, situated at the mouth of the River Afon (or Avon, the origin of the name). The seat largely consists of the town of Port Talbot, but also includes the Afan Valley, the huge Tata steelworks to the South of the town, the oil refinery and the Baglan Bay power station..

Politics: Aberavon has been represented by the Labour party since 1922, most famously by Ramsay MacDonald during his first term as Prime Minister. It remains a solid Labour bastion. It is also regularly contested by Captain Beany, a perennial fringe candidate and superhero.


Current MP
STEPHEN KINNOCK (Labour) Born 1970, Tredegar, son of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock. Educated at Drayton Manor High School and Cambridge University. Former director of the World Economic Forum. First elected as MP for Aberavon in 2015. Married to the Danish Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
Past Results
2010
Con: 4411 (14%)
Lab: 16073 (52%)
LDem: 5034 (16%)
PC: 2198 (7%)
Oth: 3242 (10%)
MAJ: 11039 (36%)
2005
Con: 3064 (10%)
Lab: 18077 (60%)
LDem: 4140 (14%)
PC: 3545 (12%)
Oth: 1278 (4%)
MAJ: 13937 (46%)
2001
Con: 2296 (8%)
Lab: 19063 (63%)
LDem: 2933 (10%)
PC: 2955 (10%)
Oth: 2943 (10%)
MAJ: 16108 (53%)
1997
Con: 2835 (8%)
Lab: 25650 (71%)
LDem: 4079 (11%)
PC: 2088 (6%)
Oth: 1311 (4%)
MAJ: 21571 (60%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
EDWARD YI HE (Conservative) Born Chongqing. Engineer.
STEPHEN KINNOCK (Labour) Born 1970, Tredegar, son of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock. Educated at Drayton Manor High School and Cambridge University. Former director of the World Economic Forum. Married to the Danish Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
HELEN CERI CLARKE (Liberal Democrat)
PETER BUSH (UKIP)
JONATHAN TIER (Green)
DUNCAN HIGGITT (Plaid)
ANDREW JORDAN (Socialist Labour Party) Contested South Wales Central 2011, Cardiff South and Penarth 2012 by-election, Wales region 2014 European election.
OWEN HERBERT (TUSC)
CAPTAIN BEANY (New Millenium Bean) , real name Barry Kirk. Superhero. Contested Aberavon 1992, 1997, 2001, Ogmore 2002, Cardiff Central 2005, Aberavon 2010.
Links
Comments - 67 Responses on “Aberavon”
  1. The sitting MP is retiring.

    Times quoted Stephen Kinnock as interested in throwing his hat in the ring for Labour nomination.

  2. Oh FFS not another one!

  3. Its absentee lordling time again is it?

  4. Stephen Kinnock? First Husband of Denmark?

    How serious are locals going to take that as “living outside the constituency”?

  5. Anyone with a red rosette gets elected here.

  6. To be honest, it would be more egg on the face of the local CLP if they were to: 1) Nominate him (well, different ward branches to be precise); and 2) Select him if it were to come to that.

  7. My forecast for 2015 here:

    Lab 59
    UKIP 10
    PC 9
    Con 8
    LD 6
    Others 8

  8. Apparently Stephen Kinnock lives & works in Britain despite being married to Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
    However, I doubt very much that it’s in this particular constituency.

  9. He’s the managing director of business advisory firm Xynteo since August 2012. To the surprisse of no-one, his UK base is in London.

    Obviously he promised to buy an house in Aberavon if selected.

  10. At least he has some history of vaguely being from these parts

  11. Safe Labour seats in South Wales have before now returned Independent Labour MPs when the Labour establishement have done something seriously silly. Stephen Kinnock seems pretty far removed from traditional Labour, but not so far away as not to get away with it.

    A terrace house in Aberavon is probably in effect fairly, although not totally, small change for the Kinnock family budget.

  12. For Joe’s benefit I should perhaps add that West Glamorgan is a fair way for Islwn in Gwent. Perhaps about as far as Leciester from Lincoln.

  13. I think he has been brought up mainly in London, having been born at about the time his father was first elected to Parliament. He went to school in Ealing not Wales.

  14. Hence the use of “vaguely” – i.e. not born and bred in Surrey.

  15. Neil on Stephen’s ambitions: “blah blah…he is looking to see if he can gain selection in a seat which is obviously of interest to him, because of all of its connections and the kind of people there…blah blah”

    what kind of people live in Aberavon? And why would someone be more interested in them than in others?

  16. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/24/stephen-neil-kinnock-son-labour-aberavon-dynasty

    Makes my skin crawl the thought of politicians’ kids getting in with little to no graft in the real world.

  17. 6 out of 28 members of NEC voted to give an AWS here.

    According to one of the Welsh papers, other contenders are Swansea solicitor Jeremy Miles, Neath Mayor Mark Fisher, local councillor Sue Paddison and former Gloucester MP Parmjit Dhanda.

    I can add Merthyr Cllr David Davies who works in Aberavon for the NHS.

  18. Dhanda sure is keen on returning to Parliament. He put his hat in the race for Brent Central too. Seriously doubt Aberavon CLP would even shortlist him.

    With him probably not in the running, here’s hoping it’s anyone other than Kinnock.

  19. BBC Wales’s Tomos Livingstone reports that Aberavon shortlist is

    Parmjit Dhanda (former Gloucester MP)
    Gavin Freeguard (former SpAd to Harriet)
    Mark Fisher (UNISON officer Neath/Port Talbot Branch Local Government; Neath town councillor)
    Stephen Kinnock w ww.stephenkinnock.co.uk/
    Jeremy Miles (solicitor from Swansea, stood in Beaconsfield in 2010)
    Suzanne Paddison (local Cllr)
    Sarah Woodall (from Cambridge)

    A very long shortlist. I think Miles was the one with the highest number of male nominations from ward branches (7 out of 16 wards).

  20. Well, we know what happens to people who stand in Beaconsfield! Add in a Kinnock and the fact that Neath Port Talbot still has an active SDP branch, and this is a very 1980s-ey shortlist!

  21. Kinnock vs Miles. Miles would be a good MP for a Welsh seat.

  22. Kinnock has won Labour selection

  23. Barf…. we are getting the Kennedy/Bush syndrome going on here

  24. Vomit Face.

  25. Reports that Kinnock won by 1 vote: 106 to 105 in the final round

  26. Well 105 members of the Aberavon Labour party have some respect for Averavon and its people.

    Kinnock Jnr has already said he’ll be based in Denmark.

    I wonder if he claims second home allowance for his Copenhagen mansion and for first class travel to it.

  27. Wonder if it’ll be one of the seats abolished (or merged) when the next rebalancing of voter numbers happens.. then there will be a second chance to see whether voters are so thrilled with MPs who fancy an international commute..

  28. This was the failed last version:

    http://wales.gov.uk/docs/bcw/policy/mapdata/2013reviewoctober12/121024Appendix4-All-WalesRevisedProposalsen.pdf

    It becomes Aberavon & Ogmore if this comes to pass. who will he have to slug it out with for the selection then?

  29. Well political dynasties are not exactly new here either. To give you a few examples off the top of my head, the Marquess of Salisbury was succeeded as Prime Minister by his nephew Arthur Balfour. Furthermore his grandson was arguably de facto Prime Minister when Winston Churchill was incapacitated by a stroke. Churchill himself was the son of a former Chancellor of the Exchequer and two of his grandsons ended up as MPs. Then there were the Chamberlains- Joseph, Neville, and Austen. Austen even resigned his Worcestershire division to take over Birmingham West upon Joe Chamberlain’s death in 1914. Remember also that Stanley Baldwin entered the Commons as MP for Bewdley, for which his father had sat. The hereditary principle is really nothing new and I see little evidence that its demise is imminent.

  30. Of course, it is somewhat comical when fervent egalitarians embrace the said principle as wholeheartedly as the reactionaries but it’s not for me to comment on the Labour party’s choices 🙂

  31. Which candidate got 105 votes on the last round of the selection contest? Or have Labour actually managed to avoid this leaking out?
    People with a long memory might recaal that Neil Kinnock’s adoption at Bedwelty/Islwyn was by a similarly narrow majority.
    Political dynasties seem to be coming back into fashion, perhaps because people without previous family involvement see a political career as decreasingly attractive.
    I cannot personally see what Kinnock Junior has to offer Aberavon. But it wasn’t a very inspiring shortlist, particularly considering how safe this constituency is.

  32. I fancy UKIP might have a shot at second place in 2015 despite coming 8th out of 8 candidates in 2010.

  33. Stephen Kinnock could realistically be in the Commons for as long as his father was- so he’d be about 69 by the time he retired were he to be an MP that long. I surmise that as it is such a safe seat he could be here for the majority of his political career if he wanted.

  34. Prediction for 2015-
    S Kinnock (Labour)- 62%
    UKIP- 11%
    Conservative- 10%
    Plaid Cymru- 8%
    Liberal Democrat- 5%
    Others- 4%

    No problems for Stephen Kinnock here I would have thought.

  35. Do the Continuing Continuing SDP still have councillors here?

  36. I’m surprised that nobody is predicting a Plaid Cwmru challenge here. I don’t expect that they would win- but I think they might manage 30-35% of the vote on a good night.

    More to the point, they need some way to start breaking into the post-industrial parts of south Wales if they’re ever going to seriously challenge Labour- the valleys and coastal towns of the south have over half of Wales’ population. And what better way than to challenge a guy who pretty much defines what’s wrong with the modern Labour Party in Wales?

    I think UKIP could target this seat as a long shot too, although I would have thought their resources will be spread fairly thin already.

    Having said all that, Stephen Kinnock is extremely likely to win this seat. The Lib Dem vote will probably collapse, and it’s hard to imagine any single party successfully derailing Labour.

  37. Rumor is that Bethan Jenkins the Plaid Cymru regional assembly member for South Wales West will be standing for Plaid here. Will be interesting to see if she makes noticeable dent in the Labour vote…

  38. Bethan Jenkins has ruled herself out of standing for this seat in the MP elections. UKIP, Greens, Plaid Cymru, Conservative and Labour are most certainly standing, unsure of Lib Dems.

    My prediction as there is some local unlike for Stephen Kinnock.

    Labour: 40%
    UKIP: 43%
    Conservative: 5%
    Lib Dems 2%
    Green 4%
    Plaid Cymru 4%
    Others 2%

  39. Nameless, you’re way out.

    This is a hugely strong Labour area, one in which UKIP may well do well but they won’t come close to winning here. And neither will Plaid Cymru. There is definitely some local dissatisfaction with Kinnock being selected here but for Labour to lose here you’re talking a Labour meltdown of Biblical proportions.

    Saying that, UKIP and PC should increase their vote here but any talking of anyone but Labour winning yer is lunacy.

  40. What a ludicrous prediction above, indeed. Of course, whether we like it or not, Stephen Kinnock will win here with a very comfortable majority, at worst.

  41. I would wager 98% of people here either don’t know that Stephen Kinnock has been selected, don’t know who he is, or don’t mind. It’s the sort of thing that might make a difference in an ultra-marginal, but not in a safe seat like this.

  42. Most people will be well aware that he’s been selected. Not as many will mind sufficiently to vote against Labour.

  43. Duncan Higgitt has been selected to stand for Plaid Cymru here. i believe he works for the regional Assembly Member Bethan Jenkins.

  44. I know that there is still about 5 weeks to go until the election, and a lot could change in the meantime, but I am going to begin my brief prediction of each seat as far as I can manage.
    I think my own predictions in 2010 were reasonably accurate in most cases, although I got some WAY off (Montgomeryshire, Cannock Chase, Wells to name but a few). This is also going to be a much much more difficult election to predict than 2010 at a constituency-by-constituency level, so I expect my own accuracy to be even lower this time!

    Unfortunately, unlike in 2010 I can’t find a handy A-Z of the constituencies on UK Polling Report, so I will have to do this by region. I am starting with Wales because that is where Aberavon (the earliest seat in the alphabetical list) is to be found.
    Neither will I give detailed percentage or vote break downs, because frankly I couldn’t even begin to predict that level of detail for all 600+ constituencies.
    I will just give a simple winning party and majority in each case, perhaps with who will be second if that is interesting.
    And I’m not going to do dozens of constituencies in one go. I will just work through a few as I can.

    So with all that in mind, I get to start with a very easy one to predict. No prizes for guessing correctly here, Stephen Kinnock will be in and by a large majority!

    Labour Hold. 10,000 majority.
    Conservatives may take 2nd for the first time since 1992, although their vote will be slightly down.

  45. Dear lord. What century is this? Aren’t there some rules about the husbands of foreign leaders becoming MPs and potentially Prime Minister?

    Anyway. Tories and labour slightly down. Plaid and UKIP up 5 and 14 percent respectively. I think the Tories can safely write this one off in future.

  46. Imminent shutdown of the Port Talbot steelworks if a buyer can’t be found, it seems. There’s even been calls from some Tories for temporary nationalisation in the interests of continuity and national security.

    Would be interesting to get a view from someone with knowledge of the industry – Hemmelig?

  47. “Would be interesting to get a view from someone with knowledge of the industry – Hemmelig?”

    Well, I’ve worked in the steel industry for 18 years so have plenty of views on Tata and the Port Talbot plant, but I’m no better qualified than you to assess the potential political impact.

    I think the government is trying to look helpful and stall things until after the Welsh elections and the EU referendum, but surely this will still have some impact at least on the former.

    I know the Purchasing Manager for Tata UK and when I emailed him yesterday he seemed much more cheerful than I expected.

    The saga of the UK steel industry is the result of numerous factors going back 40-50 years….the media do simplify things to an enormous degree which is understandable.

  48. Kinnock’s ‘wife’ is moving to London…

    http://www.euronews.com/2016/03/29/last-day-in-parliament-for-helle-thorning-schmidt/

    …as head of Save the Children

  49. Business Secretary under fire for being in Australia during the crisis.

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