An Ynys Môn by-election – a psephologist’s dream.

Tomorrow sees an Assembly by-election in Ynys Môn as Ieuan Wyn Jones seeks pastures new. (from the BBC).

I won’t dream of predicting the result as Anglesey people taught thrawn to you lot…

There’s only one rule that the islanders follow. Once elected you only lose by retiring, dying or being thrown in clink….

Here’s the list of UK Parliament MPS since the war:

1929 – 51 Megan Lloyd George Liberal
1951 – 1979 Cledwyn Hughes Labour (the exception to the rule as Cledwyn beat Megan in 1951, typically contrary one of only 2 Labour gains in that election)
1979 – 1987 Keith Best Conservative (Cledwyn retired)
1987 – 2001 Ieuan Wyn Jones Plaid Cymru (Keith imprisoned briefly for buying BT shares under multiple variations of his name)
2001 – present Albert Owen Labour (Ieuan stood down to serve full time in the National Assembly)

So since the War each of the four parties has represented the island, and on no occasion has a retirement led to a successor from the same party.

the Assembly results a little more straightforward:

1999- present Ieuan Wyn Jones Plaid Cymru.

Here’s the candidates from the BBC:
Labour’s Tal Michael (Alun Michael’s lad), Rhun ap Iorwerth for Plaid Cymru (resigned as BBC Political correspondent to fight the seat), Conservative Neil Fairlamb,(the Rector of Biwmares) Liberal Democrat Steve Churchman (a Councillor on the mainland) , Socialist Labour Party’s Kathrine Jones and UKIP’s Nathan Gill.

A strangely subdued campaign…although Syniadau has got annoyed at Rhun’s approach to nuclear power….and the Daily Post lambasts Labour for it’s usual parachuting tactics…

There’s language issues here as well -with a large in-migrant population (32% born outside Wales) and big variations in Welsh language ability across the island – ranging from:
36% in Rhosneigr in the west to
80.5% in Cefni (smack in the middle)
Here’s the census link for those stats.

Rhun’s the favourite…but that means nothing…

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  • Scáth Shéamais

    Wasn’t there any issue recently where Labour made some comments about ap Iorwerth’s name and how it wouldn’t go down well in the Valleys?

  • Dewi

    See Mick – i do a politics thing – nobody gives a damn!

  • Red Lion

    any impact of the young royals living on the island do you think dewi?

  • roadnottaken

    Could the by election be seen as an indicator of Plaid’s progress, or lack there of? Leanne Wood perhaps hasn’t made the immediate impact that was hoped for, and with Ieuan’s departure could PC’s vote drop, or even be lost? (Although I note that opinion polling recently has PC slightly up, or static)

  • Greenflag

    Dewi ,

    How is Ynys pronounced ? Is it as in the Irish (Inis _Inish ) ?
    I’m guessing the An is same as the Irish An (pronounced Uhn ) and Mon I’m guessing refers to mountain ? So the translation would be Mountain Island ?

    Re the politics I’m guessing this by election won’t be significant in Assembly terms ? Given the history of party changing in the constituency I suppose anything can happen ?

    Any idea as to what makes this constituency so ‘disloyal ‘ to the incumbent party once the sitting member expires or retires?

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s very good Dewi… You should definitely stick with it!! Keith Best, now there’s a name from the past… I’d forgotten about the BT shares scandal… Gorgeous place..

    Anglesea’s demographics are fascinating… Here’s some snippets (…

    – Between 1996 and 2006, the local authority’s population increased by 0.4%, compared to a 2.6% rise in Wales overall.

    – 68% of Isle of Anglesey residents were born in Wales and 60% of people aged three or more can speak Welsh. Across Wales, 75% of all Welsh residents were born in Wales and 21% of people aged three or more can speak Welsh.

    – At £396, the median(i) weekly pay for full-time workers in Isle of Anglesey is around £19 less than the Welsh median.

    – There are around 28,400 households in Isle of Anglesey, 68% of which are owner occupied. This compares to 71.3% for Wales.

    – The Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2005 ranks specific small areas in Wales in terms of deprivation: 2% of Isle of Anglesey’s areas fall in the 10% most deprived areas in Wales, but the majority of its areas are more deprived than the Wales average.

    Is Holyhead likely to be a stronghold for Labour? What weight if any does the university in Bangor have on the Menai Bridge/Llanfairpwll areas?

  • Dewi

    “any impact of the young royals living on the island do you think dewi?”
    Dunno – do you think they are Plaid members?
    “How is Ynys pronounced ?”
    Rhymes with “Run this” – Môn derives from proto celtic for cow..(I’m not making this up…)
    Holyhead a labour stronghold….marginal university impact…around the bridge.

  • Dewi

    We Won…..

    Rhun ap Iorwerth (Plaid) 12,601 (58.24%, +16.82%)
    Tal Michael (Lab) 3,435 (15.88%, -10.33%)
    Nathan Gill (UKIP) 3,099 (14.32%)
    Neil Fairlamb (Cons) 1,843 (8.52%, -20.70%)
    Kathrine Jones (Soc Lab) 348(1.61%)
    Steve Churchman (Lib Dem) 309 (1.43%, -1.73%)
    Plaid maj 9,166 (42.37%)
    13.58% swing Lab to Plaid
    Electorate 51,024; turnout 21,635 (42.40%, -6.29%)

  • Dewi

    That’s actually a pretty stunning result for Plaid Cymru.

  • Mick Fealty

    Critical factors? High profile candidate? Highly respected retiring incumbent? Knowing nothing about the detail, you’d have to say that Plaid must have been confident of picking this seat up easily, otherwise Wynn Jones would not have stepped down.

  • It sure seems to have failed to catch the imagination of the electorate… mid-term by-elections surely should pull a few more to the ballot box?

    UKIP’s return should ring a few alarm bells in Con HQ

  • Red Lion

    Yes UKIP coming third just shy of the labour percentage…they certainly are a player

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Very close to making history, was it not? If UKIP had sneaked 2nd when would the last time in Britain have been that no Tory, Labour or Lib / Lib Dem candidate finished in top two in an election.

  • Dewi

    TS – this seat in 2007 !!

    Plaid Cymru Ieuan Wyn Jones 10,653 39.7 +2.3
    Independent Peter Rogers 6,261 23.3 +23.3
    Labour Jonathan Edward N. Austin 4,681 17.4 −6.4
    Conservative James Paul Robert Roach 3,480 13.0 −15.5
    Liberal Democrats Mrs. Mandi L. Abrahams 912 3.4 −4.9
    UKIP Francis C. Wykes 833 3.1 +2.2
    Majority 4,392 16.4
    Turnout 26,820 51.8

  • Tochais Síoraí

    So much for my astute observation.


  • Mick Fealty

    Who Peter Rogers Dewi?