Cardiff South & Penarth

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12513 (26.8%)
Labour: 19966 (42.8%)
Lib Dem: 2318 (5%)
Plaid Cymru: 3433 (7.4%)
Green: 1746 (3.7%)
UKIP: 6423 (13.8%)
TUSC: 258 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 7453 (16%)

Category: Safe Labour seat

Geography: Wales, South Glamorgan. Part of the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan council areas.

Main population centres: Cardiff, Penarth, Sully.

Profile: Stretches from the eastern suburbs of Cardiff, through the old docklands and the redeveloped Cardiff Bay and southwards to take in the seaside town of Penarth. The three parts of the seat have very different characteristics, at the eastern end are large residential suburbs and council estates like Llanrumney. Moving southwards the seat takes in the traditional industrial terraces of Splott and the original inner city residential areas with their mixed ethnic communities, now experiencing some gentrification following the massive redevelopment of the docklands following the construction of the Cardiff Bay Barrage in the 1990s, raising a freshwater lake around the former docks. To the south of Cardiff itself is the Victorian seaside town of Penarth. Like most nineteenth century seaside towns the tourism industry declined with the coming of cheap overseas package holidays, and Penarth has become a mixture of a retirement location and an affluent base for Cardiff commuters. The seat includes the Welsh Assembly buildings.

Politics: While there is Tory support in the southern part of the seat, overall this is a safe Labour constituency that has been represented by several senior Labour figures. First created in 1983 out of the old Cardiff South East seat, and initially represented by the former Labour Prime Minister Jim Callaghan. He was succeeded by Alun Michael, who would go on to become Secretary of State for Wales and First Secretary of Wales from 1999 to 2000. Michael returned to the government as a Minister of State after his resignation as First Secretary, and stood down as an MP in 2012 to become a Police Commissioner. Labour easily held the subsequent by-election.

By-Election: There was a by-election in this seat in LAB HOLD. For full details see here.

Current MP
STEPHEN DOUGHTY (Labour) Born 1980, Llandaff. Educated at Llantwit Major Comprehensive School and Oxford University. Former head of Oxfam Cymru. First elected as MP for Cardiff South and Penarth in 2012 by-election.
Past Results
Con: 12553 (28%)
Lab: 17262 (39%)
LDem: 9875 (22%)
PC: 1851 (4%)
Oth: 2828 (6%)
MAJ: 4709 (11%)
Con: 8210 (22%)
Lab: 17447 (47%)
LDem: 7529 (20%)
PC: 2023 (5%)
Oth: 1703 (5%)
MAJ: 9237 (25%)
Con: 7807 (22%)
Lab: 20094 (56%)
LDem: 4572 (13%)
PC: 1983 (6%)
Oth: 1295 (4%)
MAJ: 12287 (34%)
Con: 8766 (21%)
Lab: 22647 (53%)
LDem: 3964 (9%)
PC: 1356 (3%)
Oth: 5667 (13%)
MAJ: 13881 (33%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
EMMA WARMAN (Conservative)
STEPHEN DOUGHTY (Labour) See above.
NIGEL HOWELLS (Liberal Democrat) Cardiff councillor.
JOHN REES-EVANS (UKIP) Born 1978, Hampshire. Educated at Jeppe Boys High. Businessman and former serviceman.
Comments - 30 Responses on “Cardiff South & Penarth”
  1. Am I right in think the MP here stands for the Co-Operative Party as well as Labour?

    Perhaps Anthony might amend the biographies of the MPs concerned to show if they are Labour and Co-operative, rather than just Labour. This has not recently been very important, but it may be significant at the next General Election.

  2. Significant only in terms of losing the said MP a lot of constituency funding.

    Otherwise it’s a complete non-issue.

  3. So significant.

    There is a lot of water to go under the bridge yet about the Co-operative movement. Ongoing and possible investigations need to be taken into account when discussing this.

  4. The co-operative movement and the co-operative bank are not in any way the same thing.

    I agree the collapse of the bank may be very damaging to Labour financially. However there isn’t really any indication that the co-operative party has done anything wrong.

  5. They are seen as two sides of the same coin to be honest. – and quite rightfully given how the chap arrested for drug offences was there purely because of political links.

  6. “They are seen as two sides of the same coin to be honest”

    By partisan Tories who are quite interested in politics, yes of course they are. But these days most of the general public don’t even know what the co-operative movement is and what their connections with Labour are. The electoral impact of this, aside from limiting Labour’s cash reserves, will be minimal.

  7. Any Tory or LibDem candidates who don’t bring up the Co-op as an issue if they are running against a seated (or prospective) CLP candidate doesn’t deserve to get elected..

    Its not exactly a trivial issue when Ed Balls’ office was gifted 50,000 pounds through the movement…

    What is the difference between Unite giving to Labour, Co-op giving to CLP candidates or a casino owner backing a Tory? All’s fair in love and war when pointing out to voters who is paying the piper..

  8. Yes, it is a trivial issue. We never made much headway with Asil Nadir, and off-hand I can’t even remember what the name of the fraudster who bunged the Lib Dems a million was. If those donation scandals didn’t cut through to the public, a donation that’s based upon a financial relationship that’s eight decades old certainly won’t.

  9. ‘We never made much headway with Asil Nadir, and off-hand I can’t even remember what the name of the fraudster who bunged the Lib Dems a million was’

    Both matters were very small beer – you could hardly blame either the Tories or the Lib Dems for the actions of Mr Nazir and Mr Brown respectively

    Likewise you can hardly hound Labour for the wrong-doings of Mr Flowers – although that didn’t stop Mr Cameron trying

  10. Completely agree with Tim.

    The best comment I’ve heard about the Flowers scandal is that it is a welcome reminder of the good old days when the News of the World would be full of juicy scandal about kinky vicars. These days the papers are 99% focused on celebs.

    If I were a co-op customer I would be mighty pissed that my savings were funding rent boys and drugs for their executives, and used as a limitless campaign pot by the Labour party. However none of this is really Labour’s fault. If the co-op choose to squander money on donations to Labour then that is their business.

  11. I know a former customer of the Co-op who changed banks because he was so angered by the Co-op writing off the £17m which Sheffield Wednesday owed it.

    The former customer is a Sheffield Utd supporter.

  12. I can well believe it. There are few cities so fiercely divided football-wise as Sheffield is.

  13. Richard I replied to you on the Lewisham West thread BTW

  14. Rather dismaying result for Labour in Cardiff by-election yesterday;

    Labour Edward Stubbs 706 39.7% -8.2%
    Lib Dems Jamie Matthews 604 34.0% +4.0%
    UKIP Brian Morris 209 11.7% +11.7%
    Independent Elys John 94 5.3% +5.3%
    Conservative Daniel Mason 86 4.8% +0.5%
    TUSC Katrine Williams 80 4.5% +1.5%

  15. What was the 1974-83 makeup of the old Cardiff South East, and what were the wards of this constituency from 1983-97?

  16. Anyone got any ideas on what to expect from Monday’s report on the future of Welsh local government?

  17. Harry Porter. I cannot tell you in detail, ie. ward by ward, about boudary changes but the major change in 1983 was to bring Penarth into the constituency. On the current boudaries, Callaghan might well have lost in 1959.

  18. Penarth was in the constituency in 1959. It was removed in 1974 before being re-added in 1983. The 1959 boundaries were not therefore very different to the current ones although it would have included a part of what is now Cardiff Central

  19. Belated response to Frederic Stansfield’s post 29 Nov ’13.
    Labour Co-op MPs are listed here:-

    h ttp://

    and Candidates for Labour Co-op listed here: –

    h ttp://

  20. This seat has a lot going on without being a seat that is likely to change hands. I visited some friends who live in a block of flats in the Cardiff bay Windsor Quay area and they had received a second leaflet from UKIP that day.
    There was also a contact card on the notice board of the flat for the regional Lib Dem assembly member, apparently every block has one of these in this area, it has been on notice boards for several months.
    Labour who hold the seat had not delivered a single leaflet to the area in the last year. So could be worth watching for the future.

  21. Labour Hold. 7,000 majority. Maybe a slight swing back to the Tories from the by-election.

  22. I am interested in Richard’s comment because traditionally Labour have had a strong organization in Wales generally and in Cardiff specifically.

    Much of this area has changed character consderably with the redevelopment of Cardiff Bay. One might have expected it to be at risk to the Conservatives in a good year for them, but at present this seat has got safer for Labour compared to the eighties or even the sixties.

    One reason is that there is a considerable middle-class Labour vote in Wales from the descendents of coal-mining families who would would rather have been seen dead than not voting Labour.

    Richard is right that this seat could be worth watching for the future, but unless Labour have a disaster in 2020 it could be a long wait.

  23. Movement of much of this Westminster seat into a Cardiff South and East seat, along with the inner Cardiff parts of Cardiff Central, will make a comparatively safe Labout seat out fof what was becoming more marginal. Labour would have to have a big, big disaster to lose the proposed Cardiff South and East.

    However, the cost is that Penarth will be moved into a new Vale of Glamorgan East seat. This is likely to be Conservative.

  24. Cant remember the exact notionals but the Vale of Glamorgan East (couldn’t they have just called it East Glamorgan?) would have been notionally Tory by about 3,000 or so. A key marginal much more vulnerable than the current Vale of Glamorgan.

  25. Rivers10. Yes. I see from Anthony’s figures that Bridgend and Vale of Glamorgan West is also likely to be a Conservative marginal.

    By the way, why do we need such lengthy names? Couldn’t we have one seat called “Barry and Penarth” and another simply called “Bridgend”?

  26. If Labour lose this and Cardif West to the Torries and Centreal to the Lib Dems it be the first time since 1935 Labour wont win a seat in Cardif.

  27. I think someone beat you to it bm111 on one of the other Cardiff threads

  28. FS – or rather the middle class ‘cracach’ here tend to be all very pro the Assembly and the Welsh language.

    They’re a large chunk of the ones voting Labour and Plaid here these days (those in very well paid public sector jobs many of which are either directly or indirectly funded by the Assembly).

    I suspect turnout is in fact low amongst a lot of that newish tranche of Cardiff Bay apartments, ie young professionals, many new or not on the Roll. I can’t even imagine where a polling station would be for a mile around there – I assume they must employ a temporary one if they have one at all.

    I think the Electoral Commission observers gave a few EROs a talking to when they were amazed to discover that one of the reasons turnout was so low in city centres including Manc and Lpool, was that there was no polling station within a 15 minute walking distance of all of those new apartments that sprung up between 2000 – 2010. In fact they only finally gave both one in 2013.

  29. John Rees-Evans, former UKIP candidate here and famous chiefly for alleging that his horse was raped by a gay donkey, is launching the Democrats and Veterans Party.

    UKIP now in full Kilroy mode, it would seem.

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