With the General Election less than two weeks away, the Argus is taking a look at each of the constituencies in Gwent. ANDY RUTHERFORD looks at Newport West.

DECEMBER 12 will be the second time in a little more than eight months that constituents will go to the polls to elect an MP for Newport West.

The death of longstanding Labour MP Paul Flynn last February meant a by-election was required, and on April 4 Ruth Jones won the seat, again for Labour, with a majority of 1,951.

Newport West takes in the majority of the city centre, as well as Caerleon, Malpas, Bettws, Bassaleg, Rogerstone, Marshfield and Duffryn.


It has seen significant development in recent years, not least that of the Friars Walk shopping centre and the nearby University of South Wales campus but another major project, the M4 Relief Road - which would have passed through the southern part of the constituency - was scrapped last June by first minister Mark Drakeford.

At the General Election in 1983, the then newly created constituency was won by the Conservatives, with Mark Robinson triumphing by just 581 votes over Labour's Byron Davies.

Four years later Mr Flynn took the seat from from Mr Robinson, again at a General Election, returning a majority of 2,708.

Mr Flynn (below) subsequently defended the seat at the next seven General Elections, the last being that in June 2017.

South Wales Argus:

The highest majority he enjoyed was one of more than 14,000 at the 1997 General Election, and this was gradually reduced to little more than 3,500 by 2015, before increasing to 5,568 two years later.

Ruth Jones' majority last April was Labour's lowest in Newport West for more than 30 years, but the by-election turnout was just 37.1 per cent, compared to 67.5 per cent in the 2017 General Election.

The seat will be contested this time around by Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and the Brexit Party.

At the European Union referendum in June 2016, Newport as a whole voted to leave, with 56 per cent of those who voted in the city - more than 41,000 people - in favour of breaking ties with the EU.

Although official breakdowns of voting patterns by constituency are not available, anecdotally a slightly lower percentage of people in Newport West voted to leave the EU than in Newport East.

The unemployment rate in Newport is slightly lower than that for Wales as a whole, but is above the UK average.

Average weekly pay is £20 lower than the national average. The average house price is £185,000, significantly lower than the national average the UK average of £235,000.

At a glance

  • Population: 89,235
  • Number of these aged 65 or older: 16,508 (19.5 per cent)
  • Electorate (number eligible to vote): 63,280
  • Unemployment: 5.6 per cent (UK average 4.0 per cent)
  • Average weekly pay: £560 (UK average £580)
  • Average house price: £185,000 (UK average £235,000)
  • Number of people on disability benefits: 4,470
  • Number of businesses: 3,565

Your candidates

  • Jonathan Clark (Plaid Cymru)
  • Cameron Edwards (Brexit Party)
  • Matthew Evans (Conservative)
  • Ruth Jones (Labour)
  • Ryan Jones (Liberal Democrat)
  • Amelia Womack (Green)