MORE readers’ constituency reports as the election campaign goes on. See below for how to submit your own report on the choice of candidates you have in your neck of the woods, which of them you plan to vote for and why, what you think of their chances and your stance on Brexit.
Current MP: Owen Smith (Labour)
William Harradine writes: Pontypridd has been Labour since 1922, and now that Owen Smith, who challenged Corbyn for the party leadership in 2016, has decided not to stand, the next MP will almost certainly be Alex Davies-Jones, a young mother and local councillor who works for Welsh Water.
I attended the hustings in Pontypridd. There were six candidates – Labour, Plaid, Conservative and three independents – all of them Welsh with deep roots in the constituency. The Brexit Party candidate did not take part. It was a low-key, polite event, chaired by the vicar, with headsets available for simultaneous translation into Welsh. Most discussion was around local issues – drug use, rough sleeping, rural buses, forests, Welsh funding and food banks – very little about Brexit, the economy or the NHS.
Sam Trask, the Conservative, was well prepared and briefed, but faces an uphill battle – he was the only candidate to be laughed at, first when he said that the Tory manifesto was based on fairness, and then when he said he believed in telling the truth. The LibDems have stood down as part of the Green/ LibDem/Plaid pact, but Mike Powell, their candidate in the last three elections and a man well known locally, is now standing as an Independent. He will split the Remain vote. Sue Prior, another of the Independents, admitted that a vote for her would be a protest vote, but it seemed as though all of the candidates except Alex had accepted their fate, and believed that she will be on the train to Westminster on December 13.
THORNBURY AND YATE
Current MP: Luke Hall (Conservative)
Mark Forsyth writes: Luke Hall, first elected in 2015, following the anti-Liberal backlash which saw Steve Webb ousted, has a current majority of circa 9,000. He campaigned for Remain in the referendum, and although now ‘believing’ in Brexit, appears more to be following the party line rather than having changed his mind. As a Conservative seat, and also a ‘Remain Pact’ constituency, we have the choice only of him, some Labour bod who doesn’t live in the area, and Claire Young, the Liberal Democrat candidate who is a county councillor. So far a leaflet each from Tories and Lib Dems, and as always nothing from Labour. I have already sent my postal vote, and for the first time ever I have not selected a candidate but annotated my paper as ‘None of the Above’. I suspect Hall will be returned, but with a reduced majority.
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