Gower

To paraphrase a footballing cliché, this is very much a seat of two halves. The North Eastern section which covers the more industrial towns of Pontarddulais, Gorseinion and Clydach, whilst the Western side covers the largely rural and beautiful Gower peninsula. In this area can be found pretty villages like Oxwich, Pennard and the Mumbles.

The northern part of the seat developed industrially, like most of South Wales in the 19th century. In this case when coal mining began with Anthracite coal being the main mineral being sought. Towns such as Pontarddulais became important transport hubs as railways were built to transport the coal to Swansea and Llanelli.

This industrialisation meant that despite its very rural nature in parts, the seat has been a safe one for Labour. Indeed it is been a Labour seat since 1906, and has the longest unbroken run of Labour representation in the British Parliament, along with Normanton and Makerfield. Since 1997 the seat has been held by Martin Caton for the Labour Party, but his majority of just 2,683 in 2010, and the fact that he is not standing for re-election in 2015, could possibly give the Conservatives a chance to break this long running Labour streak. The support for the Conservatives and the Liberals can mainly be found in the rural and suburban parts of the constituency such as the Gower itself and the Mumbles.

At the Assembly level the story is a familiar one. Labour have held the seat since the Assembly was created in 1999, with Edwina Hart being the seat’s only AM since then. Her majority was a solid enough 4,864 votes in the 2011 election, but it did sink to just over a thousand votes in 2007, which suggests that the seat could be vulnerable to a Tory surge in the future.

The attractions in the seat are mainly to be found on the Gower peninsula, with the area famed for its sandy beaches and dramatic coastline. Places like Three Cliffs Bay, Langland Bay and Caswell Bay are renowned across the land. In the north of the constituency lie the Penllergare Valley Woods which also attracts visitors.

2015 General election results

Party Votes Cast Percentage
Davies, Byron Conservative 15,862 37.1
Evans, Liz Labour 15,835 37.03
Beckett, Colin UKIP 4,773 11.53
Thomas, Darren Plaid Cymru 3,051 7.14
Sheehan, Mike Liberal Democrat 1,552 3.63
Marshall, Julia Green 1,161 2.72
Von Claptrap, Baron Barnes Loony 253 0.59
Roberts, Steve Independent 168 0.39
Evans, Mark TUSC 103 0.24

Conservative majority 27 (0.06%) 3.25% swing Labour to Conservative

Electorate 61,820 Turnout: 42,758 (69.17%)

2011 Assembly election result

Party Votes Cast Percentage
Hart, Edwina Labour 12,866 48.06%
Jones, Caroline Conservative   8,002 29.89%
Price, Darren Plaid Cymru  3,249 12.14%
May, Peter Liberal Democrat  2,656   9.92%

Turnout: 26,773 (43.25%)

Labour hold 4,864 majority

2010 General election results

Party Votes Cast Percentage
Caton, Martin Labour 16,016 38.4
Davies, Byron Conservative 13,333 32
Day, Mike Liberal Democrat 7,947 19.1
Price, Darren Plaid Cymru 2,760 6.6
Jones, Adrian BNP 963 2.3
Triggs, Gordon UKIP 652 1.6

Electorate 61,696 Turnout: 41,671 (67.54%)

Assembly Member

Edwina Hart(Labour) has elected to the Assembly in 1999 and in that time she has held a succession of cabinet posts. She was the first Finance Secretary, in 2000 the role was changed to include responsibility for local government and became Minister for Finance and Local Government. After the 2003 Assembly election, she was appointed the Social Justice and Regeneration Minister and then was appointed to the Health and Social Services in May 2007. Following her re-election in May 2011, Edwina was appointed Minister for Business, Enterprise and Technology.In March 2013 was appointed the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport.
She was the first female president of the banking union BIFU (now part of Unite), and went on to chair the Wales TUC. She was awarded an MBE in 1998 for services to the trade union movement.
She was born and raised in Gowerton, Swansea, where she lives with her husband and daughter.

Member of Parliament
Byron Davies (Conservative) was elected an MP in 2015. He was previously an Assembly Member for the South West Wales Region.

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