The second biggest fight in Wales: Ceredigion

The Liberal Democrats have four seats in Wales. Everyone’s heard of Lembit Opik, MP for Montgomeryshire. Then you have Jenny Willott, MP for Cardiff Central. Roger Williams is the MP for Brecon & Radnorshire and Mark Williams is the MP for Ceredigion. Most people in Britain wouldn’t be able to find these places on a map, but that doesn’t really matter. I’m only going to talk about one – Ceredigion.

Mark Williams won a victory in 2005 that, quite frankly, was a complete surprise. You might have caught Kirsty Williams AM (Who is totally unrelated, I hasten to clarify) bursting into tears in the aftermath on the coverage. It was a very emotional night. Since then, Mark Williams has been an excellent MP for Ceredigion, exceptionally active in the Commons but still a fiercely hard-working constituency MP. But here’s the really interesting part to all you political nerds – In 2010, Ceredigion will be the only constituency in the country that Labour or the Conservatives cannot win. Ceredigion is also, more importantly, one of the weakest-held seats in the entire country. Mark Williams won this seat, but only by a whisker – he has a majority over Plaid of 219. To put it bluntly, less people voted for the Liberal Democrats over Plaid than voted for Veritas at all back in 2005.

As a 1st year student in Aberystwyth, I was quickly recruited to making sure we make that majority bigger. Holding Ceredigion versus Plaid, to whom Ceredigion is their main target, is going to be a tough challenge, but we want to go further. The title of this piece calls this the second biggest fight in Wales, because we are going to have all guns blazing attempting to take half of Newport off Labour. But Ceredigion, to all of us here, is just as important. The constituency would be infinitely poorer if Plaid regained it, effectively sellotaping it back to Labour and empty nationalistic ideals that always result in the actual constituents being totally ignored.

When the cameras start rolling as Mister Brown finally gives up and calls the election, please remember us lot. We’re here, campaigning hard for a cause that we’ve seen to work so well. We’re here, making sure that this place stays Gold. We’ll be here when we get that big majority.

Huw Dawson is a Politics student at Aberystwyth University

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • I suspect that people can, in fact, find Cardiff on a map

  • Ah, but can they find Cardiff Central constituency on a map? (Presuming a map showing all the ward boundaries in the UK…..)

  • Roger Roberts 1st Feb '10 - 7:46pm

    No M.P. could be working harder for his constituents than Mark Williams. He is excellent plus ! I’ll be there campaigning with him this month and will make time during the General Election campaign.
    S.O.S – let’s all make our way , or send our names for telephone canvassing, to Ceredigion before May 6th !

  • Simon Thomson 2nd Feb '10 - 9:43am

    Good luck with this! I’m a Aberystwyth graduate and know how tough a battle it’s going to be against Plaid, as they have strong and active support in the Welsh speaking halls and in numerous areas across the constituency. If we hold Ceredigion I think it could be an indicator of a good night, especiallly given the squeeze we’re potentially facing.

  • So give readers a reason to vote Lib Dem here. Other than that Mark is hard working and Labour and Plaid not your personal cup of tea.

    In addition to the national (UK) issues, where does Mark stand on local issues?

    My personal experience of the local authority is very poor and I can see lots of issues that need tackling, especially in the villages, but no evidence that anyone is addressing them.


  • Trystan MorrisDavies 16th Apr '10 - 10:12am

    It’s easy to wield the “nationalist” word in an attempt to discredit a progressive and more grassroots party, isn’t it Huw? People who bother read Plaid’s manifesto know that they stand for much more than language and independence issues. The truth is that the empty rhetoric wafts mainly from the Liberal Democrat corner.

    You talk with fluffy affection of the love that Mark Williams has for Ceredigion, yet you seem to breeze over the fact that he plans to abolish our constituency and create a Dyfed-wide seat – a directive that is sure to have originated from LibDem HQ in London.

    Anyone who thinks that ONE man should represent the interests of a chunk of land that covers half of Wales is either deluded, or is simply acting against the interests of those who live there.

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