Preview: 16 Jul 2019

One by-election on Tuesday 16th July 2019:


Cardiff council, Glamorgan; caused by the death of Liberal Democrat councillor Wendy Congreve who had served since May 2017.

By-elections are traditionally held on Thursdays, but any working day will do; and this is the first of three consecutive weeks where non-Thursday by-elections are in the diary. To start off we’re in the capital city of Wales. Although Cyncoed is within the Cardiff Central constituency this is one of the city’s northern wards, mostly developed in the 1950s on the eastern side of the railway line towards Caerphilly and the Rhymney Valley. Heath High Level station, on the division boundary, provides connections to the city centre. The main local feature is the Victorian Roath Park, set around a lake with a lighthouse in it; this lighthouse is not an aid to shipping but a memorial to the ill-fated Scott expedition to the South Pole, which had set off from Cardiff in 1910.

Despite the presence of a significant student population and a campus of Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cyncoed is one of the most affluent electoral divisions in Cardiff with high levels of owner-occupation. This manifests itself in a low Labour vote; in this century the Liberal Democrats have instead dominated the representation here. The Conservatives were in a poor second place but caught up in the 2017 local election; shares of the vote two years ago were 36% each for the Lib Dems and the Conservatives, with the Lib Dems winning two seats and the Tories gaining one. Labour came in third with 19%. The Lib Dems used to hold the Cardiff Central parliamentary seat at both Westminster and Assembly level and came close to regaining the Senedd seat from Labour at the last Welsh Assembly election in 2016.

Recent local by-elections have seen some big gains for the Liberal Democrats, who may therefore be confident of holding this marginal seat. Their defending candidate is Robert Hopkins, who has recently retired from a long career in local government which included heading Cardiff council’s school improvement service for some years. The Conservatives have selected Peter Hudson, who narrowly missed out in the 2017 election in the neighbouring Heath division. The Labour candidate is Madhu Khanna-Davies, who appears to be a charity shop manager, and the ballot paper is completed by Morgan Rogers for Plaid Cymru.

Parliamentary and Assembly constituency: Cardiff Central
ONS Travel to Work Area: Cardiff
Postcode district: CF14, CF23

Robert Hopkins (LD)
Peter Hudson (C)
Madhu Khanna-Davies (Lab)
Morgan Rogers (PC)

May 2017 result LD 1874/1769/1727 C 1852/1737/1733 Lab 996/757/710 Grn 415
May 2012 result LD 1809/1727/1698 C 1093/1006/966 Lab 683/661/614 PC 241/177/168 Grn 217
May 2008 result LD 2294/2166/2152 C 1439/1383/1320 Lb 518/475/415 PC 275
June 2004 result LD 2490/2384/2347 C 1106/1081/1080 Lab 508/454/441 PC 226/219