Cardiff Central

2015 Result:
Conservative: 5674 (14.7%)
Labour: 15462 (40%)
Lib Dem: 10481 (27.1%)
Plaid Cymru: 1925 (5%)
Green: 2461 (6.4%)
UKIP: 2499 (6.5%)
TUSC: 110 (0.3%)
Independent: 34 (0.1%)
MAJORITY: 4981 (12.9%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

Geography: Wales, South Glamorgan. Part of the Cardiff council area.

Main population centres: Cardiff, Roath, Pentwyn, Cyncoed.

Profile: A compact seat which includes the city centre itself, the Millenium Stadium, the university area of Cardiff, the Victorian avenues and terraces of Roath and the leafy suburb of Cyncoed to the north. It is very much a university seat, with one of the highest proportions of students of any seat in the country.

Politics: Containing some of the more affluent and desirable suburbs of Cardiff, Cardiff central was a Conservative held marginal during the 1980s. However since then the Liberal Democrats surplanted them in second place, and ultimately won the seat in 2005 before losing it again in the post-coaltion rout of 2015.

Current MP
JO STEVENS (Labour) Born 1966, Swansea. Educated at Manchester University. Former solicitor. First elected as MP for Cardiff Central in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 7799 (22%)
Lab: 10400 (29%)
LDem: 14976 (41%)
PC: 1246 (3%)
Oth: 1730 (5%)
MAJ: 4576 (13%)
Con: 3339 (9%)
Lab: 12398 (34%)
LDem: 17991 (50%)
PC: 1271 (4%)
Oth: 1133 (3%)
MAJ: 5593 (15%)
Con: 5537 (16%)
Lab: 13451 (39%)
LDem: 12792 (37%)
PC: 1680 (5%)
Oth: 1382 (4%)
MAJ: 659 (2%)
Con: 8470 (20%)
Lab: 18464 (44%)
LDem: 10541 (25%)
PC: 1504 (4%)
Oth: 3274 (8%)
MAJ: 7923 (19%)

2015 Candidates
RICHARD HOPKIN (Conservative) Born Wales. Educated at Cambridge University.
JO STEVENS (Labour) Born 1966, Swansea. Educated at Manchester University. Solicitor.
JENNIFER WILLOTT (Liberal Democrat) Born 1974, Wimbledon. Educated at Wimbledon High School and Durham University. Researcher to Lembit Opik. Merton councillor 1998-2000. Contested Cardiff Central 2001. MP for Cardiff Central 2005 to 2015. Government whip since 2012.
CHRIS VON RUHLAND (Green) Born London. Biomedical scientist. Contested Cardiff North 2010.
MARTIN POLLARD (Plaid) Born 1977, London. Educated at Cardiff University. Education officer.
KAZIMIR HUBERT (Independent)
Comments - 319 Responses on “Cardiff Central”
  1. I have seen one person on Twitter suggest the Tories could sweep Cardiff. I don’t personally think that is at all likely, but it isn’t totally implausable:

    North – Con-held marginal
    West – Lab held, would fall on 7.5% swing, Plaid also a factor that could make it three-way
    South and Penarth – Lab held, would fall on 8% swing, more Brexity than the rest of Cardiff
    Central – Lab held, in recent years a marginal with the LDs, could end up a three way.

  2. Treeways sound nice

  3. The Welsh poll has now been released… and quite sensational it is too:

    CON 40
    LAB 30
    PC 13
    LD 8
    UKIP 6
    GRN 2

    The change is mainly the result of UKIP’s collapse, from

  4. A poll like that makes a seat like this very difficult to call.

  5. Perhaps. Though as UKIP>CON switching is a big factor in the size of the Tory lead, Labour may do better in the Cardiff seats where UKIP are relatively weak but extremely badly in North Wales and the valleys (though the size of their 2015 lead in the valleys means they’re unlikely to lose many, if any, seats).

  6. The problem with Wales polling is that it does not take into account the different battles.-
    Lab v Con in the south and north-east
    Lab v PC in the north-west
    Lab v PC v Con in the north and south west
    LD v Con in Powys
    LD v PC in Ceredigion
    and the vast amount of tactical voting that goes on as a result (eg Tories voting LD in Ceredigion)
    This poll is very good for the Tories and I would expect them to pick up quite a few seats but it does not really give a good guide as to which.

  7. I’d expect Cardiff Central would be more likely than not to go LD, given Parrott’s candidacy, though it’s far from certain.

  8. If the Tories are doing as well as the Welsh poll suggests that could be problematic for the Libs here, like most ex affluent now studenty seats that the Libs have strength in (here, Manchester Withington, Bristol West) a good chunk of the Lib vote is strategic votes from Tories, in this seat they will come primarily from Cyncoed. If Tory inclined people here think they have a shot they’ll vote for their first preference and that will seriously hamper the Libs here.

  9. It’s also very Remain, however, which means that those Tory voters may not be the same ones that are driving their high ride in the polls or would be most inclined to back the Tories regardless.

  10. Also, apparently Betfair has the LDs as favorites to win here.

  11. I think Cardiff Central is so unrepresentative of Wales as a whole that it is pretty hard to interpret in terms of that poll. Certainly the UKIP % can’t fall by 7% here, although I guess they may not stand..
    I would be be surprised if Tory voters will think they can win here, given the level of likely activity from Lab and Lib Dem. In fact given the fact that this is the only target seat for Lib Dems in SWales while Tories and Labour suddenly see many new battlegrounds open up, i think the tactical ground campaign situation now favours Lib Dem.

  12. I feel this seat will come down to two things.

    1. How many Tory remainers there are in this seat.
    2. How will will they be to vote LD

    Labour will lose vote share, maybe as much as 5-7% If this is lost to LDs (Lab 2015 – Tory now – tactically vote LD 2017) then this seat is interesting. Not to mention LDs will probably see their vote rise from 8-12+% this GE. Id say it’s 60-40 Labour, first time incumbency may save them.

  13. I think the locals here next week will be interesting. The Lib Dems lost a lot of council seats in Cardiff last time. If they win back a significant number it would indicate that they are on the way back locally. If the Tories pick up many seats in Cardiff Central then it will show the tactical voting is unwinding.

  14. In 2004 and 2008 the Lib Dems won 20/20 council seats here.

    In 2012 they drooped to 12 and Labour won 8.

    Last night Labour won 10, Lib Dems 9 and the Conservatives 1.

    Total votes cast last night were:

    Lib Dem 31,866
    Labour 25,118
    Cons 12,432

  15. Paul

    Do you know the turnout?

  16. I should add that those figures are the total vote for all candidates, there are six wards and 20 Councillors (so it’s 20 ‘sets’ of Lab, LD, Con votes etc.)

    If you only take the top candidate in each of the six wards the LDs still come out on top by around 1,000 votes (8k to 7k)

    In terms of turnouts the wards were (with 2012 figure)

    Adamsdown 36% (29%)
    Cathays 38% (18%)
    Cyncoed 56% (43%)
    Pentwyn 38% (31%)
    Penylan 50% (41%)
    Plasnewydd 39% (28%)

    Historic council results for Cardiff can be found here:

  17. The AM for this seat, Jenny Rathbone, has been suspended for (you guessed it) anti-Semitic comments.

  18. Jenny Rathbone has been reinstated to the Labour Party while remaining under investigation for antisemitism. Mark Drakeford has welcomed her back.

  19. Jo Stevens is in hospital, being treated for coronavirus.

    Obviously wishing her a full and swift recovery.

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