THE race to be the new MP for Newport West is officially on.

The seat has been vacant since Paul Flynn, who represented the constituency for Labour since 1987, died on February 17, aged 84.

And today in Parliament Labour moved the writ for the by-election, meaning the campaign is officially on, with voters to go to the polls on Thursday, April 4.

The writ for the Newport West by-election being moved in Parliament this morning


Newport West MP Paul Flynn has died aged 84

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Newport West MP Paul Flynn gained a reputation as a man who never minced his words

Candidates selected so far:

Labour: Ruth Jones

South Wales Argus:

Conservatives: Matthew Evans

South Wales Argus:

Plaid Cymru: Jonathan Clark

South Wales Argus:

Green: Amelia Womack

South Wales Argus:

Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party: Richard Suchorzewski

South Wales Argus:

Ukip and the Liberal Democrats have also said they will field candidates, but have yet to announce who they have selected.

The Brexit Party – a newly-formed political party set up by ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage – has said it will not stand in the election.


Analysis - by Argus politics reporter Ian Craig

THERE’S no understating how nationally significant the Newport West by-election is going to be.

Depending on events in Parliament over the next couple of weeks, it will either be the first time voters have to go to the polls after we leave Europe – or the first after Brexit is delayed.

This means the voters of Newport West will be the first to make their voices truly heard about the current political situation.

Newport has always been a Labour city, and in normal times the party wouldn’t be too worried about losing the seat. But these are not normal times.

Traditional Labour voters are turning away from the party in disgust at its handing of Brexit, while there’s a fair share of true-blue Tories less than impressed with how Theresa May has been running things.

How much this will resonate with the people of Newport West remains to be seen.

The risk here is that local issues will be sidelined in favour of the big national talking points.

This must not be allowed to happen - the people of Newport West need to know where the candidates stand not only on Brexit and the mess that is the UK Government, but also on the M4 relief road, regeneration across the city and the other key issues affecting the city.


Newport has traditionally been a safe Labour seat - with no-one coming close to unseating Mr Flynn since he was first elected in 1987. The closest he came to defeat was in 2015, when Conservative Nick Webb won 32.5 per cent of the vote - but this was still way behind Mr Flynn’s share of 41.2 per cent.

Newport West was formed as a Parliamentary constituency in 1983, when it was won by Conservative Mark Robinson - who was then unseated by Mr Flynn four years later.

Mr Flynn’s funeral will be held at St Woolos Cathedral on Friday, March 22


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