Carmarthen East & Dinefwr

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8336 (21.2%)
Labour: 9541 (24.2%)
Lib Dem: 928 (2.4%)
Plaid Cymru: 15140 (38.4%)
Green: 1091 (2.8%)
UKIP: 4363 (11.1%)
MAJORITY: 5599 (14.2%)

Category: Semi-marginal Plaid Cymru seat

Geography: Wales.

Main population centres:



Current MP
JONATHAN EDWARDS (Plaid Cymru) Born 1976, Capel Hendre. First elected as MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 8506 (22%)
Lab: 10065 (26%)
LDem: 4609 (12%)
PC: 13546 (36%)
Oth: 1285 (3%)
MAJ: 3481 (9%)
Con: 5235 (14%)
Lab: 10843 (28%)
LDem: 3719 (10%)
PC: 17561 (46%)
Oth: 933 (2%)
MAJ: 6718 (18%)
Con: 4912 (13%)
Lab: 13540 (36%)
LDem: 2815 (7%)
PC: 16130 (42%)
Oth: 656 (2%)
MAJ: 2590 (7%)
Con: 5022 (12%)
Lab: 17907 (43%)
LDem: 3150 (8%)
PC: 14457 (35%)
Oth: 1196 (3%)
MAJ: 3450 (8%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
MATTHEW PAUL (Conservative)
CALUM HIGGINS (Labour) Trainee barrister. Carmarthenshire councillor since 2012.
SARA LLOYD-WILLIAMS (Liberal Democrat)
BEN RICE (Green)
Comments - 51 Responses on “Carmarthen East & Dinefwr”
  1. In 1979 there were some shock Conservative gains in rural Wales – Anglesey, Brecon and Montgomery.

    And IIRC an enormous increase in the Conservative vote in Carmarthen constituency.

    How about this to be a shock Conservative gain in 2020?

  2. Do we have the Welsh speaking percentages per constituency for 2011?

  3. Carmarthen East has one of the highest percentages of Welsh Speakers, although ironically the areas with the highest amount of Welsh speakers: The Gwendraeth and Ammanford, have a traditional labour base, and have returned mostly Labour councillors.
    The language wont be an issue if Labour pick a strong Welsh speaker for their next candidate, and all of their Councillors in Carms east are.
    Plaid are suffering a squeeze nationally, and a well run Labour campaign with a local candidate would make this seat one to watch in 2015.

  4. I can’t see Plaid losing here, they may even increase their share a bit.

  5. This is a seat where you could take less than a third of the vote and still win, they can be fairly interesting (well what we consider to be interesting) and don’t necessarily correspond to the overall picture (or what’s happening in neighbouring constituencies).

    I can’t see Plaid losing with an incumbent, but worth mentioning until Labour and Plaid swapped seats in 2001, this was the one Welsh majority seat that didn’t have a Plaid MP (there are now two Ceredigion and Ynys Mons), Interesting that both the Labour vote holding up better than nationally (and a surprising Conservative swing in 2010 against a more modest one nationally). Still if you’re looking for a serious chance of a battle ground, Arfon and Ynys Mons are probably a better bet.

  6. I agree…the halfing of the PC majority will have been down to the loss of their incumbant….and the new MP will have incumbancy in 2015.

  7. Dalek – for all five majority Welsh speaking seats will you be predicting holds or would you not discount possible changes in Arfon/Ynys Mons?

  8. Arfon and Yns Mons are more likely than the others to change hands but should be holds to due to incumbancy. Of these to the most likely to fall though would be Afron.

  9. Does anyone have the 1997 notionals for this seat?

    It seems quite a poor result for Labour if their majority only went up a few percentage points.

  10. I don’t have them to hand as I’m on a plane but the boundary changes did help Labour….only marginally though.

  11. My 1997 notionals booklet is somewhere or other…

  12. I got it via a rather convoluted method of accessing the old bbc webpages covering the ’97 election.

    Lab 18,305 41.51%
    PC 12,815 29.06%
    Con 8,953 20.3%
    LibDem 4,023 9.12%

    Notional Majority 5,490 12.45%

    It seems that Labour edged up a smidgen in 1997, but a lot of the cons vote went to plaid to close the gap.

  13. A closer look at the result here in October 1974-
    Evans (Plaid Cymru)- 23, 325 (45.11%, +10.83%)
    G Jones (Labour)- 19, 685 (38.07%, +3.78%)
    Owen-Jones (Liberal)- 5, 393 (10.43%, -8.94%)
    Hayward (Conservative)- 2, 962 (5.73%, -6.33%)
    EB Jones (British Candidate)- 342 (0.66%, N/A)

    Plaid Cymru gain.
    Majority- 3, 640 (7.04%)
    Swing- +3.525% From Lab to PC.

  14. Was that Rob Hayward future MP for Kingswood? (and fall guy in the Christchurch by-election after that.)

  15. Yes it was Barnaby.

  16. Jo-Ann Nadler was in charge of the Tory campaign in the Christchurch by-election, and it takes up a whole chapter of her otherwise pretty boring memoir.

    The book implies Hayward was embroiled in some kind of gay sex scandal in the middle of the campaign, which was thought to have severely damaged the Tory vote in such an elderly and genteel seat, though the scandal was so forgettable I can’t remember the details.

    It’s certainly true that both the scandal and the bad result seem to have ended Hayward’s chances of getting another seat.

  17. Just asked Rob about it, he says there wasn’t any scandal, but there was a bit of an undercurrent, and one snide comment in a press conference towards the end of the campaign.

    Rob doesn’t think it had any affect at all on normal voters or on how badly the Conservatives did, but there was a bit of unease from some within the local Conservative party itself.

  18. Fair enough. I do remember Nadler made quite a bit of it in her book, but as she had few career achievements to talk about and had a whole book to fill, she probably bigged up some things which were small and of little importance.

  19. Actually Rob was complementary about Jo-Ann Nadler’s account! Perhaps you just interpreted it differently.

  20. Or I am misremembering. I read the book years ago and it is packed away as a result of our house move so I can’t check. In retrospect my view may have been coloured by the impression I formed of Ms Nadler when she was a candidate in the Beckenham open primary in 2009, I had expected her to come across much better than she did as a result of her minor celebrity status, which seems to have disappeared now.

    If Mr Hayward feels my comments have been unfair to him, feel free to edit them. I do recall that he is a skilled psephologist which I guess is why you seem to know him well.

  21. I remember the Christchirch by-election well.

    I had just finished my A-levels about a month prior to it, and after what happened at Newbury a couple of months earlier, i followed it quite intently and i don’t remember Rob Hayward even mentioning the fact he was gay.

    It wasn’t commonly known and it was certainly news to me when a couple of years later I read he was a member of Stonewall

  22. A closer look at the result here in 1979-
    RG Thomas (Labour)- 18, 667 (35.84%, -2.23%)
    Evans (Plaid Cymru)- 16, 689 (32.04%, -13.07%)
    NM Thomas (Conservative)- 12, 272 (23.56%, +17.83%)
    RCC Thomas (Liberal)- 4, 186 (8.04%, -2.39%)
    Grice (National Front)- 149 (0.29%, N/A)
    Clarke (Keep Britain United Party)- 126 (0.24%, N/A)

    Majority- 1, 978 (3.80%)
    Swing- +5.42% From PC to Lab.

  23. Gwynfor Evans’ electoral record in Carmarthen-
    1. 1964- 5, 495 (11.66%, +6.45%)
    2. 1966- 7, 416 (16.13%, +4.47%)
    3. 1966 by-election- 16, 179 (38.98%, +22.85%, 2, 436 (5.87%) majority)
    4. 1970- 14, 812 (30.10%, +13.97%, -8.88%)
    5. February 1974- 17, 162 (34.28%, +4.18%)
    6. October 1974- 23, 325 (45.11%, +10.83%, 3, 640 (7.04%) majority)
    7. 1979- 16, 689 (32.04%, -13.07%)
    8. 1983- 14, 099 (27.05%, – 4.99%)

  24. Strange he suffered such a reverse in 1979 when he was leader and contrary to the result in Arfon,
    when Labour were not having a good night in Wales – quite differnet from Scotland where they voted to prevent the Tories getting in. (as in 2010).

  25. Evans going back quickly here makes me think that a lot of his vote was enlarged by the by election- I think that given the fact that the Tories did very well in Wales in 1979, his vote was bound to suffer, but yes I agree for Labour not to have fallen by more is unusual.

  26. I wonder if Edwards will be able to up his vote share next time and establish his own incumbency factor in this seat? It will be interesting to see if Plaid manages to pick up any Tory or Lib Dem votes here, likewise with Labour, so it should make for an intriguing result.

  27. Who is Jo-Ann Nadler?

  28. Westminster Tory councillor & occasional broadcaster. It was once said of her that she’s “too nice to be a Tory”, but I heard her recently & she sounded fairly typical of a modern Tory.

  29. Prediction for 2015-
    Edwards (Plaid Cymru)- 38%
    Labour- 31%
    Conservative- 17%
    UKIP- 8%
    Liberal Democrats- 6%

  30. PC HOLD MAJ : 8%
    PC 38
    LAB 30
    CON 18
    LD 8
    UKIP 6

  31. prediction for 2015-

    PC- 36%
    lab- 28%
    con- 24%
    Lib- 7%
    UKIP- 5%

  32. I wonder if long term this is one to watch for the tories – the gap between labour and the tories is miles lower in 2010 than 1992


  33. Big difference between electionforecast and Ladbrokes here.

    The Hanretty model gives Labour a 54% chance of a gain, but the odds have them at 3/1

  34. Labour Gain. 1,500 majority.

  35. l don’t agree with that, though l’d like to.

  36. It is probably Plaid Cymru’s best hopes of a hold. I have thought this would go Labour for all of the last 5 years, so maybe I have just gotten into that expectation.
    It will be closer than I expected a few years ago though.

  37. well obviously they’ll be fine in dwyfor meirionydd, as you’ve already predicted.

  38. Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I meant of the marginals. Of course they’ll be fine in Merionethshire.

  39. Where did this “Ynys Mons” thing come from? It’s Ynys Môn. No S, and a circumflex on the O.

    Gwynfor Evans’ seat was actually quite different to this one, and included a large area to the west where Plaid Cymru have done rather well. If this seat matched the borders of Gwynfor Evans’ seat it would be more strongly Plaid Cymru. That said, Jonathan Evans should have no trouble holding this.

  40. Norma Woodward UKIP is considering sueing her party.

    See BBC teletext Local News. Wales for details.

  41. Any idea what is happening in this seat?

    I drove through yesterday and saw Plaid posters and placards all the way from Newcastle Emlyn to Ammnford.

    Doesn’t prove anything of course, but it’s visible at least.

  42. Brenig, I know PC are confident here – as they should be I suppose – and Labour’s campaign hasn’t been that lively and they don’t seem to be making much of a noise here (different to Arfon, for example). Saying that, I wouldn’t hazard a guess at the actual result other than that they’ll win, though I doubt the majority will be as high as in 2005.

  43. It’s difficult to tell, and in this election who knows.

    On the one hand there is obvious Labour resurgence against the Tories.
    On the other, Jonathan Edwards for Plaid has personal incumbency to back him up.

  44. Definite Plaid hold with maybe an increased majority.

  45. You were right Penyfro, the MP increased his majority by nearly 1600 votes.

  46. As a Leave seat and Labour’s crash in the polls could this be a Con gain in June?

  47. Rosetteholder. It COULD be with the perfect candidate and resources just looking at the numbers. Plaid are not doing too well.

  48. Sky did a brief vox pop in this seat.

    They mentioned the slight chances of a Tory gain here, but seemed to suggest Plaid should hold.

  49. Adam Price is the new leader of Plaid Cymru.

    Er… that’s it. That’s all the insight I have into this one.

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