2015 Result:
Conservative: 4123 (11%)
Labour: 3615 (9.7%)
Lib Dem: 13414 (35.9%)
Plaid Cymru: 10347 (27.7%)
Green: 2088 (5.6%)
UKIP: 3829 (10.2%)
MAJORITY: 3067 (8.2%)

Category: Marginal Liberal Democrat seat

Geography: Wales, Dyfed. The whole of the Ceredigion council area.

Main population centres: Aberaeron, Aberarth, Aberporth, Aberystwyth, Borth, Cardigan, Lampeter, Llanarth, Llanddewi Brefi, Llandysul, Llanilar, Llanrhystud, New Quay, Penparcau, Tregaron.

Profile: Ceredigion is a large rural seat in the west of Wales. It is mostly uninhabited moorland and mountains with the population concentrated in the strip along the Cardigan bay coast and the towns of the Teifi valley. Tourism and hill farming are important to the local economy and there are (someone incongrously for such a remote and rural area) two universities, Aberystwyth University and the University of Lampeter. There are a high proportion of Welsh speakers here, particularly outside the two university towns.

Politics: Ceredigion has a long history of Liberal representation, though the main challengers to the Liberals have varied through the years. In the immediate post-war period Labour had a strong prescence here (indeed, it was an area where the Conservatives stood down their candidates to help the Liberals keep Labour out) and it was held by Labour rom 1966 to 1974. The seat was a surprise win for Cynog Dafis in 1992 as a joint Plaid Cymru-Green candidate, winning the seat from fourth place at the previous election. The Liberal Democrats regained the seat in 2005, built up a substantial majority in 2010 and clung on in 2015, though Plaid remain the main challengers here.

Current MP
MARK WILLIAMS (Liberal Democrat) Born 1966, Hertfordshire. Educated at Richard Hale Secondary and University of Wales. Former deputy headteacher. Contested Ceredigion 2000 by-election. First elected as MP for Ceredigion in 2005.
Past Results
Con: 4421 (12%)
Lab: 2210 (6%)
LDem: 19139 (50%)
PC: 10815 (28%)
Oth: 1673 (4%)
MAJ: 8324 (22%)
Con: 4455 (12%)
Lab: 4337 (12%)
LDem: 13130 (37%)
PC: 12911 (36%)
Oth: 1114 (3%)
MAJ: 219 (1%)
Con: 6730 (19%)
Lab: 5338 (15%)
LDem: 9297 (27%)
PC: 13241 (38%)
MAJ: 3944 (11%)
Con: 5983 (15%)
Lab: 9767 (24%)
LDem: 6616 (16%)
PC: 16728 (42%)
Oth: 1092 (3%)
MAJ: 6961 (17%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
HENRIETTA HENSHER (Conservative) Born 1976. Educated at Stowe School and Royal Agricultural College. Cakemaker. Contested Carmarthen East and Dinefwr 2007, 2011.
HUW THOMAS (Labour) Educated at Penweddig Comprehensive. Project manager. Cardiff councillor since 2012.
MARK WILLIAMS (Liberal Democrat) See above.
GETHIN JAMES (UKIP) Ceredigion councillor, originally elected as an Independent.
MIKE PARKER (Plaid) Born 1967, Birmingham. Travel writer and television presenter.
Comments - 394 Responses on “Ceredigion”
  1. last result from Ceredigion is now in. Wyn Thomas elected in llandyfriog ward unopposed. Plaid have 20 out of 42 seats our best ever performance in Ceredigion in local elections. Given that Plaid run the council, the Lib Dem ability at negative campaigning and a “tory surge” which if real could have boosted the independents its reasonable to call this a strong performance.

    Mr Pitt I missed the lib dem gain. A creditable result given the lib dem calamity in Wales and elsewhere.

    I return to the question I asked before. Will brexit supporting Tories who back williams tactically continue to do so?

  2. I would argue that brexit supporting Tories are more likely to vote tactically for Williams partly to defeat Plaid and their leaders far left policies and her support for Welsh Independence.

    I also think Mark will get a lot tactical Conservative votes due to their candidate who’ll be listed at the top of the ballot paper lives in Westminster.


  3. I can’t see any reason why Brexit-Tories would vote tactically for the ultra-remain Lib Dems now. In the coalition years, yes, now it seems pointless; they may as well actually vote for their own party.

  4. The only reason Brexit-Tories would vote tactically would be to stop Plaid and their slow left wing march towards independence.

    The Conservative vote here will go up, possibly touching 20%.
    Labour as others have said might struggle to save their deposit here.
    In 2005 Labour and the Conservatives got 24% of the vote between them I think their combined figure will be similar this time.

    I’m not saying that this is a nailed on Lib Dem win, but I would give them the upper hand here.

    Plaid are struggling, the last two Welsh opinion polls have put them on 13% and 11% (they won 12.1% in 2015) and nationally they’ve been flatlining for years.

  5. It’s worth remembering that Plaid went from 4th in 1987 to 1st in 1992 – so this seat does have a history of volatility – but demographically it’s one of the most middle class seats in Wales, and the sort of seat in which the Lib Dems should do well in, so I’d expect this to be one of their more comfortable holds

  6. I am curious about this seat because of the prospect of a tactical unwind and the lack of lead up time to promote williams..although as incumbant is well known. Williams is favourite but it will be a close race.

  7. Given the votes in 2005, 2010 and 2015 are all so similar for the Tories, is there much evidence that there was much tactical voting by the Tories in the first place?

  8. yes 2005 and subsequent elections Tory vote is 2000 votes less than 2001. There have been significant demographic changes which should favour the tories but are perhapps boosting ukip.

  9. There probably is some tactical in favour of the LDs from people wanting to keep Plaid out. But is the populated part of this seat not also home to the Welsh speaking public sector elite, who are generally pretty anti-Tory. And voted Remain?

  10. Do some of you who live in the constituency, believe this will have an effect on Mr. Williams at all http://www.abertimes.co.uk/20000-fine-lib-dems-election-spending-records/

  11. I thought this news broke months ago. I doubt it will have any effect now. I was in north Ceredigion today. Far fewer posters than 2015 except around the student areas.

  12. That story is old and if you read it apportions no blame to either the candidate or his agent.

    I have no doubt Plaid will spin that the election was unfair and the Lib Dems are a London based party with English money etc.

    After Plaid lost this seat in 2005 Plaid alleged that the victory was in part due to the infamous Michael Brown donation (which it wasn’t).

    Most people will know that Michael Brown gave a seven figure donation to the Lib Dems quite late on in 2005 when it was too late to spend on staff or direct mail so the Lib Dems bought lots of advertising space on billboards – and you won’t find many (if any) of them in Ceredigion!

  13. This seat looks very marginal between the LIbDems and Plaid. However, this seat appears almost imporssible to predict without local knowledge on the ground.

    Deos anybody have anything to report from this constituency? .

  14. Plaid are crashing in the polls (not that the LDs are doing tremendously in Wales, either), so unless LD voters evacuate to Labour and the Tories en masse (and there’s no reason to think they will in this seat), it’ll almost certainly be an LD hold.

  15. I think the fact that Leanne Wood has yet to visit the seat quite telling that Plaid themselves don’t think they can win it this time.

  16. The top two parties here were on 5% and 8% in the last Welsh poll. But little chance of the Cons jumping into contention as some forecasts have suggested, given the good Remain vote and how distant they were in 2015.

  17. The drift from Plaid is the group of voters who have been attracted by the “left of labour” approach. they are going back to Labour.. Ceredigion and Ynys mon are different and more traditional plaid.. These seats require a high calibre candidate rooted in the constituency. Ben lake is an outstanding candidate Williams remains favourite but it will be closer than last time.

  18. The Plaid vote can’t really go much lower than it already has in this seat.

  19. I expect it to be up 500-1000 depending on turnout. It will then depend on whats happens to the 2000 tories who vote tactically for williams. Williams has had to apologise for a facebook advert that lies about Plaid and brexit. Has yet to do so regarding his leaflets that repeat the same claims.

  20. I saw that story.

    I also saw your comments on the Llanelli thread where you said “Plaid’s position on Brexit is to accept the result”

    I also heard Leanne Wood in the debates say “We’ve moved on” regarding Brexit.

    So I’m not sure it’s totally unfair to say that Plaid aren’t fighting Brexit 😉

  21. In fact, “completely fair” might be more accurate.

  22. Whoops!
    If I could amend the above post I would.

  23. I wonder if Tories or Labour might win this on a low vote share.

    It’s not hard to see nobody getting much over 25%, nd there are UKIP and Greens to squeeze as well as the fading poll numbers for LDs and PC.

  24. BT Says:

    Not a chance. PC and LD will have been “squeezing” them for weeks. I worked in the constituency for a while and my Boss (very Tory) always voted Lib Dem to keep PC out.

  25. I can see the Conservative vote going up a touch (it would go up further if they had a local candidate) and Labour at best staying where it is.

    The UKIP vote here will utterly collapse. This doesn’t mean that the UKIP vote will directly to Plaid or the LDs. UKIPs 2015 voters will go towards Labour and the Tories and equally PC and LDs will pick up some support through the squeeze.

    I can see this edging towards becoming more of a three/four way marginal, but the top two parties will still be PC and LD.

    Over on Vote UK Forum someone has pointed out that they’ve only had one paid posted letter from the Conservatives, 2 leaflets from Labour and a bucket load from Plaid and the Lib Dems.

    Plaid’s vote is fairly stubborn here. Whilst it’s fallen at every election since the by-election, they polled 10,000 votes here in both 2010 and 2015 I’m not sure if it will go any lower.

    And whilst the Lib Dems may have been floundering somewhat at a UK/Wales level their MP here has still been doing the work and involving himself in local communities.

    It’s also worth pointing out to those not in Wales that Plaid haven’t had a great campaign nationally. There have been four Welsh specific polls since the election was called and Plaid’s vote share has been recorded as 13%, 11%, 9% and 8%.

    In 2010 and 2015 this place was a hive of activity for Plaid with their MPs and AMs visiting every weekend. Leanne Wood turned up yesterday (en route to Ynys Mon) for the first time – and remember the election was called seven weeks ago.

  26. I think Plaid Cymru have gained this? Or am I wrong?

  27. They have. Literally the ONLY seat every single forecaster thought would go Lib Dem.

  28. It’s been a strange night for the Lib Dems…

  29. Yeah. Worth noting that YouGov got a lot of it almost dead right. Impressive.

  30. Absolutely. They must have learned lessons in their methodology from last time…

  31. Yeah. Really. And you can hardly fault them for not getting this seat, literally the only one of its kind.

  32. Yes

  33. I didn’t see the tactical voting unwinding that much. Quite a surprise.

  34. Think Williams was helped last time by the choice of Plaid Cymru candidate. Maybe a combination this time of tactical realignment and more effective candidate made all the difference?

  35. Plopwellian Tory,

    Since the Liberal party was formed in the 1860’s to be exact.

  36. Plaid win on less than 30% of the vote.
    Plaid’s raw vote figure is up less than a thousand (and remember the turnout is up) – see what I mean when I referred to the Plaid vote as”stubborn?”

    Not that this should take away Plaid’s good fortune here. This seat was gained by 103 votes and Arfon held by 92. Just imagine the fall out if Plaid had fallen to two seats.

  37. Yeah but for once we won by small margins rather than lost by small margins..:) Ben lake will be a very good MP……

  38. Is Ben Lake the youngest of the 2017 intake of MPs? He won’t be the baby of the house because Mhairi Black was re-elected.

  39. Other than this seat and Brecon and Radnorshire, the Lib Dems are in real DEEP TOILET in Wales.

  40. Plaid Cymru sneaked in here luckily but uncomfortably.

    This was their worst result in vote share terms across Wales since 1997, and yet their best seat performance since 2001 – but only just. Majorities of 92 in Arfon and 104 in Ceredigion seperate Plaid Cymru from remaining in a fairly OK position historically where constituency representation is concerned to having their worst performance since 1983.

    It must be a big concern for the party to be losing so much ground despite a huge amount of TV representation where the other Welsh parties are left with no representation in UK-wide debates – perhaps that has saved them from electoral oblivion.

  41. To explain my point before people turn on me, it is strictly unfair for Leanne Wood or Nicola Sturgeon to have the same amount of air time in a televised debate as a UK-wide leader when their concerns are purely rooted in Wales and Scotland, and undermining the entire process of having a government at Westminster represent Wales and Scotland, whilst UK-wide party leaders such as Jeremy Corbyn are expected to cover a much broader range of topics relevent to the United Kingdom and its governance in its entirety as opposed to Wales/Scotland-only issues on the same amount of air-time.

    Welsh debates for Welsh parties and UK debates for UK parties. Pure and simple.

  42. Ex-MP and recent AM Simon Thomas was found guilty of possessing CSE images, including 77 of the most serious including children as young as six.

    He received a sentence of 6 months, but it was suspended.

    I had heard people referring the sentence to the Unduly Lenient scheme, but from memory this offence isn’t covered.

  43. The notoriously unreliable electoral calculus website has this down as a Tory gain, which would be a historical event as the Tories have never won here since 1874

    Do they know something we don’t

  44. Lol.
    I remain deeply suspicious of electoral calculus. I am not really sure what is the point of it.

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