This constituency follows closely the boundaries of the County of Ceredigion. It’s a seat that goes back to 1536 when Henry V11 incorporated Wales with England and the boundaries have remained much the same during the whole time. The main towns of the seat are Cardigan, Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Lampeter and everything on the Western bank of the Teifi.
Ceredigion is a large rural seat. The population concentrated in the strip along the Cardigan bay coast and the towns of the Teifi valley. The hinterland is moorland and mountains. Tourism and agriculture are the back bone to the local economy also of course it contains two universities one, in Aberystwyth and the other in Lampeter. Institutes such as these as well as the National Library which is also based in Aberystwyth, all make a major contribution to economic activity in the seat.
There are a high proportion of Welsh speakers living in the seat.
Liberal party representation goes back a long way in Ceredigion. Their challenges have varied, first it was the Tories and then after the last war it was Labour’s Elysan Morgan who held the seat in between 1966 and 1974. It was then won back by the Geraint Howells for the Liberals and there it remained until Plaid Cymru’s Cynog Dafis in alliance with the Greens won the seat in 1992 It was held by Plaid until 2005 when Mark Williams beat the then Plaid incumbent Simon Thomas. It remains in Liberal Democrat hands.
Plaid Cymru’s Elin Jones have held the seat in Assembly elections since 1999.
Plaid Cymru remains the main challenger for the seat although Labour have chosen a strong candidate to fight the seat in 2015. Their candidate is Huw Thomas a Cardiff Councillor who is from Ceridigion and has strong family ties in the seat.
Although ITV Wales/Yougov polls have showed a dramatic decline in the Liberal Democrat vote making the seat vulnerable to challenge. However, the sitting MP is a formidable campaigner and will be difficult to unseat because of a very high personal vote he attracts.
2011 Assembly election results
|Jones, Elin||Plaid Cymru||12,020||41.34%|
|Evans, Liz||Liberal Democrat||10,243||35.23%|
Turnout: 29,076 (51.03%)
|Plaid Cymru hold||1,777 majority|
2010 General election results
|Williams, Mark||Liberal Democrat||19,139||50|
|James, Penri||Plaid Cymru||10,815||28.3|
Electorate 59,043 Turnout: 38,258 (64.80%)
Elin Jones (Plaid Cymru) was elected in 1999. Currently, is Plaid Cymru’s shadow Business Manager as well as being the parties Health Spokesperson. She sits on the Business Committee and the Health and Socila Care committee. In 2007 when Labour and Plaid formed the One Wales coalition government, Elin Jones became Minister for Rural Affairs.
Elin Jones was raised on a farm in Llanwnnen, near Lampeter. She attended Llanwnnen Primary School and Lampeter High School. After graduating in Cardiff University with a BSc in Economics she was awarded an MSc from Aberystwyth University in Rural Economics.
She worked as an Economic Development Officer for the Rural Wales Development Board. She has also been director of Radio Ceredigion and the Wes Glei Cyf television production company.
She served on the Aberystwyth Town Council from 1992 to 1999 and became Aberystwyth’s youngest mayor in 1997-98. Plaid Cymru’s National Chair between 2000 and 2002.
Member of Parliament
Mark Williams (Liberal Democrat) has representd the seat since 2005. He sits on the Welsh Affairs Committee.
Mark Williams is a graduate of Aberystwyth University and then Plymouth. He was a Deputy Head of a school near Brecon before his election. Originally for Hertfordshire.
After graduating, he became a part-time researcher to the Liberal Peers but also acted as assistant to Geraint Howells the then PM for Ceridigion.
Mark Williams is married with four children.