Monmouth

2015 Result:
Conservative: 23701 (49.9%)
Labour: 12719 (26.8%)
Lib Dem: 2496 (5.3%)
Plaid Cymru: 1875 (3.9%)
Green: 1629 (3.4%)
UKIP: 4972 (10.5%)
Others: 100 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 10982 (23.1%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: Wales ,Gwent. Part of Monmouthshire council area and part of Torfaen.

Main population centres: Monmouth, Usk, Abergavenny, Chepstow.

Profile: Monmouth is on the border with England and in many ways has more in common with its English neighbours than the Welsh valleys to the west. It has one of the lower proportions of Welsh speakers of any Welsh seat, a third of the population in the 2011 census were born in England and there is derisory support for Plaid Cymru. Indeed, until it was unabiguously settled by the 1972 Local Government Act there had historically been some question over whether Monmouthshire was part of England or Wales. The seat is mostly agricultural countryside, dotted with historic castles and traditional market towns.

Politics: Monmouth is a Conservative leaning marginal, only winnable by Labour in their very best years such as 1997, 2001 and 1966.


Current MP
DAVID DAVIES (Conservative) Born 1970, London. Educated at Bassaleg School. Contested Bridgend 1997. First elected as MP for Monmouth in 2005.
Past Results
2010
Con: 22466 (48%)
Lab: 12041 (26%)
LDem: 9026 (19%)
PC: 1273 (3%)
Oth: 1713 (4%)
MAJ: 10425 (22%)
2005
Con: 21396 (47%)
Lab: 16869 (37%)
LDem: 5852 (13%)
PC: 993 (2%)
Oth: 543 (1%)
MAJ: 4527 (10%)
2001
Con: 18637 (42%)
Lab: 19021 (43%)
LDem: 5080 (11%)
PC: 1068 (2%)
Oth: 656 (1%)
MAJ: 384 (1%)
1997
Con: 19226 (39%)
Lab: 23404 (48%)
LDem: 4689 (10%)
PC: 516 (1%)
Oth: 1190 (2%)
MAJ: 4178 (9%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
DAVID DAVIES (Conservative) See above.
RUTH JONES (Labour) Physiotherapist.
VERONICA GERMAN (Liberal Democrat) Contested Newport West 2010.
GARETH DUNN (UKIP) Physics teacher. Contested Torfaen 2010.
CHRISTOPHER WERE (Green) Freelance designer and online video consultant.
JONATHAN CLARK (Plaid) Contested Monmouth 2010.
STEPHEN MORRIS (English Democrats) Born 1966, Manchester. Educated at Wardley High School and Salford College of Technology. Contested Salford and Eccles 2010, Oldham East and Saddleworth 2011 by-election. Contested North West region 2009, 2014 European elections.
Links
Comments - 38 Responses on “Monmouth”
  1. Interesting how this seat has trended Conservative in recent years: a comparatively weak swing for Labour in 1997; an above-average swing to the Conservatives in 2001; a Conservative gain in 2005, again on an above average swing; and in 2010, Conservative majority three times as great as the one in 1992. Any ideas as to why this has happened?

  2. I’m guessing there is a strong ‘English’ factor but is that all?

  3. i guess the high outright owners is also a big plus

  4. The reason why there was a comparatively weak swing to Labour in 1997 is because their vote was artificially high in 1992 due to the effects of the 1991 by-election. this meant that there had already been a swing of almost 7% from Conservative to Labour in 1992 which was far greater than the national or Welsh average.

  5. I see, yes- thanks for the reminder, Pete.

  6. I recall that, when we were at the election count for my constituency in 2001, there were strong rumours that the Conservatives had gained this seat. They proved to be false (just). There seemed to be a strong upsurge in Labour support in Chepstow in particular in the headier years, but it seems to have ebbed again. Probably in 1997 & 2001 Labour would have been competitive in Monmouth itself, the Cwmbran outskirts which are included in this seat, Abergavenny & Chepstow, with the Tories still well ahead in most of the rest of the seat – I’m sure that in those years both Raglan & Usk would have still been comfortably Conservative for example. I don’t think it’s likely the seat is likely to come on to Labour’s radar again for a long while.

  7. Prediction for 2015-
    Davies (Conservative)- 46%
    Labour- 32%
    Liberal Democrat- 12%
    UKIP- 6%
    Plaid Cyrmu- 3%
    Green- 1%

  8. Interesting IMHO that in 1992 as a result of the 1991 by-election Labour very nearly defended this successfully. Unlike the by-election though, their large increase in vote was down to a collapse in the Lib Dem vote, instead of being at the expense of the Tories, as it had been in 1991. Indeed, Roger Evans polled more votes than John Stradling Thomas had in 1987.

    RE 2001, I would have thought that but for the long lasting effects of Huw Edwards’ first victory at the 1991 by-election that the Tories probably would have taken this back that year by a couple of thousand votes. Still, for David Davies’ majority to be as high as it is is nevertheless impressive.

  9. As someone who lives on the doorstep of this constituency I would agree that although Labour can come a respectable 2nd in a good year – and in an exceptionally good year like 1997 can just win this – this is basically a Tory seat.
    It’s very leafy/rural/smart market town/4X4/Waitrose shopping territory.
    Lots of farmers have masses of Vote Tory placards in their fields at every election – if this seat was in England it would be ultra-safe Tory.
    As it is, Labour should never give up on this seat, but not be dis-heartened if they don’t win it.

  10. Welsh Tories not a happy crew tonight and it isn’t the weather… in the wake of an afternoon of the Long Knives:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-26163405

    One of the victims Nick Ramsay heard of it via a tweet while travelling on a train with some Labour chaps..

    Graham Henry @grahamhenry · 45m

    [email protected] is on train from London and knew nothing of impending sacking…and thus is in shock. #torynightoflongknives

  11. Chepstow Town Council, Larkfield

    May 1, 2014

    Conservative 190 (42.7%)
    Labour 150 (33.7%)
    LD Tony Redhead 105 (23.6%)

    Majority 40

  12. prediction for 2015-

    con- 42%
    Lab- 35%
    Lib- 11%
    UKIP- 7%
    PC- 5%
    Green- 2%

    2010 was a awful year for labour, seen as it was 9% lower than anything else they got in the last 4 elections .We’ll also see the lib dems being truly put back in their place and UKIP, PC and Greens rising a tad.

  13. I can’t imagine that the Con-Lab swing will be anything like as big as that. You are predicting around 7-8%.

  14. Look at the seats history, Labour usually gets in the forties , even on a bad year. I think last year was just a blip for the labour vote here,an anomolie if you like.

  15. Joe is right – a swing of that size is unlikely to take place in sa seat like thus, which is increasingly behaving like a seat on the English side of the Welsh border – which incidentally is where many of its residents believe it should belong

  16. Without wishing to look as if I’m ganging up, I agree with both Joe & Tim. Labour has rather lost its way in parts of the seat where they have done quite well in the past, such as Chepstow (often a rather volatile town), and I don’t see the seat being as close as Robbie thinks it will be.

  17. very well here’s a revised version for you-

    con- 43%
    Lab- 32%
    Lib- 12%
    UKIP- 8%
    PC- 5%
    Green- 2%

  18. The by-election here in 1991 was a real help to Labour for years to come. They got successive vote share increases at general elections from 1987 to 1997 of-
    1987- +6.0%
    1992- +13.3%
    1997- +6.7%

    That was a total increase during the late 80s and 90s of a massive 26%. Their subsequent fallback from 2001 to 2010 when put in this context of 21.9% is therefore interesting I think.

  19. Main party candidates:

    Con: David Davies
    Lab: Ruth Jones
    LD: Veronica German
    UKIP: Gareth Dunn
    Greens: Christopher Were
    Plaid Cymru: Jonathan Clark

  20. Interesting that the majority of comments seem to think this seat ‘wants’ to be in England. In fact Monmouth Town is a fervently Welsh Borough, and has elected Plaid Councillors in the past (albeit some time ago). Abergavenny holds the best food festival in WALES; and the majority of the inhabitants support Wales not England in Rugby (which MAY be considered the defining issue).

    The reality is that there are a very few little Englanders who shout very loud – but they tend to be English incomers to the constituency.

    Suspect that in terms of May 2015 your estimates greatly exaggerate the likely LibDem vote share, most of which will go to Labour or Green. Watch for a small increase in the Plaid vote as well. David Davies WILL get back in, but probably by a much lower margin than suspected. The interesting issue will be the UKIP vote – probably not very high in this constituency. No English Democrats or other fools standing again so far to confuse matters.

  21. Where’s the Labour vote actually concentrated here? I’d have expected a seat like this to be more naturally LD friendly than Labour friendly from the description given (obviously nowhere is likely to be *that* LD friendly in present times, but more generally).

  22. There are eastern fringes in Cwmbran included in this seat. Labour also has some support in Abergavenny, and also Chepstow, though that town can swing around quite wildly between Labour & the Tories. In a really big Labour year it has occasionally been known for Monmouth town to vote slightly Labour (it does have some outlying council estates). However, the villages, Raglan & Usk are solidly Tory. At least, that’s how I understand it.

  23. Quote :-

    A strange and regrettable decision has been taken by the British Transport Police. Today’s Sun on Sunday reports that it has decided to dispense with the services of two special constables, David Davies, the MP for Monmouth, and Philip Hollobone, the MP for Kettering.

    http://www.conservativehome.com/parliament/2015/01/davies-and-hollobone-should-be-reinstated-as-special-constables.html

    A loss of experience in the ‘real world’ for parliament. It looks as if the Chief Constable of the British Transport Police is taking to heart that police officers “must not take any part in politics”. Others would argue discretionary powers for CC should be exercised.

    BR

  24. ‘Chepstow, though that town can swing around quite wildly between Labour & the Tories’

    The Lib Dems also have a vote in Chepstow – about the only town in the seat that they do

  25. “A strange and regrettable decision has been taken by the British Transport Police. Today’s Sun on Sunday reports that it has decided to dispense with the services of two special constables, David Davies, the MP for Monmouth, and Philip Hollobone, the MP for Kettering.”

    IMO it is a good decision. We pay MPs six figure incomes to represent their constituents in parliament, not to fart around pretending to be policemen to get good press in their constituencies.

  26. Having spent two months this year working around this constituency I carried out my own straw poll, here are my predictions for the 2015 general Election;
    CON-41%
    LAB-34%
    LIB DEM-8%
    UKIP-10%
    PLAID CYRMU-3%
    GREEN-4%
    I would predict this will be one of only five seats the Tory’s will hold onto in Wales. To be frank this seat seems more English than anywhere in Liverpool!

  27. As someone who has now lived in this seat (outside chepstow) for 6 years I would place this as firmly safe tory and unlikely to change at this election- in part due to the relatively worthy but weak union/public sector candidates labour has recently chosen to field- who have little appeal to the rural vote and barely attract attention. With a suitably charismatic big hitter the ‘beat the tory’ tactical vote which is spread between labour / LD /a n other and non-voting apathetic (massive in some parts where the more obvious urban labour leaning areas have low turnout) could be concentrated/galvanised. If Plaid properly complete the SNP style transformation from language and culture ‘welsh’ party to become inheritors of the progressive mantle for wales to increase appeal in South/South East Wales there is a large disaffected current and former labour vote which could be tapped. Also David Davies is frequently eye-wateringly candid in his stream of consciousness utterances and far from the identikit professional politician. So even to those are not natural tory voters he is regarded as being his own man to a reasonable degree whilst firmly sticking together with party/leadership in terms of policy out an inherent sense of loyalty. On a personal level he simply doesn’t offend people as much as many other tories would even though on many issues he is probably on the right of his party and most of the electorate. So there is little groundswell to get him out personally – even if the ridiculous local government funding settlement sent from Westminster and then dubiously redistributed by Cardiff, has painfully weakened key public services even in a relatively prosperous (by Welsh standards) constituency such as Monmouth.

  28. Conservative Hold. 8,000 majority.

  29. English Democrats standing in Wales….but I suppose its the most ‘English’ constituency in Wales….so ‘it would be like the SNP standing in Corby or Sinn Fein contesting Liverpool Riverside.

  30. Imagine if they actually overtook Plaid Cymru LOL it wouldn’t be difficult really.

  31. Anthony’s notionals have Bridgend and Vale West as Tory by 1600?

  32. Overall these proposed Welsh boundaries do not look that bad for the Tories. With the Corbyn effect as well, they are pretty sure of getting 6 seats, excellent chance for a 7th and 3-5 more also in play.

  33. Oh, Max is assuming a large increase in the Tory majority in 2020 again. I suspect there’s a fair chance that, as in the assembly elections, the Tories would come up short in a number of these seats.

    Also, Caerfyrddin is a lesser prospect, as the Tories are in 3rd behind Labour and Plaid (who are actually in 1st, 1800 ahead of Labour). The Tories are 3600 behind Plaid.

  34. I don’t believe the notional South Pembrokeshire figures, and am sure it would be a fair bit closer than that.The problem with arriving at projections for this seat is that party politics plays little part in local elections with the majority of councillors being Independent or non-party. The calculations are as a result much cruder – and unreliable.

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)