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Candidates for Caerfyrddin Seat – General Election 2024

AS the general election on July 4, 2024, approaches, the Caerfyrddin constituency in West Wales is witnessing an intense and diverse campaign. This newly formed constituency, which combines parts of the former Carmarthen East and Dinefwr seat, has become a focal point for various political debates and promises.

Latest campaign developments

One of the key issues dominating the campaign in Caerfyrddin is the representation of rural interests and local governance. Ann Davies of Plaid Cymru, a farmer herself, emphasises her deep connection with the rural community. Drawing inspiration from Gwynfor Evans, Plaid’s first Westminster representative elected in Carmarthen in 1966, Davies aims to champion the needs of both the rural and post-industrial areas of Carmarthenshire. She highlights the unique position of Plaid Cymru candidates who live within their constituencies and understand local issues intimately.

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Simon Hart, the Conservative candidate and former Welsh Secretary, is the only incumbent running in this election. He faces the challenge of campaigning in largely new areas following boundary changes. Hart’s focus has been on local concerns, such as the opposition to pylons in the Teifi and Towy Valleys, which he argues would mar the region’s scenic beauty. His experience and previous representation of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire play a crucial role in his campaign.

Martha Angharad O’Neil, representing Labour, brings a personal touch to her campaign by sharing her life experiences and emphasising the importance of empathy in politics. She believes that real change can be achieved by electing Labour MPs to bring transformative policies to Westminster. O’Neil’s campaign resonates with voters seeking compassionate and effective governance.

Mark Evans of the Workers Party of Britain presents his party as a true alternative to what he terms the “Conservative-lite” Labour Party. His campaign focuses on progressive economics and creating a fairer and more equitable society. Evans criticises both major parties for their perceived lack of distinction and offers a more traditional left-leaning perspective.

Keir Starmer’s Visit

On the final day of campaigning, Labour Leader Keir Starmer visited Caerfyrddin to bolster support for Martha Angharad O’Neil. Starmer’s visit underscores the significance of the seat for Labour, as he aimed to energise the local campaign and highlight Labour’s commitment to the area. Speaking to local residents and media, Starmer emphasised the need for change and urged voters to support Labour for a more compassionate and effective government. His presence in Caerfyrddin is seen as a strategic move to sway undecided voters and reinforce Labour’s message of empathy and transformation.

Candidates Standing in Caerfyrddin

Ann Davies (Plaid Cymru): Focuses on rural and post-industrial issues, aiming to continue the legacy of Gwynfor Evans.

Simon Hart (Conservative): Emphasises local issues like opposition to pylons, drawing on his extensive political experience.

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Martha Angharad O’Neil (Labour): Advocates for empathetic and transformative governance, supported by Keir Starmer’s recent visit.

David Mark Evans (Workers Party of Britain): Offers a traditional left-leaning alternative to Labour.

Will Beasley (Green Party): Campaigns on environmental sustainability and social justice.

Nicholas Paul Beckett (Liberal Democrats): Promotes education, healthcare, and progressive policies.

Nancy Cole (Women’s Equality Party): Focuses on gender equality and women’s rights.

Bernard Holton (Reform UK): Advocates for major reforms in immigration policies and national sovereignty.

With the constituency’s diverse demographic and the array of issues at stake, the upcoming election in Caerfyrddin promises to be a pivotal moment for its residents. Voters are looking for representatives who understand their unique needs and can effectively advocate for them at the national level.

Cover photo: Kier Starmer with Vaughan Gething in Whitland on Wednesday (Image: Marc Tierney)