Cardiff South and Penarth by-election, 2012
|Boundary of Cardiff South and Penarth in Wales.|
Following the formal resignation of the sitting MP Alun Michael (announced on 22 October 2012), a by-election for the Cardiff South and Penarth Westminster constituency was held on 15 November 2012. The vacancy arose because Alun Michael was selected as the Labour Party candidate in the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections which were also held on 15 November 2012. Michael's candidacy required him to relinquish his Westminster seat.
The seat has been held by Labour since its creation in 1983. Full background details of the constituency are on Cardiff South and Penarth (UK Parliament constituency)
This was the first by-election to be held in Cardiff since the Cardiff East by-election of 1942.
On 22 October 2012, Alun Michael was appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern, the manner in which resignations from the House are permitted.
The writ for the by-election in Cardiff South and Penarth was moved on 23 October 2012 and the deadline for nominations was 4 pm on 31 October 2012.
Cardiff City Council released the Statement of Persons Nominated on 1 November 2012.
The Labour and Co-operative Party selected the head of Oxfam Cymru Stephen Doughty  as its candidate in July 2012 in controversial circumstances. Although initially excluded from the shortlist, Doughty was actively endorsed by the then incumbent Labour MP Alun Michael (a long-time family friend) who insisted on his inclusion and advocated his selection. Some Labour activists considered Michael's involvement was improper saying “It’s no business at all of an outgoing MP to interfere in the selection of a candidate to succeed him in such a way.” The ballot paper description for Stephen Doughty was "Welsh Labour".
Andrew Jordan, 24, the president of the Socialist Labour Party (UK) and a former resident of Cardiff South and Penarth, represented them the party. Jordan previously headed the SLP list of candidates for South Wales Central in the 2011 Welsh Assembly Elections.
Cardiff South and Penarth was viewed as one of the safest Labour seats in Britain but ever since 1997 Alun Michael had seen his majority being progressively eroded. However, in the by-election held on 15 November 2012, Labour's decline was reversed - although on a basis of very low turn-out (down 38.2% on the 2010 General Election). Labour's Stephen Doughty succeeded Alun Michael with 9,193 votes, comprising 47.3% of the overall vote. This was an increase of 8.4% on Michael's 2010 performance. Doughty thus became the third MP in the constituency's history.
In this by-election, Conservatives saw their support slide by the identical percentage by which Labour's rose (8.4%) and achieved only 19.9% of the vote (3,859 votes). The Liberal Democrats' support declined by even more than that of their UK Coalition partners (down 11.5%). Plaid Cymru's share of the vote rose to 9.5% (1,854 votes, up 5.4%); however these percentages may mask reality because Plaid Cymru only gained a mere 3 votes more than the total they polled in 2010. Also performing well in percentage terms was UKIP with their support rising by 3.1% (to 6.1% of the total). Greens also increased their share of the vote to 4.1% (a rise of 2.9%). The veteran Communist campaigner Robert Griffiths saw his support rise slightly to a 1.1% share of the vote.
|Cardiff South and Penarth by-election
Resignation of Alun Michael
Turnout: 19,436 (25.4%) −34.8
Majority: 5,334 (27.4%)
Swing: 8.4% from Con to Lab
|Bablin Molik||Liberal Democrat||2,103||10.8||−11.5|
|Luke Nicholas||Plaid Cymru||1,854||9.5||+5.3|
|Andrew Jordan||Socialist Labour||235||1.2||N/A|
|General election 2010
Turnout: 44,369 (60.2%) +2.0
Majority: 4,709 (10.6%)
Swing: 6.0% from Lab to Con
|Dominic Hannigan||Liberal Democrat||9,875||22.3||+2.4|
|Farida Aslam||Plaid Cymru||1,851||4.2||−1.1|
- "Alun Michael stands down as Cardiff South and Penarth MP today", Wales Online, 21 October 2012.
- Upcoming elections Cardiff Council
- Press Release 22-Oct-2012 Cabinet Office
- Upcoming elections Cariff.gov.uk
- "Oxfam boss Doughty is Labour by-election candidate", BBC News, 15 July 2012.
- Cardiff South and Penarth candidate selected LabourList
- Martin Shipton (13 July 2012) "Alun Michael at the centre of selection row over next Cardiff South MP", Wales Online. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
- Profile Cardiff City Council
- Cardiff councillor Craig Williams selected as the Conservative candidate for the Cardiff South and Penarth by-election Conservative Home
- "Lib Dems select candidate for Cardiff South and Penarth by-election", Penarth Times, 17 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
- SLP's Andrew Jordan to contest the Cardiff South and Penarth by-election Socialist Labour Party
- Communists to contest Cardiff South and Penarth Welsh Communists
- Penarth Times 4 October 2012
- UKIP website: UKIP picks its man for Cardiff South