Affluent Tory stronghold
THE Monmouth constituency is considered one of the most affluent and anglicised in Wales.
It has also been a Tory stronghold in recent years, and was the only constituency seat won by the Conservatives in the 2003 Assembly elections, when David Davies increased his share of the vote to almost 60 percent.
Mr Davies is not standing in this election although he remains MP.
Largely rural and boasting the Wye and Usk valleys, and the Sugarloaf and Skirrid mountains, it also includes the towns of Monmouth, Abergavenny, Chepstow and Usk.
The constituency covers the majority of the county of Monmouthshire, omitting the Mill and the Elms wards in the Magor with Undy area, and the Rogiet ward, West End, Green Lane, Dewstow, Caldicot Castle and Severn wards. It also covers part of Torfaen, with Croesyceiliog south, Croesyceiliog north, Llanyrafon north and Llanyrafon south wards included.
But despite the image of a well-off area, the constituency, which has an unemployment rate of 2.3 percent for 16 to 74-year-olds, has pockets of deprivation.
The Assembly gave Community First status for the Lansdown ward, which covers the north of Abergavenny, and areas like Llanelly Hill, which has only a weekly bus service, also claim they should be given this status.
The county council also received the poorest settlement of all 22 local authorities in Wales from the Assembly.
The area has suffered from job losses, with 400 posts at the Cranberry Foods turkey plant, in Abergavenny, set to go when the factory closes in June.