Cardiff Central


Cardiff Central constituency is one of the four seats that make up the Welsh Capital. As its name suggests it covers the central area of the city. It stretches from the Millennium Stadium, through the main shopping area of Queen Street and along the mainline railway that separates the seat from Cardiff South, and up towards the north eastern fringes of the city at Pentwyn.

Politically and socially the seat is quite diverse, having been held by all the three main UK political parties since 1983. From 1983 to 1992 it was held by the Conservatives, it was then won and held until 2005 by the Labour party, and in 2005 Labour lost the seat to the Liberal Democrats, who still hold it to the present. The reason suggested for this political meandering is that the seat contains a large number of students, who helped Labour win the seat in 1992 through to 2005, but who then switched to the Liberal Democrats as the Labour government proposed reforming higher education funding. The Westminster seat is currently held by the Liberal Democrat’s Jenny Willott.

In the Welsh Assembly elections the Liberal Democrats won the seat in the first Assembly election in 1999, and held it until the 2011 election, when Labour’s Jenny Rathbone snatched it by the slimmest of margins, just 38 votes.

The seat contains some areas of affluence such as Cyncoed, and some areas of relative deprivation, which may also account for the political variance in the seat. The very urban and anglicized nature of the seat means that the Plaid Cymru vote rarely troubles double figures, yet alone puts them in contention for the seat.

The seat covers much of Cardiff that is most attractive to tourists including the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff Castle itself, The National Museum of Wales and Roath Park. It is also one of the most ethnically diverse seats in Wales.

2015 General election results

Party Votes Cast Percentage
Stevens, Jo Labour 15,462 40.01
Willott, Jenny Liberal Democrat 10,481 27.12
Hopkins, Richard Conservative 5,674 14.68
Raybould, Anthony UKIP 2,499 6.47
von Ruhland, Christopher Green 2,461 6.37
Pollaard, Martin Plaid Cymru 1,925 4.98
Williams, Steve TUSC 110 0.28
Hubert, Kasimir Independent 34 0.09

Labour Majority 4,981 (12.89%)  12.77% swing LD to Labour

2011 Assembly election results

Party Votes Cast Percentage
Rathbone, Jenny Labour 8,954 37.90%
Howells, Nigel Liberal Democrat 8,916 37.73%
Smith, Matt Conservative   3,559 15.06%
Williams, Chris Plaid Cymru   1,690   7.15%
Khan, Mathab Independent      509   2.15%

Turnout: 23,628 (36.72%)

Labour gain from Liberal Democrat 38 majority

2010 General election results

Party Votes Cast Percentage
Willott, Jenny Liberal Democrat 14,976 41.4
Rathbone, Jenny Labour 10,400 28.8
Robson, Karen Conservative 7,799 21.6
Williams, Chris Plaid Cymru 1,246 8.4
Davies, Susan UKIP 765 2.1
Coates, Sam Green 575 1.6
Saunders, Ross TUSC 162 0.4
Beech, Mark Loony 142 0.39
Mathias, Alun Independent 86 0.24

Electorate 61,162  Turnout: 36,151 (59.11%)

Assembly Member

Jenny Rathbone (Labour) was elected to the Assembly in 2011 she serves on both the Equalties, Local government committee and the Public Accounts committee.

She was a a councillor in the London Borough of Islington 1998-2002

She worked for 20 years in current affairs television, including roles as a researcher and reporter for Granada’s World in Action, producer of the BBC’s Money Programme, and some time working on Women’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.

She was born in Liverpool and now lives in Llanedeyrn in Cardiff. She has two children.

Member of Parliament

Jo Stevens (Labour) was elected in 2015