THE full list of candidates running in next month’s Assembly election has been released.

Newport West, where Labour’s Dame Rosemary Butler has served as AM since 1999, proves to be one of the most hotly-contested seats.

Although Jayne Bryant is campaigning to keep the seat for Labour, she faces stiff competition in the shape of Conservative former Newport City Council leader Cllr Matthew Evans, former Wales Green Party leader Pippa Bartolotti and Plaid Cymru’s Simon Coopey.

Independent Bill Fearnley-Whittingstall is also running for the seat, as is Ukip’s Mike Ford, Gruff Meredith of the Welsh Sovereignty from Westminster and EU party and Liberal Democrat Liz Newton.

Over the river in Newport East Labour’s John Griffiths faces competition from Peter Barley of the Wales Green Party, Liberal Democrat Paul Halliday, Conservative Munawar Mughal, Ukip’s James Peterson and Anthony Salkeld for Plaid Cymru.

Conservative Nick Ramsey is again running for Monmouth, as is Independent Debby Blakebrough, Jonathan Clark for Plaid Cymru, Labour’s Catherine Fookes and Liberal Democrat Veronica German. Stephen Morris of the English Democrats - Letting Monmouthshire Decide party is also contesting the seat, as are Ukip’s Tim Price and Chris Were for the Wales Green Party.

In Islwyn Plaid Cymru’s Lyn Ackerman will run against Katy Beddoe of the Wales Green Party, Liberal Democrat Matthew Kidner, Labour’s Rhianon Passmore, Joe Smith of Ukip and Conservative Paul Williams.

Labour’s Alun Davies is running to retain Blaenau Gwent – and appears on the nomination form under his legal first name of Thomas – and faces competition from Kevin Boucher of Ukip, Plaid Cymru’s Nigel Copner, Liberal Democrat Brendan D’Cruz and Conservative Tracey West.

And in Torfaen Labour’s Lynne Neagle will face off against Ukip’s Susan Boucher, Steven Jenkins for the Wales Green Party, Matthew Jones for Plaid Cymru, Conservative Graham Smith and Liberal Democrat Alison Willott.

Eleven parties also released a list of candidates for the four South Wales East regional Assembly seats. The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party is fielding four candidates and the Conservatives seven, while two are running for the National Front, 12 for Plaid Cymru and five for the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Ukip will also run four candidates, while the Wales Green party have submitted five and four each are standing for the Welsh Communist Party and Labour, along with seven for the Liberal Democrats and six for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition.

For a full list of regional candidates see this afternoon's live blog here

The South Wales Argus will feature extensive coverage of the Assembly and Police and Crime Commissioner elections, both of which will take place on May 5, both online and in the paper in the weeks to come.


THE candidates for the police and crime commissioner for Gwent have been announced.

Those standing in the elections on May 5 will be Jeff Cuthbert for Welsh Labour, Louise Brown for Welsh Conservatives and Darren Jones for Plaid Cymru. The PCC elections will take place on the same day as the Assembly elections but votes won't be counted until May 8.

The role of the police and crime commissioner includes holding the chief constable to account, setting the police and crime priorities for their area, setting the police force budget and regularly engaging with the public and communities.

The Labour candidate Mr Cuthbert lives in Hengoed and is the former AM for Caerphilly. He has been an Assembly Member for the past 13 years before stepping down to stand in the PCC elections.

He has held roles as the deputy minister for skills and technology and as the minister for communities and tackling poverty.

Dr Brown, from Shirenewton, is the Welsh Conservatives candidate. She is a former solicitor, former councillor in Cheshire and formerly a member of Cheshire police and crime panel. She is a local preacher for the Newport and Lower Wye area and committed Christian.

Dr Brown has a doctorate in Police Training from the University of Wales Cardiff. 

The Plaid Cymru candidate Darren Jones was a Caerphilly county councillor between 1998 and 2004. He was the youngest cabinet member in Wales in 1999 when Plaid took control of the authority.

He has lived in Blackwood for 23 years and is a cluster manager for the lower Cynon Valley within the Communities First Tackling Poverty programme.

The candidates will now start canvassing around Gwent in the run up to the elections telling voters about their priorities.

The PCC elections differ from the assembly elections as the supplementary vote (SV)system is used.

Under the SV system, every voter has a first and second choice vote. If a candidate receives more than 50 per cent of all the first-choice votes they are elected immediately.

But if no candidate gets above the threshold in the first round, the two candidates with the most first-choice votes go into a second round. All other candidates are eliminated and second-choice votes for the remaining two are distributed.

The candidate with the highest combined total of first and second choice votes is elected.

The deadline to register to vote will be April 18. Voters can also apply for postal or proxy voting the deadline of which is April 19.

The Argus will be publishing profiles on all the candidates in the run up to the PCC election. The candidates will also be publishing statements on from April 13.