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Will students skew results in Cardiff central?

CARDIFF CENTRAL

2007 Assembly election results

Party

Votes Cast

Percentage

Randerson, Jenny

Liberal Democrat

11,462

51.2

Lent, Sue

Labour

4,897

21.9

Murphy, Andrew

Conservative

3,137

14

Whitfield,

Plaid Cymru

3,758

11.2

Mahoney, Kevin

UKIP

2,310

6.9

Electorate 62,114 Turnout: 36.1%

This central Cardiff constituency includes the prosperous city centre, and some of the rich suburbs such Cyncoed and Roath Lake. But it also contains some of the poorer wards of the City.

Various Universities and colleges are based here and consequently the seat houses the largest number of students based in any Welsh constituency, many of who are on the electoral register. The Liberal Democrats control the Cardiff County Council with many of their Councillors representing wards within the seat.

Political Profile

This is one of the safest Liberal Democrat seat in the Assembly. The seat was won by the now Lady Randerson in 1999 she held onto the seat until these elections. She is standing down and the candidate that the Liberal Democrats have chosen to replace her is a Councillor representing the Adamsdown ward in the constituency.

Labour, have chosen their unsuccessful general election candidate to fight the seat.

The Conservatives held the seat in Westminster up until 1992 but due to boundary changes are now disadvantaged. They can no longer be regarded as serious contenders. The party seems to have acknowledged this by choosing an inexperienced young candidate who is gaff prone [see biog. below]. Plaid Cymru and the Independent have no chance and are not in the running.

It is very much a two-horse race between Labour and Liberal Democrats.

Labour has been campaigning hard amongst the students to exploit the sense of betrayal felt be students with the Liberal Democrat’s ’˜u’ turn on fees. Many feel that this could be decisive in pushing the seat towards Labour. But with many students away for Easter and those remaining busy with finals the student vote is unlikely to be high.

The Liberal Democrats have a large majority and a very organized campaign so should in this seat buck their disastrous poll ratings. They will also be helped by many Tories voting tactically to keep Labour out.

Prediction: Liberal Democrat to keep hold of the seat

Labour

Jenny Rathbone

Jenny Rathbone – Lives in the constituency and is a journalist. She fought the seat in the general election and came second to the Liberal Democrat’s Jenny Willott. She’s a school governor. Worked as the programme manager of a Sure Start programme. She is also a member of a health trust. Is a member of the Unite union.

Conservative

Matt Smith

Matt Smith, a personal injury lawyer, was educated locally and has been appointed a Special Advisor on Education Policy by Welsh Conservative Party leader Nick Bourne.

His party has reprimanded him after comparing the left-wing Respect party to paedophiles when he was a candidate for the party in Tower Hamlets for a seat on this London Council.

Liberal Democrat

Nigel Howells

Nigel Howells has represented Adamsdown on Cardiff Council since 1999 and has been the Council’s Executive Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture since 2004.

He is a School Governor at Adamsdown Primary and Stacey Primary Schools.

Plaid Cymru

Chris Williams lives in Dinas Powys with his family, where he serves as a Plaid Cymru Councillor having been elected to the Vale council in 2000.

He has served as a Cabinet Member on the Vale of Glamorgan County Council, and also as a Dinas Powys Community Councillor since 1992.

Chris was born in Grangetown, Cardiff and grew up in the city, being educated at Fitzalan Comprehensive and UWIC.

Independent

Mathab Khan

Taxi driver, who resigned his membership of the Labour Party over foreign policy and joined the Liberal Democrats but has since resigned from them because of their coalition with the Conservatives in Westminster. He is chair of the Cardiff Hackney Cabs association.

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