Gower

2015 Result:
Conservative: 15862 (37.1%)
Labour: 15835 (37%)
Lib Dem: 1552 (3.6%)
Plaid Cymru: 3051 (7.1%)
Green: 1161 (2.7%)
UKIP: 4773 (11.2%)
TUSC: 103 (0.2%)
Loony: 253 (0.6%)
Independent: 168 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 27 (0.1%)

Category: Ultra-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Wales, West Glamorgan. Part of the Swansea council area.

Main population centres: The Mumbles, Port Eynon, Pontarddulais, Clydach, Gorseinon.

Profile: Consists of the Gower peninsula, a tourist area of beaches, campsites and caravan parks, the seaside resort and residential villages of The Mumbles and the more working class and industrial, former mining and tin making towns to the north of Swansea like Pontarddulais and Gorseinon (the birthplace of former Tory leader, Michael Howard).

Politics: Long a Labour-Conservative marginal on paper, Gower remained tantalisingly out of Conservative reach even at their high tide marks of support. The Gower peninsula itself contains much Conservative support, but more industrial towns to the north of Swansea vote Labour and more than balance this out. Gower was held by the Labour party continously for a century between 1910 and 2015 before falling to the Conservatives on the tiniest of margins, the smallest majority of the 2015 election.


Current MP
BYRON DAVIES (Conservative) Born Gower. Educated at Gowerton Boys Grammar School. Former police officer. Contested Gower 2007 Welsh assembly election, member of the Welsh Assembly for South Wales West since 2011. First elected as MP for Gower in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 13333 (32%)
Lab: 16016 (38%)
LDem: 7947 (19%)
PC: 2760 (7%)
Oth: 1615 (4%)
MAJ: 2683 (6%)
2005*
Con: 10083 (25%)
Lab: 16786 (42%)
LDem: 7291 (18%)
PC: 3089 (8%)
Oth: 2293 (6%)
MAJ: 6703 (17%)
2001
Con: 10281 (28%)
Lab: 17676 (47%)
LDem: 4507 (12%)
PC: 3865 (10%)
Oth: 1024 (3%)
MAJ: 7395 (20%)
1997
Con: 10306 (24%)
Lab: 23313 (54%)
LDem: 5624 (13%)
PC: 2226 (5%)
Oth: 1867 (4%)
MAJ: 13007 (30%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
BYRON DAVIES (Conservative) Born Gower. Educated at Gowerton Boys Grammar School. Retired police officer. Contested Gower 2007 Welsh assembly election, member of the Welsh Assembly for South Wales West since 2011.
LIZ EVANS (Labour) Born Hafod. Trade union officer, works for the Land Registry.
MIKE SHEEHAN (Liberal Democrat)
COLIN BECKETT (UKIP) Educated at Oxford Brookes University. Chiropractor and former army officer.
JULIA MARSHALL (Green)
DARREN THOMAS (Plaid)
STEVE SPARKY ROBERTS (Independent) Party organiser.
MARK EVANS (TUSC)
BARON BARNES VON CLAPTRAP (Loony) , real name David Barnes. Retired optometrist.
Links
Comments - 408 Responses on “Gower”
  1. Whether it is meritocratic or not won’t necessarily stop the “deluge”, if you define that as the same level as during the Labour years or higher. We have total control of non-EU migration at the moment yet the numbers remain enormous.

    In any case my point was that the facts make your politicisation of this issue quite unfair. The fact that immigration has increased under the Tories despite all their promises and rhetoric suggests that it’s pretty silly to say that it’s all Labour’s fault and shows us how powerless governments are to reduce immigration these days even when they make doing so a big priority.

  2. HH – the interesting thing re homelessness is that even where EVERY homeless person was offered a bed for the night (Liverpool before Christmas changed the policy to 2C rather than it needing to be freezing), some 28 still refused.

    Obviously they all had their own reasons including PTSD etc, but obeying the no drink or drugs rules was the reason cited by a Cllr.

    Indeed even if they don’t trust ‘authority’ they don’t have to use the council run shelter, as a charity has a ‘no second night’ pledge meaning anyone who is seen on the streets can be reported and offered help.

    Sadly, there were also some fraudsters ie they weren’t homeless but appeared on the streets during the day in the pre-Christmas period in the city centre, due to the numbers f shoppers and those on works’ xmas dos. The interesting thing is that it’s Labour Cllrs in both Lpool and Manc who are telling the people not to give to beggars as some are bogus and that, “most we identified who were physically ‘on the streets’ were neither from the city or in some cases homeless at all.’

    So there’s a mixture of run aways who head to the ‘big city’ or coast as you suggested in your seaside post and sadly a minority who are just begging and “run by gangs” according to the GMP Inspector who lead the investigation including reviewing CCTV footage.

    I’d much rather the media investigated the failings in the DWP and council delays which can lead to eviction and homelessness, than having celebrities pontificating over the issue.

  3. HH – I do need to correct your claim slightly re immigration.

    Net immigration to the UK during 2010 – 2013 was in fact over 100,000 pa lower than throughout the Labour Govt years of 2004 – 2009.

    But I recognise it has soared in the 2014-2016 period.

    https://www.migrationwatch.org/statistics-net-migration

    If only everyone produced the full figures as Migrationwatch do, incidentally. As it’s also very interesting to see how many British people emigrated during the Blair years and how many are now coming back.

  4. I love the way those on the Right still look to blame homlesness on either the homeless themselves or those who try to help them (local councillors, charity workers whatever etc) – read Lancs Observer post

    I fear such uncharitable views are going to become much more common place in Brexit Britain – and in many ways, as with Trump that’s the worst thing about Brexit – the bad guys won

  5. Glad to see you’re all taking the comments policy with the respect and maturuty it deserves…

    “UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.”

  6. /\/\ THIS

  7. Also Conservative Estimate please stop spamming the site: within the space of a few minutes you’ve commented on 4 Welsh pages with notionals from 1992 when you could have easily posted them all on a single page/single post.

  8. ‘Glad to see you’re all taking the comments policy with the respect and maturuty it deserves’

    Grow up FFS and don’t take yourself so seriously

    It’s a political site and by its very nature it will be partisan to a degree – and besides I was only responding to a particularly unpleasant post blaming homelessness on the homeless themselves and those who help them – an extremely partisan view if might say so

  9. Nobody wants to see your partisan arguments on this site Tim, I don’t care what the motivations are or how partisan other people are being.

    Straight out of the comments policy again:
    “If you see a comment from someone else that you think crosses over the line please do NOT respond with equally partisan rebuttals. If it is a new poster then please do welcome them, explain we don’t really do things that way round here, and point them in the direction of this policy. If it is someone who should know better, just ignore them: continuing a partisan argument is just as bad as starting it!”

    This site is for those keen about polling and elections, it’s not about partisan debate: if you want that you’ll need to look elsewhere.

  10. “Terribly sorry. I just like to post them so I have easy access to them on this site. Will refrain!!”

    If you want easy access to them put them on google drive.

  11. NTY UK

    totally agree with you re. Conservative Estimate. This site has become simply become a platform for Conservative Estimate to indulge in Hamlet-style soliloquies. He must contribute at least half the posts. it’s very boring.

  12. Tim Jones – except I was of course quoting Labour Cllrs in Liverpool and Manchester.

    Although I realise Rivers10 may regard them as ‘on the Right’ as you claimed.

  13. Tim J – I suspect you mean Pepp’s post and not mine incidentally as I certainly didn’t claim that or indeed anything – I merely cited the study in Lpool and police investigation in Manc – and didn’t even refer to charity workers.

    I don’t mind you being partisan (re the bad guys and all is woe since the Leave vote) but at least be accurate re who you are accusing in future.

  14. Conservative Estimate please do not arrevate the situation by hurling abuse at people and being incredibly ignorant.

    I’m sorry that you have autism but at the same time you are not alone in having a mental illness: I can’t help you at all in that regard but I would implore you to take everybody’s advice on board (stop spamming pages and if you can try not to patronise people/avoid being unpleasant and partisan).Nobody is forcing you to come on this site or to comment on it the way you do. I’d implore you to seek real life help if that’s what you think you need.

  15. I still cant see exactly what Tim said to Cons estimate to warrant that response, but whenever this site does become partisan it quicky escalates into hurling personal insults at one another – one good reason alone for sticking to the site’s comments policy

  16. With all do respect you’ve said that repeatedly since the end of last year: if anything you’re number of posts have increased since then.

  17. Your*

  18. @Hemming

    ”You should be very grateful that most of society isn’t as uncharitable towards others as you are otherwise your openly gay lifestyle would still be criminalised!”

    I am not uncharitable towards others I am just extremely sceptical of things which might well alleviate the problem in the short term but make the problem worse in the long term. It’s a similar story with charities that go to the developing world and say build a school or vaccinate children without training local people up or leaving behind the necessary tools for them to be able to help themselves or giving money directly to the homeless probably isn’t an overall constructive way to help. As for homosexuality it’s hardly comparable to charity as I believe you yourself have said on here it was an issue that most people never really cared all that passionately about.

    ”poor because they don’t know how to cook porridge”

    I never said it was the only reason but it would be foolish to dismiss it as a factor. Healthy, nutritious food can be cooked extremely cheaply especially as it is not advised that people eat meat every day of the week. Rising rates of obesity (particularly in children at the poorer end of society) and the prevalence of fast food which is far more expensive than home cooked suggests there is much to be said both costwise and healthwise for encouraging people to home cook.

    ”I’m afraid you often fall into the trap of pontificating on anything & everything even on things it’s obvious you know absolutely nothing about.”

    I accept I am not an expert on everything obviously but if someone writes a response to me I will try my best to reply.

    ”I do hope you never have the misfortune to fall on hard times yourself”

    Nor do I obviously but if I do I would like someone to help me in a way that would be more helpful in getting myself out of a hole rather than one that would trap me there.

    ”I don’t share much of Rivers’ politics but I’m not too mean spirited to congratulate him on his charity work”

    So do I but my overall point is that some forms of charity do more harm than good or at the very least fail to help solve the long term problem.

  19. Nobody wants to hear this crap. Take it somewhere else.

  20. ”That’s one of the most ludicrous comments I’ve ever read on here”

    I should have been clearer and included with the exception of the homeless. But the definition of poverty used by many politicians and much of the media: % of median income (which is really a test of inequality not poverty which are really two different things) and using silly metrics like not having a holiday once a year and arriving at the figure of 1/3 of the country is clearly ridiculous whichever way you look at it.

    ”If you honestly think that’s true you should visit somewhere like Brighton where homelessness has gone up almost fourfold since 2010 Just yesterday I waled past over six rough sleepers on my short 5 minute journey from the supermarket to my home”

    I don’t need to Bristol might as well be the homeless capital of Britain. I think it unwise the lay all blame at the governments door as this hugely underestimates the influence drugs play, I have seen gifts of food thrown in the bin and people often act very cagy when you offer to buy them food instead of giving them money. Going to a liberal city like Brighton, Bristol or London (incidentally I know central London moderately well and homelessness to me doesn’t look all that bad, absolutely nothing on the level of Bristol) will distort your view of how bad homelessness is nationwide though as the homeless tend to be highly concentrated in a handful of liberal, large cities leaving the rest of the country nearly entirely homeless free.

  21. ”Glad to see you’re all taking the comments policy with the respect and maturuty it deserves…”

    @NYTUK

    I do tend to agree that people (including me) should try to be less partisan. On a site about elections the line between that an policy is a bit blurred so it is quite easy to get into a full blown debate. I will try to tone the partisanship down.

  22. Pepps
    Just for the sake of clarity poverty by the UK definition no longer includes things like “can hey afford a holiday” the gov scrapped that years ago. Today it is measured as follows

    Relative Poverty is less than 60% of the median UK income, median income in the UK is ÂŁ22,000 so less than ÂŁ13,200 with modifications based on cost of living in a given area, number of children etc. When you include relative poverty as well as abolsute poverty the govs official figures are just short of 1/3 of the population

    Then there is absolute poverty which is measured as the inability to afford the essentials of life (food, shelter, clothing etc) and again modified based on cost of living/number of dependants etc the govs official figures put the number of people living in absolute poverty in the UK at just shy of 5%

    A clear minority? Yes. A handful of people one can dismiss? Most certainly not. even if you disregard relative poverty that still leaves millions in the UK living in absolute poverty which is a shameful statistic.

  23. wow a serious number of typos there apologies

  24. Con Estimate
    Govs own report found cutting welfare didn’t help people find work, it actually had the opposite effect.

    You live in the SE I imagine finding a job there is much easier, try looking for work elsewhere in the country. Remember this post by Polltroll a week ago…
    “There are 231 jobs advertised in London and the South-East. There are just 108 in the rest of the country – half the number of jobs for three times the number of people”
    Hardly makes a fair comparison you living where you do does it? Personally all I’ve been able to find is min wage part time work and even that was a struggle to attain.

  25. “Why should I paint my neighbour’s house when the paint on mine is peeling gargantuan flecks daily?”

    This is what amuses me from Tories, see the (in my mind0 logical response and the response from the left would be to demand your house receive the same treatment as your neighbours (aka dragging you up)
    However Tories always have the approach of dragging everyone else down, “if I can’t have it you cant have it”
    And then they say we on the left are anti aspirational…

  26. “Rivers, I find that hard to believe”
    That cutting welfare made a negative impact on people finding work? Read for yourself
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cutting-benefits-does-not-make-people-more-likely-to-find-work-government-backed-study-finds-a7066986.html

    “No, Rivers, my point was that we should spend less on foreign aid (it’s largely virtue-signalling on a grandiose scale) and put the needs of the UK first”
    So after all the posturing on this thread the last couple of days about how poverty in the UK isn’t real we are know taking money away from people living in genuine destitution abroad (in large part due to actions taken by this country) to help the apparently not very needy here in the UK? I don’t buy it one bit, with respect the people who normally advocate slashing foreign aid are the same people who advocate slashing welfare here (yourself for example) I’d bet anything the money saved would be squandered on something unnecessary like a further round of tax cuts for the rich.

  27. I have a sneaking suspicion that neither of you have even read the Comments Policy.

    – says won’t be partisan
    – then immediately breaks down into a partisan debate

    It’s really not that hard to differentiate polling/election results from partisan debate to be honest. Debating about how the country is run and how it should be run is really not what this site is about: and it’s abundantly clear from your discussions on taxes, foreign aid policy etc. that you are completely disregarding this in spite of my warnings. This isn’t a site about how the country should be run: it’s a site primarily concerned with objective analysis and points of discussion, that can include news events, election results, demographics etc. NOT public policy.

    Again from the Comments Policy: “This means that it is not a place for spinning, not a place for saying how much you hate party X and wish they would lose, nor it is a place for saying what party should win, or what the public should support. We are interested in what will happen, what the public actually think, not what you think they should do.”

  28. ”even if you disregard relative poverty”

    I do disregard it as it is not a measure of ‘poverty’ at all but ‘income inequality’ (which are two entirely separate things). If I was the government that would be one of the first things to get scrapped.

    ”absolute poverty in the UK at just shy of 5%”

    That is a far more believable figure. Of course this 5% should not be dismissed but it is far less of a huge issue than 1/3 as many on the left would try to have us believe. Plus the view on the left is that the reason this 5% are in poverty is all the governments fault or that they are victims of circumstances but let’s not pretend a substantial chunk of them are there because of their own bad life choices: drugs, crime, poor money management etc. Should these people not be helped, no, but people need to be very careful in apportioning blame and putting all responsibility on the government and absolving them of personal responsibility (which in my opinion is a form of dehumanising). But as I said before ‘tough love’ is almost always the best long term way to help people.

    “There are 231 jobs advertised in London and the South-East. There are just 108 in the rest of the country – half the number of jobs for three times the number of people”

    A slightly misleading statistic the sphere of influence of London and the South East stretches far beyond their respective regions. For example most of the East would fall under the London job market too as would the southern East Midlands, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to commute into London from places like Northampton.

    ”This is what amuses me from Tories, see the (in my mind0 logical response and the response from the left would be to demand your house receive the same treatment as your neighbours”

    No we demand that people in work should have a better deal than people not working, not the reverse as a left wing welfare policy would perhaps accidently cause. If I was the government I would make unemployment benefit proportional to the amount of time in employment for example someone who is made redundant after 40 years work would receive a far more generous amount from the state than someone who has never worked a day in their life and the long term unemployed would receive less than the short term etc.

    ”And then they say we on the left are anti aspirational”

    Welfare and aspiration are not at all related. The Tories cutting welfare is designed to provide an incentive for people to aspire to work as a goal, whether you think it works or not it can hardly be described as anti-aspirational. As for the left being anti aspirational, the whole left perhaps not but the Corbynite wing of it definitely, the main cash cow for increased hard left spending on public sector bureaucracies, increased welfare spending etc. will inevitably be the middle classes. What is the point aspiring to become a successful professional if the left is simply going to try to drag you down by taxing you to high heaven with income tax, wealth tax, property tax, inheritance tax, sales tax etc. Oh and they’ll probably chase off a lot of the companies that create these kind of people anyway with their remilitarise the unions, limit the working day, high corporate tax, maximum income etc. so there would be no point being aspirational in Corbynite Britain anyway.

    ”Govs own report found cutting welfare didn’t help people find work”

    There have been multiple conflicting reports it really depends which one you choose to believe as nearly all will have a partisan agenda of some sort. For example DWP figures households hit by the benefit cap were 41% more likely to find work than those not and 40% of households hit by it escaped it by moving into work. These figures do suggest increased incentive to find work.

  29. ”From 20 years ago…

    CON 31% [0]
    LAB 48% [-2]
    LD 16% [+1]
    LAB lead +17 [-2]
    ICM for the Guardian
    (3-5/1)”

    @CE

    Seems like a completely different world doesn’t it. Labour riding high, the Tories ripping themselves to shreds, Tony Blair popular…

  30. my father appeared in the 1997 coverage when Pollard was elected but watching and rewatching I still can’t find it

  31. Pepps
    I’d like to respond but I promised NTY UK I’d stop being partisan and getting roped into these big debates falls under that category so unsurprisingly I disagree with most everything you say but I’ll have to let it slide.

    The “one” thing I would comment on is that you can’t dismiss relative poverty like its nothing, I mean try living on less than 13K, you’d either fail or endlessly struggle and be miserable and stressed.

  32. I wonder what the Majority for the Torries will be her in June. Between 1-2.5 thousand is my guess.

  33. Greens not standing here.

  34. Plop
    I disagree totally, the Gower peninsula itself has never been industrial and the Tories have long maxed their vote their. Lab have weakened in the industrial North of the seat but as with other ex industrial seats unless that is accompanied with gentrification (which isn’t happening here) then it only weakens Labs vote so much and indeed the local election results in this seat were actually fairly promising for Labour.

    I agree with BM11 max Tory majority about 2,500, wouldn’t be at all surprised if they only managed a three digit majority though.

  35. If that poll is to be believed this could be a LAB gain.

  36. Today’s Welsh only poll would suggest that, but I suspect after the social care u-turn/fiasco this is perhaps as close as Labour are going to get in the polls and in retrospect will be seen as the Tories wobble on the way to a decent overall win (say 70-80 maj) albeit less than was expected 3-4 weeks ago.

    I can’t see Labour picking up any seats in Wales, though I think they will hold Cardiff Central and might have some chance still in likes of Alyn and Deeside and Delyn.

  37. I thought that

  38. And apologies to you on Derby North. Subsequent developments show that you may well be right about that.

  39. ”And apologies to you on Derby North. Subsequent developments show that you may well be right about that.”

    At the moment it doesn’t look likely the Tories still comfortably have a double digit lead in national polling. If it comes down further then yes but not at the present time.

  40. I cant see this being gained by Labour despite the current You Gov Poll. I still think it be close to the doomsday situation for Labour in the election.

  41. I can see it being gained by Labour. Wales is Wales not England, Lab are recovering there and there is not a small amount of disquiet about the incumbents relish for fracking in the local area. And the Green party are stepping aside: “A press release from the Gower Green Party and seen by The Canary stated:

    ‘The sitting MP in Gower, Byron Davies, has an abhorrent voting record in Parliament. Whether it is cutting payments to the disabled, allowing the privatisation of the NHS, voting against Wales to receive the same level of funding it would have had in the EU, or voting to allow fracking to devastate vast swathes of his own constituency, Byron has done it all. It is almost unthinkable that a sitting MP would vote to potentially poison surface and groundwater supplies in his own constituency particularly in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is a move which could obliterate the local Tourism, cockle and agricultural industries whilst seeing house prices in the area plummet.'” The Canary 12th May

  42. The Canary would call every Tory in parliament “abhorrent”, and most sitting Labour MPs as well.

    That press release means bugger all in terms of how people will vote.

  43. While I tend to think current events will peel Labor’s gains back slightly in Wales and in the UK more generally, It’s definitely now a live possibility that Labour will win back this seat.

  44. I feel it should be a CON hold – they achieved a good swing here in the Assembly election and, contrary to Alex F’s post, I think Byron Davies is the kind of candidate likely to get a good first-time incumbency boost.

    Having said that if the last Wales poll is correct and there is basically no swing between CON and LAB it is quite conceivable that LAB could gain this (and perhaps even Cardiff North?) whilst losing the likes of Wrexham and Clwyd South.

  45. @Plopwellian Tory

    Because those seats have a lot more UKIP votes. And in the case of Wrexham there isn’t even a UKIP candidate. If the Cons are getting a considerable swing there, which seems pretty inevitable, then if that poll is right it would imply a swing in the other direction in some seats.

  46. Most likely a Conservative hold with an increased majority but Labour’s victory here at the last Welsh Assembly elections will give Labour an outside chance.

  47. As well as the fracking proposals, Mr Davies did not impress friends of mine who are constituents, with his apparent indifference to plans to convert farmland to a housing estate in Pontarddulais. He doesn’t seem to be battling for his electorate in the way more astute colleagues would. With that, I would disagree with Jack Sheldon and expect him to get a below par incumbency boost. While he will gain more votes from UKIP than Labour will from the Greens, it still looks like it will be tight here, anything from a CON hold with about 1000 majority to a Labour gain.

  48. I remember reading in some newspaper recently that despite the Tories’ Wales woes, they’re confident of holding this seat, if only narrowly. That said, if Labour are to gain seats, this is very high up on their list. Personally, I think Labour will win here unless the Tories recover some ground in Wales which is entirely possible (although I don’t see them going back to anything like a 10 point lead).

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