This is the more suburban seat that makes up the city of Swansea. The Welsh name for the city is “Abertawe”, which means “the mouth of the Tawe River”. The English name is believed to derive from “Sveinn’s island” (Old Norse: Sveinsey), which is thought to be a reference to the City’s origins as a trading post for Viking raiders.
This seat contains the city’s University and the suburban wards of Killay, Sketty and Dunvant. It reaches almost to the Gower Peninsula. The seat is the more marginal of the two city seats for the Labour Party. Despite having been held by the Labour Party continuously since 1964, their hold has sometimes been precarious to say the least. The Labour majority in 1979 was just 401 votes over the Conservatives, and in 2010 the new Labour MP, Geraint Davies held the seat by just 504 votes over the Liberal Democrats. Davies was selected as candidate when the previous incumbent, Alan Williams stood down having represented the seat since 1964. By the time he stood down, Williams was the “Father of the House” in the Commons having the longest unbroken period of service as an MP. The 2010 surge in Liberal Democrat support may have been down to the university students supporting the Liberal Democrats pledge not to increase tuition fees. After they reneged on that promise what will happen to that Liberal Democrat support is anyone’s guess.
At the Welsh Assembly level the result is a bit more predictable, with Labour having held the seat since it’s creation in 1999, albeit with less solid majorities than are posted from the eastern seat in the city. The current Assembly Member is Julie James who won the seat in 2011 with a majority of 4,654 votes. She took over from the retiring Labour Assembly Member Andrew Davies who has represented the seat since 1999. As with the Swansea East Assembly seat the second place has been taken by all of the other main political parties in Wales at various elections. The Conservatives being the main challengers in 2011.
Being a University City the city centre contains a sizable number of bars, restaurants and nightclubs for the visitor to sample. The west of the city also contains Singleton Park and the Taliesin Centre. The birthplace of fabled Welsh poet Dylan Thomas at Cwmdonkin Drive is also to be found in the constituency, as is the National Waterfront Museum.
2015 General election results
|Holley, Chris||Liberal Democrat||3,178||9.04|
|Roberts, Harri||Plaid Cymru||2,266||6.45|
Labour Co-op majority 7,036 (20.01%) 3.08% swing Conservative to Labour
Electorate 58,776 Turnout: 35,156 (59.81%)
2011 Assembly election result
|Speht, Rob||Liberal Democrat||3,654||16.76%|
|Harris, Carl||Plaid Cymru||3,035||13.92%|
Turnout: 21,805 (34.97%)
|Labour hold||4,654 majority|
2010 General election results
|May, Peter||Liberal Democrat||11,831||33.2|
|Roberts, Harri||Plaid Cymru||1,437||4.0|
Electorate 61,334 Turnout: 35,593 (58.03%)
Julie James was elected to the Assembly in 2011. She sits on three Assembly committees, namely the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee; Enterprise and Business and the Environment and Sustainability committee.
Julie James (Labour) by profession is an environmental and constitutional lawyer a member of Gray’s Inn. She spent most of her legal career in local government, working as a policy lawyer with the London Borough of Camden before returning to Swansea to work for West Glamorgan County Council and then the City and County of Swansea where she was assistant chief executive.
Born in Swansea she is married with three children.
Member of Parliament
Geraint Davies(Labour) was elected MP for Swansea West in 2010 having been an MP for Croydon Central between 1997 to 2005. He was previously the Council Leader in Croydon.
He was brought up in Cardiff went to Llanishen High School and then read PPE in Oxford.
He was elected to Croydon Borough in 1986 and when Labour won control of the Borough became Chairman of the Housing Committee, and in 1996 was chosen as Leader of the Council.
In his first term in Parliament, Davies was appointed Chair of the Environment Transport & Regions Departmental Committee and also served on the Public Account Committee. On his re-election Davies sits on the Welsh Affairs Select Committee.