Alyn & Deeside

2015 Result:
Conservative: 13197 (31.9%)
Labour: 16540 (40%)
Lib Dem: 1733 (4.2%)
Plaid Cymru: 1608 (3.9%)
Green: 976 (2.4%)
UKIP: 7260 (17.6%)
MAJORITY: 3343 (8.1%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

Geography: Wales, Clwyd. Part of the Flintshire council area.

Main population centres: Connah`s Quay, Queensferry, Shotton, Buckley, Caergwrle.

Profile: Situated on the English border (and with around half the population born outside Wales) Alyn and Deeside is geographically one of the smallest Welsh constituencies. The main town in the constituency is Connah`s Quay, along with Buckley to the South and the village of Caergwrle. Deeside is a traditional industrial area - the constituency contains Connah`s Quay power station, the Tata steel plant, the Toyota Engine factory and BAE Systems in Broughton where the wings for the Airbus A380 are manufactured.

Politics: A reliable Labour seat, held by the party since its creation in 1983 although not always by large margins.

Current MP
MARK TAMI (Labour) Born 1962, Enfield. Educated at Enfield Grammar and Swansea University. Former trade union officer. First elected as MP for Alyn and Deeside in 2001.
Past Results
Con: 12885 (32%)
Lab: 15804 (40%)
LDem: 7308 (18%)
PC: 1549 (4%)
Oth: 2377 (6%)
MAJ: 2919 (7%)
Con: 8953 (25%)
Lab: 17331 (49%)
LDem: 6174 (17%)
PC: 1320 (4%)
Oth: 1718 (5%)
MAJ: 8378 (24%)
Con: 9303 (26%)
Lab: 18525 (52%)
LDem: 4585 (13%)
PC: 1182 (3%)
Oth: 1826 (5%)
MAJ: 9222 (26%)
Con: 9552 (23%)
Lab: 25955 (62%)
LDem: 4076 (10%)
PC: 738 (2%)
Oth: 1627 (4%)
MAJ: 16403 (39%)

2015 Candidates
LAURA KNIGHTLY (Conservative) Born North Wales. Educated at Sheffield University. Recruitment consultant.
MARK TAMI (Labour) See above.
TUDOR JONES (Liberal Democrat)
BLAIR SMILLIE (UKIP) Managing director.
Comments - 106 Responses on “Alyn & Deeside”
  1. Laura Knightley selected for the Conservatives.

  2. Barry Jones was quite an active MP for this seat I thought. I have seen various clips of him online back in the 90s and he seemed to be quite committed.

  3. Well my grandmother (who died last year) grew up in this area so I will make a prediction for 2015 here:

    Lab 46
    Con 25
    UKIP 10
    LD 9
    PC 6
    Others 4

    I think the 2011 Welsh Assembly results are a good base to adjust from.

  4. ”Well my grandmother (who died last year) grew up in this area so I will make a prediction for 2015 here:”

    Oh no not another of these ‘I knew a man who knew a man who knew a man who knew a girl who lived in this seat’-style authority predictions…

    Anyway A Brown in all seriousness and joking aside your prediction isn’t too bad actually.

  5. Actually sorry A Brown I’ll retract that, I was just referring to some of your more recent predictions where you’ve done that kind of thing. I’m very sorry to hear your grandmother died and I understand you have real knowledge of this seat, so I’ll take back my joke in that last post. I hope you understand I didn’t mean any offence.

  6. I have never been to this constituency. My grandmothers respectively grew up in what today is the Manchester Central constituency, and what I would hazard a guess would now be the Lodz North-East division in the Polish parliament. Other constituencies my grandmothers have lived in, apart from where I now live, are Manchester Withington, Bury S, Hackney N & Stoke Newington, Fylde, Blackley & Broughton and Bethnal Green & Bow. Quite a political mixture there with something for almost everyone. I myself have lived, apart from as a student, only in Richmond Park & East Ham.

  7. That was in bad taste I know Barnaby. I should be more careful sometimes and I would never intend to upset anyone on here.

  8. I am not sure how serious A Brown is with his reasons for knowing certain seats. Perhaps he’s serious with some & not with others. I can say 2 things about this seat. Firstly, Barry Jones, by nature an old-style Labour right-winger, was forced by circumstances to become something of a campaigner when the Shotton steelworks in his constituency were closed at pretty much the same time Corby closed (the seat was E Flint at the time). Secondly, this is apparently the only seat in Wales in which the majority of residents were not born in Wales. The vast majority of the “foreign”-born residents would have been born in England. This may be surprising since this is certainly not the constituency for holiday or retirement homes.

  9. A report featuring Barry Jones can be seen in the clip below-

  10. Apologies if if I’ve offended Barnaby anywhere but to clear things up my grandparents were 21 and 49 respectively when they got married.

  11. A Brown, are there any particular local factors that might be at play in this seat for 2015 that you know of?

  12. A little surprising, Barnaby, that this is the only Welsh seat with a “foreign majority” of voters. If I had to pick a seat for that it would have been Monmouth, given its much documented “English” character.

  13. In Monmouth, it is the local population that saw itself as English, rather than incomers.
    I had friends in Rochdale with strong Welsh accents who were from Monmouthshire who insisted they were English, not Welsh. This may have changed for the local populatiion now.

  14. No A Brown you haven’t offended me at all. I merely thought some of the reasons you’ve given for having knowledge of certain (though not all) seats were a bit silly, in common with some other contributors.
    That’s interesting about Monmouth. I thought it was some English people who claimed Monmouthshire, not the locals claiming they themselves were English. Though it’s still an extremely weak area for Plaid, and hardly anyone speaks Welsh, I don’t think you’d get many people who live there nowadays claiming that they were English (unless they actually are that is). Plaid have won council seats, and even one Assembly seat, in Gwent but the Monmouth constituency is particularly unfertile territory for them.

  15. I’ve travelled through this seat on the way to the north Wales coast from Chester, but I haven’t set foot in it. It is a rather unattractively industrial area.

  16. I’ve probably been through it on a train from Flint to Chester & then London, but have no recollection of it. I was staying with a then friend in a village near Holywell.

  17. Blair Smillie has just been chosen as the UKIP candidate for Alyn & Deeside.

    They’re going for a pretty big campaign here, it’s high up on their list of Welsh seats in which the party could do well. They’ve already started leafleting and have set up a campaign office on Shotton high street.

    As for their candidate, well, Blair Smillie, he is the great grandson of Robert Smillie, the co-founder of the Labour Party.

    His campaign has begin to implode before its begun as revelations have shown he has been a member of the Labour Party, Left Unity and the Respect party since 2012 and George Galloway tweeted about how Blair had begged continuously for a Respect ticket for this very seat – weeks before he ‘defected’ to UKIP.

    I’d expect Labour to win this comfortably – Mark Tami, the constituencies MP is a career politician if ever there was one, but, unfortunately, he can afford to be in such a safe seat.

  18. Iain Dale:

    “Not a safe seat but there are only two realistic outcomes here. A Labour hold or a Tory gain. Yes, you read that right. This is a seat where UKIP are apparently leeching votes off Labour. This could let the Tories in. Mark Tami will know this so expect a big Labour campaign here.”

  19. Another highly questionable prediction from Iain Dale. Are the Tories going to increase their share from 32%?

  20. Total bollocks. The Tories have never won here, not even in the 80s. They haven’t even been close since 1983. Why would they start winning now?

  21. I don’t think the Conservatives are getting closer in this particular seat but they have gained seats they have not previously won. Many in 1970, 1979 and 1983. Weaver Vale in 2010 was notionally Labour in 1992.

  22. There has *arguably* been a gentle long-term drift towards the Conservatives here but it is absolutely absurd to suggest they have any chance of winning in 2015.

  23. Liberal Democrat candidate= Tudor Jones-

    He first stood in Buckingham in 1992, and fought Delyn for his party in both 2005 and 2010. It also says on his Twitter account he is the party’s candidate here for 2015.

  24. ‘It is a rather unattractively industrial area.’

    The towns are fairly drab too

    Places like Connahs Quay and Queensferry sound quite nice to the outsider, but the reality is somewhat different

    I actually spent the first four years of my life in Buckley, which I believe is in this seat

    I always remember places in next door Delyn being considerably nicer so its surprising that Labour seem equally strong in both seats

  25. That wasn’t always true. The Tories had a 6,000 majority in Delyn in 1983 whereas Labour were ahead by 1,350 in Alyn & Deeside.

  26. Iain Dale is making the mistake of basing predictions on what a bloke has told him down the pub, even when it flies in the face of polling evidence and common sense. Seasoned campaigners like Barnaby will tell you that this is a stupid way to make predictions.

    I recall chatting with some old crusty in a Conservative Club ahead of the 2001 election. It was during the Tories’ asylum seeker campaign. The man came from Dover and said the Labour MP was so useless he was known as Prosser The Tosser and would lose in a landslide defeat. Iain Dale is making the mistake of listening to this kind of bollocks, which is always best ignored.

  27. His prediction for Sheffield Central says the Lib Dems might have a chance if Labour put all their resources into fighting Hallam. Even the blokes down the pub aren’t that daft.

  28. Alasdair Ibbotson has been unveiled as the Green Party candidate in this seat.

    I live in this seat and Iain Dale is correct in saying UKIP are certainly doing well here. They polled very strongly in the Euro elections in this constituency but yes, I agree with the other posters that his suggestion of a Tory victory here is obtuse to say the least.

  29. If indeed this area is demographically moving in favour of the Tories, that is interesting & rather counter-intuitive. Almost all of the rest of Clwyd is much stronger for Labour than it was 30-odd years ago, especially the present seats of Delyn, Vale of Clwyd & W Clwyd, which while it is of course Tory with a decent majority is considerably less so than it would have been in, for example, 1979, had it existed then. Of course over the border into England from this seat one is quite quickly within the gravitational pull of Liverpool, whose influence has caused a large number of seats to become more pro-Labour. Maybe some of the Tory folk from Merseyside have migrated, albeit on a small scale, to some of the more villagey parts of this seat.

  30. Barnaby makes a very good point.

    Along with Wrexham, this is arguably the most working class seat in North Wales – and just as we have seen in England in 2010 – less so now because of UKIP – such areas aren’t as reliably Labour as they were 30-odd years ago

    Another point is that Labour held this seat throughout the 1980s primarily because they had the well-known, well-liked and long-established Barry Jones as MP – who would have had a substantial personal vote. My father has many Tory-voting friends who voted for him in 1983

    I wouldn’t havre thought Mark Tami has such a following

  31. Well if we take East Flint as this seat’s predecessor the seat has never been lost by Labour since it was formed in 1950.

  32. ‘Well if we take East Flint as this seat’s predecessor the seat has never been lost by Labour since it was formed in 1950.’

    Sure – but Labour were far stronger over the 13 years they were in Opposition ftrom 1951-64 than the 18 years between 1979-97 – so you’d expect them to prevail

    I’d actually say the Tories did very well here in 2010 – given the area looks and feels far more like Merseyside than North Wales

  33. Many electors in this seat will travel to work in England.
    Many electors in this seat will listen to the English (North west of England) TV news channels.
    Perhaps this means that Plaid Cymru never score many votes here, and tend to lose their deposit.

  34. Plaid Cymru have never saved their deposit in Alyn and Deeside, even in recent years-2010 was their best ever performance in this constituency although it still was only 3.9%. They might be able to get their deposit back this time, however…

  35. Electors in this seat are able to see differences between the NHS England and NHS Wales. They can see any difference between a Labour led Welsh Government and a Coalition led Westminster administration. They may prefer to go to an NHS England Hospital when they need urgent treatment.

  36. Labour Hold. 5,000 majority.

  37. I lived in Connah’s Quay for several years. I think that Labour will win this seat and also Delyn, without too much shift in percentages from the last GE.

  38. Tim, How do you define “working class”?

    Do you mean in the sense of that old sketch with Basil Fawlty and the Two Ronnies?

  39. UKIP seems to be hitting this seat very hard – it must be a ‘target’ of theirs as I’ve never seen them do direct mail before in a meaningful way. Whether it will have any bearing on the result remains to be seen, but if they can start poaching traditional Labour voters as well as their usual disillusioned Tories it could get interesting. Could even squeeze the Tories into second.

  40. This isn’t actually a designated target seat for UKIP, although they did poll very well here in the European elections.

    However, the neighbouring constituency of Delyn has been chosen as one of the parties target seats and is privy to extra funding from the central party.

  41. I lived in this constituency up until 2 years ago, and my money is on the Monkey with the red rosette.
    While it is very working class, it is the sort of place that people still believe in unions and have a them and us mentality. While it would be an ideal place for UKIP, with its huge number of immigrants (all white east Europeans as well as a huge traveller community), I don’t think there is enough ability in the local population to be able to put an x on anything but the Labour box (Due mostly to the grandfather syndrome)

    Interestingly though, it was a base for BNP and EDL in the North West until recently, but I doubt that there are enough of them in the area who know how to use a polling booth to make a difference.

    This will be a very interesting seat to watch for its effect on Welsh politics in general, and on Mark Tami’s career prospects in the long term.

  42. Ukip may come very close to winning here.

  43. Can see UKIP getting probably there best result in Wales here, and indeed doing pretty well, but at a 20% sort of level of support or even a tiny bit above that at a push ; but I simply don’t think it’s realistic to see a win.

    Labour by about 4,000 from the Tories, but with UKIP not that far behind in 3rd place is my prediction.

  44. I have lived here for 16 years. This is the first election to actually see Mark Tami out on the hustings. He must be worried! With only 3 seats left in Wales, Labour could be kicked out of all 3 nations excepting England. Personally, I have never voted Labour and the one time I considered it in 2011, I checked up on Marks voting in parliament (public access website for parliament). Surprisingly, the 3 times he voted against the government on minor bills, resulted in party promotions shortly after and paid trips to the USA as part of trade delegations. And yet, we still do not have a 4 lane high street in Connahs Quay to alleviate the traffic from our increasing population (and taxes) and our extra bridge over the Dee is still just a ramp on the north bank, after 5 years of waiting.

    In summary, sadly the electorate in Alyn & Deeside appear to be blind to the facts, and so I fear no change, again.

  45. Many working people in this constituency will be in good jobs in vehicle manufacture, aerospace, manufacturing. etc. in the big Deeside Industrial estates, and over the border into England.

    This seat is NOW a battlefield seat. UKIP are doing extremely well here today.

  46. On May the eighth this seat may become a three way marginal. UKIP are playing to win here.

    Labour may have to draft in volunteers from Delyn to help.

  47. I see that this has become the latest seat page to suffer from a deluge of bullshit, some of which appears to have been produced after the consumption of mind-altering substances (Labour with only three seats in Wales? What the Christ?).

  48. Alyn and Deeside is not such a walk in the park for Labour for two reasons…

    – There has been some demographic changes, such as very large new 4 bed housing developments at the top end of Connah’s Quay.

    – This is one of the few areas where UKIP seems to be partially successful in attacking the working class Labour vote.

    Historically, Alyn and Deeside has been more staunchly Labour than neighbouring Delyn, but in Delyn I think that David Hanson is a more popular local MP than Mark Tami….this is why I predict a very narrow win for Labour and certainly nowhere near 5000.

  49. Sean C – read your post; are you.getting Labour MP Mark Tami up with a Lib Dem MP somewhere. None of your post makes any sense at all.

  50. Labour’s best price across a range of bookmakers: 1/25

    UKIP is available at 40/1.

    I’m going to guess that nobody who claims to think UKIP will win is actually going to waste their hard-earned cash on it.

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