2015 Result:
Conservative: 5691 (15.3%)
Labour: 16270 (43.8%)
Lib Dem: 1173 (3.2%)
Plaid Cymru: 6722 (18.1%)
Green: 1185 (3.2%)
UKIP: 6094 (16.4%)
MAJORITY: 9548 (25.7%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Wales, West Glamorgan. Part of the Neath Port Talbot council area.

Main population centres: Neath, Pontardawe, Glyn-Neath, Resolven.

Profile: A former coal mining area in the South Wales valleys, Neath is a mixture of industrial and rural areas covering the Neath and Dulais valleys and some of upper Swansea valley, running up to the foothills of the Brecon Beacons.

Politics: A Labour stronghold. Around a quarter of the population are Welsh-speaking, and Neath and Port Talbot had the highest proportion in favour of devolution in the 1997 referendum - Plaid Cymru have come second in the last four elections, albeit a exceptionally long way behind Labour.

Current MP
CHRISTINA REES (Labour) Educated at Cynffig Comprehensive School and University of Wales. Former development officer and squash coach, barrister. Bridgend councillor since 2012, Mid Glamorgan councilloe 1988-1995. Contested Arfon 2011 Assembly election. First elected as MP for Neath in 2015. Ex-wife of former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies.
Past Results
Con: 4847 (13%)
Lab: 17172 (46%)
LDem: 5535 (15%)
PC: 7397 (20%)
Oth: 2171 (6%)
MAJ: 9775 (26%)
Con: 4136 (12%)
Lab: 18835 (53%)
LDem: 5112 (14%)
PC: 6125 (17%)
Oth: 1609 (4%)
MAJ: 12710 (35%)
Con: 3310 (9%)
Lab: 21253 (61%)
LDem: 3335 (10%)
PC: 6437 (18%)
Oth: 685 (2%)
MAJ: 14816 (42%)
Con: 3583 (9%)
Lab: 30324 (74%)
LDem: 2597 (6%)
PC: 3344 (8%)
Oth: 1395 (3%)
MAJ: 26741 (65%)

2015 Candidates
ED HASTIE (Conservative) Independent financial advisor.
CHRISTINA REES (Labour) Educated at Cynffig Comprehensive School and University of Wales. Development officer and squash coach, barrister. Bridgend councillor since 2012, Mid Glamorgan councilloe 1988-1995. Contested Arfon 2011 Assembly election. Ex-wife of former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies.
CLARE BENTLEY (Liberal Democrat)
CATRIN BROCK (Green) Student.
Comments - 39 Responses on “Neath”
  1. By-election here yesterday: Labour hold. Labour 718, Port Talbot Residents’ Assoc 222, UKIP 154, Plaid 69, Cons 40.

  2. My forecast for 2015

    Lab 52
    PC 18
    UKIP 12
    LD 7
    Con 6
    Others 5

  3. Peter Hain standing down.

  4. It’s good to see an MP retiring at 65. Although I think he’s damaged since the NIO letters to IRA members were revealed.

  5. To Andy JS: It is a real pity that Peter Hain will be leaving Parliament-one of the better Labour MPs and one of the few who was left-wing enough to have ever spoken at the Marxism Festival. (Another being Michael Meacher; he sadly did not show up at said Marxism Festival when he was due to speak).

  6. “TV’s Fiona Phillips bids to succeed Peter Hain as MP for Neath

    Former GMTV presenter throws her hat into the ring for South Wales set nomination”:

  7. I’ve heard that many Labour councilors are backing Plaid at the GE next year due to their anger regarding the all woman shortlist, I’m sure it will still be a Labour hold though.

  8. Christina Rees has won Labour selection over Mabel McKeown and Karen Wilkie.

    Rees is a Cllr in Bridgend, she was on 2014 Euro Labour list and fought Arfon in 2011 Welsh Assembly election (as a late replacement IIRC). She has been married to Ron Davies.

  9. Before the “moment of madness” on Clapham Common I assume.

  10. I believe until the moment of madness. They separated in 1999. The MoM was in 1998?

  11. Christina Rees looks safe at the moment. But, bearing in mind what is happening in Scotland, she would be advised not to take this seat for granted. A serious Plaid Cymru challenge at some point is far from impossible.

    At least Labour, in general terms, is stronger and more proactive on the ground in South Wales than in some of their Scottish constituencies. The price of political success is to keep on working hard at the basics.

  12. I Carried out a straw poll of 32 voters last night for Neath; RESULT

  13. Labour hold. 17,000 majority

  14. Election Forecast predicting a close result here – 38% Lab 32% and similar growth for Plaid in Rhondda. Anyone know why this is?

  15. *32% plaid

  16. I suspect that where Scotland has led, Wales could easily follow, maybe 10 years behind.

  17. When Plaid Cymru sheds off its image as
    “only Welsh speakers vote for it, dont they?”
    “party of rural wales/farming” – though Id say toryism is closer to landowner values
    and negative mindsets like “Wales is too poor weak and stupid”……………

    then you may see the rise of self determination parties I feel.

    Whether that will be Plaid Cymru or not as the principal actor is another story though.

    Interesting how Peter Hain fought for empowerment and rights for people around the world, but didnt agree with devolving wealth creation powers in Wales…hmm 😉

  18. Several Labour Cllrs now appear as “unaffiliated.”

    It seems a number have been deselected, but its unclear if they’ve been suspended from the Party also.

    Upto now, 4 have said they’ll stand as Inds.

  19. It’s very sad that some of these guys have served their council for combined 50 years. Councillors unlike MPs do have to face re-selection but it’s mostly just ceremonial as most branches aren’t active enough to deselect Councillors. Obviously the influx and mobilizing of new members has meant that these branches are up and running. I don’t know Neath and have some sympathy but only last May I spoke to residents complaining about local Councillors, some Councillors work really hard and others do let people down time and time again.

  20. Given the lack of effort made by some Councillors, I think deselections should be significantly more frequent. Not to say that this is what’s happened here.

  21. I think in the case of those Cllrs deselection is due to them not passing the interview with the panel and therefore not being put on the approved candidates list rather than being voted out by branch members.

  22. Andrea – yes that makes sense.

    I recall that’s what (Labour’s) NW Region did in Lpool when the local Party was in special measures for over a decade.

    What I found odd is why it meant they ceased to be Labour cllrs now on the council website? Surely that only applies to those who have had their Party membership suspended? Usually deselected cllrs remain in the Party and group – unless they choose to defect.

  23. Lancs Observer,

    given they have announced they still stand as Independents, they have effectively left the party.

  24. Only four of them the other two are retiring

  25. Andrea – Most aren’t and even then it’d only be at the close of nominations that they would have done something that merited suspension.

    Indeed I know of 1 Cllr who handed in Noms as an Ind to get what he wanted. It was given and he withdrew the Ind nominations before the deadline.

  26. I think it’s not they have been suspended, but that they have left the party after their deselection. The 7th (Marian Lewis) is the mother of one of the deselected Cllrs who followed her son.

    I think the other one (David Lewis) left Labour earlier after a previous fall out

  27. I suppose it’s all a bit chicken and egg now.

    ie they say they were removed from the group and Party without authority – so left in disgust/protest.

    Although I have seen (in Wigan, Lpool, etc) were two rival groups of Cllrs both call themselves the Labour Group or Cons Group or Lib Group and that causes all sorts of issues, so at least that hasn’t happened.


    South Africa has had its credit rating cut to junk status and the rand has fallen further.

  29. South Africa has been discussed on this site before and it usually descends into a petulant “who’s fault is it” debate, well less who’s fault it is since I think we all acknowledge Zuma is useless, more a case of whether he’s too left wing or too right wing depending on who you ask. Thus in the interest of non partisanship if a discussion is to be had on this lets try and refrain from going down that avenue again.

  30. I don’t think it’s a question of left or right, that’s really a side issue, it’s more that Zuma (and much of the ANC more broadly) is corrupt, self serving and perfectly happy to undermine democracy and crush opposition in order to maintain power for themselves.

  31. True.

    After all even the Communists and a union have called for him to go.

  32. Lancs Observer

    The Rand is substantially stronger than it was a year ago

  33. Against Stirling it is; it’s not much different against the US and Canadian dollars (10.2 today cf 11.5 CAD last year, 13 cf 15 against USD)

  34. Tories under investigation again, this time for misuse of a call centre which they seem to have outsourced for their own canvassing:

  35. Only just spotted this one:

    Gwynfi ward by-election, 16.08.18:

    Independent 268 58% (up 14%)
    Plaid 73 16%
    Labour 60 13% (down 43%)
    Ind 45
    Ind 14
    Cons 4

    51% Turnout (an August record)

    Ind Gain from Labour (in the poorest ward in Wales on some stats)

  36. Some more fine examples of selective reporting from Lancs there, reassuring to note some things don’t change…

  37. Hahahaha. He’s a joker isn’t he.

  38. Ah, nice to see you, Lee Rivers.

    Have you recovered from being Agent in Tuebrook & Stoneycroft ward yet? As you went very quiet for months after that.

    I was merely taking your advice – you complained when I reported every result and said just to post the gains and large swings. Although readers will recall that you also moaned when I did just that too!

  39. Lancs
    Thank you, its been a while but I thought I’d pop my head in. As you said I had a lot on my plate for a period, not just being the agent in Tuebrook but also a new job and some other stuff.

    As for your justifications for posting certain results Lancs it would hold a bit more credence if you’d also posted the result for the large swing to Lab (and near miss) in North Warwickshire that was held on the same day as all these other results. Your reasons for omitting that one result are somewhat perplexing, might it have anything to do with the fact that it was a good result for Labour?

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