Election 2017: Ogmore in Focus

                                                           (Pic: Bridgend County Borough Council)


After looking at Bridgend in the UK general election, my attentions turn to Ogmore – my final post until the election results are out.


Profile

Ogmore consists of the northern half of Bridgend county (Llynfi, Garw and Ogmore Valleys, as well as their confluence around Tondu/Sarn), Pencoed, as well as the villages of Gilfach Goch, Llanharan, Llanharry and Brynna in neighbouring Rhondda Cynon Taf. It’s typical of the south Wales valleys, with many of the villages and towns still living the after-effects of the loss of coal-mining in a half-rural, half-urban setting.

In recent years Pencoed and the Sarn area – due to their close proximity to M4 junctions – have seen extra development aimed at Cardiff commuters. However, the Ogmore seat generally has higher levels of unemployment and economic inactivity, and lower levels of educational attainment when compared to the Bridgend constituency.

Electoral History

Created in 1918 from Mid Glamorganshire and South Glamorganshire constituencies.

 

  • 1918-1931 – Vernon Hartshore (Lab)
  • 1931-1946 – Edward John Williams (Lab)
  • 1946-1950 – John Evans (Lab)
  • 1950-1979 – Walter Ernest Padley (Lab)
  • 1979-2002 – Raymond Powell (Lab)
  • 2002-2015 – Huw Irranca-Davies (Lab)
  • 2016-2017 – Chris Elmore (Lab)

2015 Result


2016 By-Election Result

Candidates
  • Jamie Wallis (Con) – Managing director at a Pencoed-based IT company. Stood in 2016 by-election.
  • Chris Elmore (Lab) – Former Vale of Glamorgan councillor; elected Ogmore MP in the 2016 by-election.
  • Gerald Francis (Lib Dem) – Former plumbing and heating engineer; anti-wind farm and anti-bullying campaigner.
  • Huw Marshall (Plaid) – Former head of digital with S4C, now runs own digital media business from the Garw Valley.
  • Glenda Davies (UKIP) – Former science teacher and nurse, stood in both 2015 and the 2016 by-election.

Rundown

Ogmore is far more straightforward to predict than Bridgend. Labour will win, it’s a question of by how much. Considering their dominance, anything less than 45% of the vote would be a bad result for them.So, as usual, the only interesting thing here is the race for second.

The Conservatives (2010, 2015) and UKIP (2016) have finished second in previous Westminster elections, with the Tories seeing their vote slump in 2016. Ogmore is the sort of seat you would expect the UKIP vote to remain above the levels required to retain a deposit, but still likely to at least  halve to 7-8% when compared to 2015 and 2016.

The fight for second will likely be between the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru, both of whom – based on previous results – will be looking at anything between 12-16% of the vote. If recent polling is accurate and the Conservative vote has fallen back from at the start of the campaign, and Ogmore – as a staunch Labour seat – has come to like Jeremy Corbyn and will get back wavering voters, then you would say Plaid might edge second place due to their stronger presence, which would be a decent result for them.

Owen