TODAY, we begin our profiles of the Westminster constituencies in Gwent with our profile of Newport East, alongside statements supplied by the General Election candidates. We asked each candidate to supply a photograph and a statement of up to 400 words.

THE Newport East constituency was first contested in 1983, after boundary changes split the former Newport constituency in two.

Geographically, it takes in the urban areas of the city east of the river Usk, and also includes parts of south Monmouthshire, such as Magor, Undy, Rogiet and furthest east, Caldicot.

Long-standing Labour MP Roy Hughes was the MP until his retirement at the 1997 General Election.

Alan Howarth, who had defected from the Conservative Party, then held the seat for Labour until he stepped down in 2005, when Jessica Morden won the seat for the party once more.

The constituency includes parts of Newport such as St Julians, Maindee, Alway and Ringland, and is host to the Corus steelworks site at Llanwern.

A good part of the latter site closed in 2001 with the loss of hundreds of jobs, and is now earmarked for housing, a plan currently on hold due to the economic downturn.

The total electorate is 54,140.

2005 General Elelction result:

Jess Morden (Labour) 14,389 45.2%
Ed Townsend (Liberal Democrat) 7,551 23.7%
Matthew Collings (Conservative) 7,459 23.4%
Mohammad Asghar (Plaid Cymru) 1,221 3.8%
Roger Thomas (UK Independence Party) 945 3.0%
Liz Screen (Socialist Labour) 260 0.8%