Ynys Mon

2015 Result:
Conservative: 7393 (21.2%)
Labour: 10871 (31.1%)
Lib Dem: 751 (2.2%)
Plaid Cymru: 10642 (30.5%)
UKIP: 5121 (14.7%)
Others: 148 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 229 (0.7%)

Category: Three-way Marginal

Geography: Wales, Gwynedd. The whole of the Anglesey council area.

Main population centres: Holyhead, Llangefni, Llannerch-y-medd, Menai Bridge, Amlwch, Beaumaris.

Profile: The seat is made up of the large island of Anglesey off the coast of north Wales and the smaller Holy Island. Apart from the industrial Holyhead it is large rural and agricultural and is largely Welsh speaking. The largest towns are Holyhead, a ferry port on Holy Island that serves as a major transport link to Ireland and Llangefni, the commercial and administrative centre of the island. The seat also includes RAF Valley and the Wylfa nuclear power station, planned to cease energy production between 2012 and 2014.

Politics: Ynys Mons (or Anglesey, as the seat was called prior to 1983) has been varied in its politics - it is one of very few seats that have been won by four different parties since the Second World War. Pre-war the seat had been a Liberal stronghold and was held by Megan Lloyd George, as the Liberals declined it fell to Labour in 1951. In 1979 it was won by the Conservative Keith Best, whose career was cut short after being jailed for making fraudulent share applications in 1987. Best was suceeded by Ieuan Wyn Jones of Plaid Cymru in 1987 but the seat was lost to Labour in 2001 after Wyn Jones stood down to concentrate on his Welsh Assembly role..

Current MP
ALBERT OWEN (Labour) Born 1959, Anglesey. Educated at Holyhead County Comprehensive and York University. Former CAB advisor and merchant navy seaman. First elected as MP for Ynys Mon in 2001.
Past Results
Con: 7744 (22%)
Lab: 11490 (33%)
LDem: 2592 (8%)
PC: 9029 (26%)
Oth: 3589 (10%)
MAJ: 2461 (7%)
Con: 3915 (11%)
Lab: 12278 (35%)
LDem: 2418 (7%)
PC: 11036 (31%)
Oth: 5815 (16%)
MAJ: 1242 (4%)
Con: 7653 (22%)
Lab: 11906 (35%)
LDem: 2772 (8%)
PC: 11106 (33%)
Oth: 581 (2%)
MAJ: 800 (2%)
Con: 8569 (21%)
Lab: 13275 (33%)
LDem: 1537 (4%)
PC: 15756 (39%)
Oth: 793 (2%)
MAJ: 2481 (6%)

2015 Candidates
MICHELLE WILLIS (Conservative) Educated at Woodhouse Grove School and Royal Free Hospital. Company director# and former nurse.
ALBERT OWEN (Labour) See above.
MARK ROSENTHAL (Liberal Democrat) Former consultant and civil engineer.
NATHAN GILL (UKIP) Educated at Coleg Menai. Contested Ynys Mon 2013 Assembly by-election. MEP for Wales since 2014.
JOHN ROWLANDS (Plaid) Communications officer and former BBC radio producer.
LIZ SCREEN (Socialist Labour Party) Contested Wales region 2009, 2014 European election.
Comments - 229 Responses on “Ynys Mon”
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  1. Holyhead with a third of the population is an industrial port predominately supporting Labour. Menai Bridge, Beaumaris and Benllech lean Conservative. Most of the countryside and small villages will be a mix of Plaid and Conservatives.

    Many people in Menai Bridge and Beaumaris are connected to the University as both students and lecturers. I can see cuts in public spending and tuition fees increasing Labour majority here.

    An unpopular Conservative-led govemment in London could boost Labour’s support especially if PC seem unable to do anything.

  2. As a matter of fact the question of what proportion of the population of the seat lives in Holyhead was brought up in the old thread for this constituency. It seems that only about a quarter of the population lives there, but Labour has clearly enjoyed a lead over Plaid in other areas, probably including Menai and possibly in some of the less Welsh-speaking & Conservative-inclined areas (maybe Beaumaris?)

  3. Independents still hold big sway in local elections. Result will not affect the outcome of 2015 GE, where Labour would be expected to power home.

  4. Plaid Cymru did far better than expected in the local elections on the Island getting a far higher percentage of the vote across the Island than Labour so I wouldn’t rule out Plaids chances of winning the seat if they find a strong candidate.

  5. there’s a by-election here this summer probably!

  6. Re William’s earlier comment, I think this is a seat where local elections count for very little in terms of forecasting the result at Westminster. There have been no signs that Labour would ever win this seat, but they have done so 3 times in a row at Westminster – in local elections it’s Independent dominance with Plaid second, in Assembly elections it’s seemingly safe for Plaid. With Plaid not enjoying the best of fortunes in Wales for some time, and Labour generally doing OK, I have no reason at this stage to forecast anything other than Lab Hold for the Westminster seat.

  7. I think I stuck a couple of quid on Labour holding this at the last election.

    Was there a discussion on the old site about how this seat only seems to change hands when an incumbent stands down?

    Why do you think there’s a by-election in the pipeline Don?

  8. Last time an incumbent lost here was 1951 and even then the loser, Lady Megan Lloyd George, of the Liberals, not long afterwards joined the Labour Party which had beaten her.

  9. RobberButton:

    “Ieuan Wyn Jones to stand down as Ynys Mon AM to lead science park”:


    I think Labour might be in with a chance because as we know the electorate don’t tend to appreciate what they may view as unnecessary by-elections.

  10. Hm, interesting. That’s pretty much what happened in 2001 when he resigned as the MP to concentrate on the Assembly. The electorate thought they were given a B-list candidate & punished Plaid for it.

  11. This seat has parallels with Na h-Eileanan an Iar (The Western Isles) that covers the Outer Hebridies

    Malcolm Macmillan first gained for Labour what had been a long standing Liberal seat in 1935 ousting the sitting MP.

    He was defeated 35 years later by Donald Stewart of the SNP who turned it into an ultra safe SNP seat.

    At his retirement in 1987 the seat was regained by Labour ‘s Calum MacDonald and it did look like he had the seat for life until George Hargreaves (Christian Vote) intervention in 2005 may have contributed to his defeat and the SNP recovering a seat that to them would have been a very bitter loss.

    Like that seat, I think Labour would appear secure in the short term, but a Plaid recovery here one day (as per the SNP in the Western Isles can’t be ruled out).

  12. By-election is on 1 August

  13. For all the reasons written above on incumbency and relative strength of the parties, I lean to a Labour hold in Westminster (although a Plaid hold in the assembly where they have an impressive 100% record in the Welsh assembly of any Welsh majority speaking seat.

    At Westminster where the Tories have a larger national vote its not unthinkable (especially without a right wing independent splitting their vote) that in a future election this becomes a three way marginal.

  14. DW – what’s the proportion of Welsh speakers in the Llanelli constituency? Perhaps it’s a bit under 50%.

  15. According to the assembly around 40%, Llanelli itself is going to be slightly under around 30%.

  16. Former BBC and S4C news presenter Rhun ap Iorwerth, Heledd Fychan and Ynys Mon councilor have put themselves forward to be selected as the Plaid candidate for the By-election, anyone heard anything about potential candidates for the other parties?

  17. *Ynys Mon councilor Ann Griffith

  18. Short list of 4 to be decided on the weekend for the Tories in red.

  19. In an Assembly by-election, there are only 2 parties in the running here, Plaid & Labour. Although Plaid have a very strong candidate and a better local organisation than any other party, Labour are throwing a small fortune at this seat. If they pick it up, then they will have an overall majority in the Senedd. I suspect that Plaid will hold, but with a smaller majority than many may anticipate.

  20. This was a very good result here for the Conservatives in 2011.

    They must have capitalised on the departure of Independent and former Conservative AM Peter Rogers, whose vote must have largely gone to Paul Williams.

    Even then it was their highest ever percentage vote share in this particular constituency since the Assembly was created.

    The by-election may well see Plaid go down by a few percentage points, Labour surge and the Tories fall back a bit. There is a chance that the Liberal Democrats may go below 1%, but I wouldn’t bet on it happening.

    So a Plaid hold looks highly likely, but will the majority stay within four figures?

  21. UKIP are actually taking votes from Plaid here, so could be very interesting result here. Plaid also getting hit by their anti-Wylfa B nuclear power station stance.

  22. Knowing what I know about the seat (which coming from the other end of Wales isn’t a great deal) I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see ukip and plaid exchange some votes but I’d like to know the reasoning behind the statement.

  23. Plaid won the by election with a 14% swing to them from Labour.

    Labour on 16%, UKIP on 14%, Conservatives collapsed to 9%, and the LDs last on 1% unsurprisingly.

  24. Potential Plaid gain?

  25. Don’t even attempt to guess results from Anglesey.

  26. Don’t know what to read from this, has Leanne turned a corner for plaid after all?

  27. This must also be encouraging to Plaid in the adjacent Afron, where they are at some risk from Labour. This will make then more confident in gaining seats in 2015 (here and the longshot of Ceredigion), and less worried about hold Carmarthen East and Afron.

  28. Anglesey is of course prone to idiosyncratic results but this can only be a worrying result for Labour after their patchy performance in the county elections.

  29. Labour did alright in the welsh council elections but assume you mean english ones?

    Good result for plaid, but for ukip also, no reason to believe they are tainted as in Scotland. Every reason why they should get assembly members, and certainly retain their eu seat.

  30. DW, I think Runnymede is referring to the council elections in Ynys Môn, where Labour did appallingly.

    Interestingly, Rhun ap Iorwerth’s number of votes in the by-election (12,601) is higher than Labour sitting MP, Albert Owen, has ever had in this seat. His highest vote was 12,278 in the 2005 general election, on a 68% turnout (whereas the turnout in the by-election was only 42%).

    As is happens I think Labour might still be hopeful of retaining Ynys Môn, but this result was a stonking defeat – they’ll be worried.

  31. I know this seat was televised in the years between 1997 and 2005, as well as 1987, but was it shown anywhere in 1992 or 2010?

  32. It was shown on BBC in 2001 when Labour gained it. Don’t think it was broadcast in 2010.

  33. Ynys Mon of course has long had a knack of attracting the television cameras, even as far back as 1979- I think probably in recent years in particular it has been one of a few seats that the BBC’s election night coverage has really focused on consistently.

  34. It’s been said before but I’ll say it again. BBC election night coverage has vastly decreased it quality lately. Whether that affects the no. of declarations covered I couldn’t say.

  35. The only good thing left about it is David Dimbleby. When he has gone off to meet the great swingometer in the sky, the BBC’s election night coverage will be truly dreadful.

  36. Andrew Neil’s sleb party on an important election when the Government was at stake
    was the last straw.
    Although rather apt for what went wrong in the previous years.

  37. David Dimbleby is excellent, they just need to find him another David Butler.

    The boat thing was disgraceful. I’m tempted to go into a full scale Daily Mail-esque rant about wasting tv licence money.

  38. @ Robberbutton Vernon Bogdanor I thought was very good considering it was his first programme.

  39. They should get Robert Waller on. He was very good on the 1990 local elections programme on Thames TV

  40. ‘@ Robberbutton Vernon Bogdanor I thought was very good considering it was his first programme.’

    I disagree

    He was so biaised towards Cameron and the Tories, which is fair enough given that Cameron was one of his students at Oxford, but given his stance he shouldn’t have been introduced as an independent analyst

    I prefered Anthony King

    Dimbleby is clearly the dominant political broadcaster in the UK

    Although twice as many people watch, BBC’s coverage than ITV’s, I’m shocked it’s not more

  41. I thought some of his observations were insightful and nonpartisan.

    But yes I agree RE Anthony King, I don’t know why he wasn’t on in 2010.

  42. I am pretty sure that Bogdanor was an SDP supporter. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were a Tory now. He taught my once-upon-a-time girlfriend at Brasenose College Oxford.

  43. I thought Anthony King also once upon a time had something to do with the SDP- he advised them or something?

  44. Bogdanor is definitely a Labour supporter, though perhaps of the more Blairite kind than you Barnaby. He has said numerous times in interviews and articles that he disagrees with David Cameron’s politics.

  45. That’s interesting, it had passed me by completely. He has an article in today’s Guardian in which he basically says that Prince Charles has every right to put his views to ministers, but not to embarrass the Queen by being party-politically partisan.

  46. ‘Bogdanor is definitely a Labour supporter’

    I’m very surprised – I had him as a dye-in-the-wool Tory, although one who may have been a one-time ‘Leftie’ like Peter Hitchens or Finkelstein

    ‘He has an article in today’s Guardian in which he basically says that Prince Charles has every right to put his views to ministers, but not to embarrass the Queen by being party-politically partisan’

    I think the monarchy will find a lot of the goodwill they currently enjoy evaporates once Charkes becomes King.

    I count myself as a staunch monarchist but largely bewcause oif the impeccable job the Queen does and once she is no longer our figurehead our country will be a considerably worst place for it

    Charles continuously embarasses the Queen – perhaps not as much as his younger brothers – by being politically partisan and sharing his views on issues on which he shouldn’t be commenting on

  47. ITN’s coverage in 2010 was absolutely dreadful IMO, certainly worse than the BBC’s. They could hardly be bothered to show any details results at all and whenever they did they were apologetic about it, as if viewers would be bored by seeing election results on election night. This was despite being presented by Alastair Stewart who I think did a good job as an assistant presenter in the 1980s.

    Jonathan Dimbleby had presented it in 1997, 2001 and 2005.

  48. Tim – surely if one is a monarchist, one has no option but to embrace the hereditary principle. I get rather impatient with people who says stuff like “I like the monarchy, but I don’t want Charles, I want Prince William to succeed the Queen”. Anyone who says that is missing the point. The monarchy IS the hereditary principle. We can’t edit the monarchy or decide which monarch we fancy at the time; we either have a hereditary monarchy, an elected president (either by parliament or by the whole population), or neither. I don’t dislike the present queen at all, but I am opposed to the appointment of a head of state being on the basis of an hereditary principle.

  49. I am a total monarchist and accept the principles, irreplaceable though the Queen is. I hope almost all of us share that. On election nights, I do recall this seat on the 1979, 1987 and 2001 progs. I thought the 2005 bbc prog quite entertaoining although in fact tony was getting a bit too bullish about tory prospects because of a clutch of better con results early. Perhaps he just wanted so$ething close and exciting

  50. I always had Bogdanor down as a Lib Dem. Lived almost next door to him when I was at Brasenose.

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