Another Welsh Valleys seat that shares many of the characteristics of its neighbours. A once thriving heavy industrial seat, which has seen most of its industry leave. The main settlements in the seat are Maesteg, Pencoed, Tondu, Llanharan and Cefn Cribwr.
This seat is named for the Ogwr river which rises in the Ogwr valley in the seat. Like its neighbouring seats, Ogmore is a safe Labour seat both at Westminster and in the Welsh Assembly. Until his death in 2002, veteran Labour MP Sir Ray Powell sat as the MP, and his daughter, Janice Gregory is the incumbent Labour Assembly for the seat.
At the By-election caused by Sir Ray’s death, the seat was held without difficulty by the current Labour MP Huw Irranca-Davies, who has maintained a healthy Labour lead at General Elections ever since. His current majority being 13,246. The seat has been held continuously by Labour since 1918 at Westminster. As you would perhaps expect, none of the other three main parties in Wales are able to mount a serious challenge to Labour in this seat, but all of them have claimed a distant second place since the 1997 General Election. The Tories came second in 1997 and 2010, the Liberal Democrats in 2005 and Plaid Cymru in 2001.
At the Welsh Assembly, things are slightly different. Janice Gregory has held the seat firmly for Labour since it’s creation in 1999, but second place has always been held by Plaid Cymru, with both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives finishing in vanishingly distant third and fourth places. The current Labour majority at Cardiff Bay is 9,576.
The seat has a rich industrial history. In 1828 a horse drawn, 15 mile railway was constructed between Porthcawl and Garnllwyd, and was called the Dyffryn, Llynfi & Porthcawl Railway, and was built to take iron products to the coast for export. The first blast furnaces were opened in Maesteg in 1831, and iron production was continued at Maesteg for another 54 years. At its height in the 1870’s, iron products from the area were exported to Southern Italy, the Ottoman Empire and the USA. After the decline of iron production in the late 1880’s coal mining took off, but that too was hit hard in the Great Depression of the 1920’s and 30’s. Since the Second World War the heavy industries have all but gone and again the area is finding it difficult to create and retain good levels of employment.
Sidney Paget who illustrated the original Sherlock Holmes stories in the “Strand” magazine in the 1880’s was from the area, but there’s very little mystery attached to the election results for Ogmore.
2015 General election results
|Thomas, Tim||Plaid Cymru||3,556||10.09|
|Francis, Gerald||Liberal Democrat||1,072||3.04|
Labour majority 13,043 (37%) 0.61% swing Labour to Conservative
Electorate 55,320 Turnout: 35,250 (63.72%)
2011 Assembly election result
|Clark, Danny||Plaid Cymru||3,379||16.67%|
|Francis, Gerald||Liberal Democrat||985||4.86%|
Turnout: 20,264 (36.55%)
|Labour hold||9,576 majority|
2010 General election results
|Radford, Jackie||Liberal Democrat||5,260||15.1|
|Clark, Danny||Plaid Cymru||3,326||9.6|
Electorate 55,527 Turnout: 34,650 (62.40%)
Janice Gregory (Labour) was elected to the Assembly in 1999 and is currently the Government Chief Whip. She has had numerous roles in her years at the Assembly which include Chair of the Labour group, Chair of the Communities and Culture Committee and Chair of the Communities and Culture Committee.
Born in Treorchy, and is the daughter of the late Sir Ray Powell who was Labour MP for Ogmore from 1979-2001 for whom she worked as constituency secretary and a caseworker.
She lives in Pencoed and is married with two children and two grandchildren.
Member of Parliament
Huw Irranca-Davies (Labour) was elected to Parliament in a by-election in 2002. He gained office as Assistan Whip in May 2006. Then became a junior minister in the Welsh Office in 2007 before being promoted to Under Secretary in the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Davies was born in 1963, the son of Teresa Davies and Gethin Davies. Some of his earliest memories are of campaigning in General Elections for his uncle,who was Ifor Davies MP for Gower.
Davies went to Gowerton Comprehensive School (where his mother was a secretary), and later achieved a BA (Hons) at Crewe and Alsager College, and an MSc. Before entering parliament he was a lecturer in Swansea Metropolitan University.
He is currently a shadow minister for food and farming.
He is married and has his three sons. In 2005 he was voted the sexiest man in Wales by the Western Mail!