A seat that is very much one of two halves, and in places resembles more rural Southern England than it does South Wales. The seat in its urban eastern side is centred around the ex-coaling port of Barry, and gets progressively more rural as you head west, passing the well to do town of Cowbridge, and ending up in the villages of Ogmore-by-sea and Southerndown in the western fringes of the seat. Some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in South Wales can be found in this seat, along with some of Wales’s few vineyards and Cardiff -Wales airport.
The divided rural-urban nature of this seat have made it one of the most marginal seats in Wales since the late 1990’s. Between its creation in 1983 and 1989 it was won by Sir Raymond Gower for the Conservatives. In 1989 it was won by Labour’s John Smith in a by-election, before the Conservatives squeaked back in by a mere 19 votes in 1992. John Smith won the seat back for Labour in the Tory wipeout in Wales in 1997, and held the seat until 2010 when he retired from Westminster. The seat then returned to the Tories in the 2010 General Election when it was won by Alun Cairns MP.
At the Welsh Assembly elections the seat been held by Labour’s Jane Hutt since its creation in 1999, but often with some very thin majorities over the Tories, 926 in 1999 and 83 in 2007. Despite the very Anglicized and partly urban nature of the seat, Plaid Cymru often post respectable votes that hover in the mid teens of percentage points.
2015 General election results
|Johnson, Ian||Plaid Cymru||2,869||5.59|
|Morgan, David||Liberal Democrat||1,309||2.55|
Conservative majority 6,880 (13.41%) 2.28% swingLabour to Conservative
Electorate 72,187 Turnout: 51,293 (71.06%)
2011 ASSEMBLY ELECTION RESULTS
|Johnson, Ian||Plaid Cymru||4,024||12.10%|
|Chick, Damien||Liberal Democrat||1,513||4.55%|
Turnout: 33,254 (46.80%)
|Labour hold||3,775 majority|
2010 GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS
|Parrott, Eluned||Liberal Democrat||7,403||15.2|
|Johnson, Ian||Plaid Cymru||2,667||5.5|
|Harrold, John||Christian Party||236||0.5|
Electorate 70,262 Turnout: 48,667 (69.27%)
Jane Hutt (Labour) was elected to the Assembly in 1999. She is currently the Finance Minister. Between 1999 and 2005 she served as Minister for Health and Social Services in the Welsh Government. From 2005 to 2007, she was Minister for Assembly Business and Chief Whip. In the first Cabinet of the Third Assembly she was appointed Minister for Budget and Assembly Business. In the coalition Cabinet announced on 19 July 2007 she became Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills. In December 2009 she was appointed Minister for Business and Budget.
Jane Hutt spent part of her childhood in Uganda and Kenya, and was educated at the University of Kent, the London School of Economics and Bristol University. She has lived and worked in Wales since 1972. With Welsh-speaking grandparents originating from north Wales, Jane has a lifelong commitment to Wales and is a Welsh learner.
She became the first National Co-ordinator of Welsh Women’s Aid in 1978 and was a founder of South Glamorgan Women’s Workshop. She went on to become the first director of the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS Wales) and was subsequently director of Chwarae Teg (Fair Play). She is the author of ‘Opening the Town Hall Door – an Introduction to Local Government’ and ‘Making Opportunities – a Guide for Women and Employers’.
Member of Parliament
Alun Cairns (Conservative) was elected as the MP for the Vale of Glamorgan in May 2010, taking the seat from Labour. He is a supporter of the right wing Free Enterprise Group. He was previously an Assembly Member serving from 1999 to 2011. He stood for Parliament in Gower in1997 and was the Conservative Party’s candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan at the 2005 General Election. He was re-selected as Parliamentary candidate in July 2007.
Brought up in Clydach near Swansea he attended Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Pontardawe and Ysgol Ddwyeithog Ystalyfera and is a fluent Welsh speaker. He worked with Lloyds Bank Group as a Business Development Consultant before being elected to the National Assembly.