Torfaen

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8769 (23.1%)
Labour: 16938 (44.6%)
Lib Dem: 1271 (3.4%)
Plaid Cymru: 2169 (5.7%)
Green: 746 (2%)
UKIP: 7203 (19%)
Others: 841 (2.2%)
MAJORITY: 8169 (21.5%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Wales, Gwent. Most of the Torfaen council area.

Main population centres: Cwmbran, Pontypool, Blaenavon.

Profile: Covers the Afon Llwyd valley and the large 1950s newtown of Cwmbran. Like much of the Welsh vallies this is a former coal mining and ironworking area, industries which have now departed. The Big Pit mining museum in Blaenavon remains as a reminder of the areas industrial heritage, the largest manufacturing employers these days are Burton biscuits and Contour Aerospace in Cwmbran.

Politics: A safe Labour seat. Along with its direct predecessor, Pontypool, the seat has been held by Labour since its creation in 1918, most notably by Leo Abse, the pioneer of divorce and gay rights legislation in the 1960s, and Paul Murphy, former Secretary of State for Wales.


Current MP
NICK THOMAS-SYMONDS (Labour) Educated at St Albans RC Comprehensive and Oxford University. Barrister. First elected as MP for Torfaen in 2015.
Past Results
2010
Con: 7541 (20%)
Lab: 16847 (45%)
LDem: 6264 (17%)
PC: 2005 (5%)
Oth: 4983 (13%)
MAJ: 9306 (25%)
2005
Con: 5681 (16%)
Lab: 20472 (57%)
LDem: 5678 (16%)
PC: 2242 (6%)
Oth: 1906 (5%)
MAJ: 14791 (41%)
2001
Con: 5603 (16%)
Lab: 21883 (62%)
LDem: 3936 (11%)
PC: 2720 (8%)
Oth: 1100 (3%)
MAJ: 16280 (46%)
1997
Con: 5327 (12%)
Lab: 29863 (69%)
LDem: 5249 (12%)
PC: 1042 (2%)
Oth: 1764 (4%)
MAJ: 24536 (57%)

Demographics
2015 Candidates
GRAHAM SMITH (Conservative)
NICK THOMAS-SYMONDS (Labour) Educated at St Albans RC Comprehensive and Oxford University. Barrister.
ALISON WILLOTT (Liberal Democrat)
KEN BESWICK (UKIP)
MATT COOKE (Green)
BOYDD HACKLEY-GREEN (Plaid)
MARK GRIFFITHS (Communist)
JOHN IDRIS COX (Socialist Labour)
Links
Comments - 80 Responses on “Torfaen”
  1. I agree that the seat is trending away from Labour at a glacial pace. This will make it interesting in the second half of the present century, but I will certainly be dead by then.

  2. Interesting. Seat number projections for 2080?

  3. Open shortlist for Labour selection

  4. Labour’s share of the vote could drop to 38-40%, but still a comfortable win

  5. Labour shortlist

    Joss Garman ww.jossgarman.com/
    Hywel Lloyd (founding member of Labour: Coast & Country)
    Majid Rahman (Newport Cllr)
    Nick Thomas-Symonds http://nickthomassymonds.com/
    Sarah Woodall ww.sarahwoodall.org.uk

  6. Nick Thomas-Symonds wins Labour selection. He works as a barrister and he has been Torfaen CLP Secretrary since 2009

  7. Inevitable he would win the Labour shortlist, though I do believe he might have to campaign really hard as UKIP have already started their campaign here.

  8. We have been on this since January, and wondered why we have not seen anyone out from other parties.
    It seems they all now rely on mailshots and twitter!!
    The reception we get is really good, but know we have a mountain to climb.

  9. Labour hold. 15,000 majority

  10. I live in this constituency.

    Thus far in my ward (Pontnewydd, in Cwmbran), I have seen a total of three posters up – one Plaid (very dogeared, I think it’s the same one which goes up every election), one Labour and one UKIP.

    I have had no election literature at all apart from UKIP.

    I’ve seen no-one out and about except for UKIP.

    I am running a hustings on Saturday and Nick Thomas-Symonds has decided not to come – he’s got an anti-slavery event in Cardiff which is apparently of more importance than a hustings in his constituency.

    I wonder if we’ll see a surprise come May 8th. Nick doesn’t seem to be campaigning at all, he’s got no incumbency bonus, there are a lot of people who are anti-Europe and the UKIP party machine is working properly and has been for some time.

  11. Please tell me about this hustings!

  12. Steve;

    Dunno if I’m allowed to plug my own hustings here but just in case;

    http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/events/Croesyceiliog/1060092.Event.Coffee__Cake_and_Political_Questions/?s=acbb940289093a4e68f2ca7416257c55&i=15

    Hope that’s allowed!

  13. Labour 8k

  14. Nick Thomas-Symonds is, according to his leaflet placed through my door a ‘Socialist brought up in Blaenavon, but now lives with his wife and family in Abersychan’. It goes onto say that his grandfather was a ‘miner’ and his dad worked at the Llanwern Steelworks for 40 years..

    Interestingly, he doesn’t say that he is a barrister…..unbelievable – !

  15. BTW – Labour to win by 6500-7000

    Graham Smith is a Tory New Inn Councillor and could hold up the tory support in New Inn, Griiffthstown, Sebastapol and places in Cwmbran such as Henllys.

    Also, UKIP is very active here – leaflets and candidate knocking on my door.

  16. Is Alison Willott related to Jenny Willott by any chance?

  17. Hi Dinbych..I don’t know…..I haven’t seen or heard anything from the Lib Dems in Torfaen – I suspect that they are putting all of their efforts 18 miles up the road in Crickhowell – southern tip of the Brecon and Radnor constituency.

  18. 37th most friendly ukip seat according to Goodwin. Interesting to see they are apparently active . Given how uncompetitive this seat traditionally is, I’d be interested to see if the local Labour Party organisation is as skeletal as other safe labour seats have shown to be recently.

  19. DINBYCH DAI

    Yes, Alison is Jenny’s mum. She stood in South Wales East in 2011.

  20. Nick Thomas-Symonds is clearly the strongest candidate for this seat. Labour is in no way complacent about the challenge from UKIP (or anyone else for that matter) and Nick has been campaigning hard in Torfaen ever since he won the Labour nomination. I look forward to him having a hard won but comfortable majority on BBC website the votes are counted next Thursday.

  21. That was a weird ‘predictive text’ typo! I meant to say ‘… hard won but comfortable majority once the votes are counted’!

  22. It’s interesting you should say that Paul because in Pontnewydd we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of Nick nor any of the Labour party machine – nor have a bunch of my friends round here.

    Based on my experiences it doesn’t appear that Nick is campaigning at all.

  23. I was driving round part of this seat yesterday (Abersychan/Blaenavon area) and saw loads of posters up for Nick – far more than in my own equally safe Labour seat next door I might add!

  24. He is from Blaenavon and lives in Abersychan, he has not been seen in most wards actually.

  25. Mr Thomas-Symonds was conspicuous by his absence and hence no progress compared to last time.

    Labour looks vunerable in Wales in places such as Bridgend, Wrexham, Clwyd South if they can’t change their fortunes…perhaps Stephen Kinnock could be the next leader 🙂

  26. Not an area I’m familiar with at all but once again Maxim I wouldn’t get your hopes up, Lab have most certainly weakened from the lofty days of coalmining here but like many other places that doesn’t mean the Tories are suddenly going to win, it just means the seat has went from being stupidly safe to just safe for Lab.

    Although I will add if anybody could lose this seat it would be Nick Thomas-Symonds.

  27. A fair few affluent/suburbia type housing developments constructed lately, plus it’s not a million miles from good work opportunities in Cardiff and Bristol.

    There was a story a few weeks ago in the Welsh press about people moving from Bristol to Monmouthshire and cashing in on the Bristol property boom. Examples where given of people selling a £400k Bristol house and buying a larger one in Monmouthshire for £300k. A bigger saving could be made by relocating here. Seven Bridge tolls are due to be halved next year, so this area is slowly becoming attractive to people.

    We’re still along way off seeing a Conservative AM or MP here mind you.

  28. Ex-Mayor, Cllr Neil Mason has defected from Labour to Plaid Cymru.

    He sounds like a ‘character’ (he was in prison – for robbery – with Krays’ enforcer Frankie Frazer and couldn’t read until 2003)

  29. Didn’t the Welsh valleys go quite strongly for Leave, or have I dreamt that?

  30. Trevethin Ward By-election, 22.02.18:

    Labour 233
    Ind 141
    Ind 69
    Green* 15

    * The Green was named Andrew Rupert Heygate-Browne (Valleys’ boy?)

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