Home » What people in Llanelli town centre said about General Election
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What people in Llanelli town centre said about General Election

JULY elections are rare, and while certain political parties and candidates are feeling the heat more than others, it might be a stretch to say election fever has gripped Llanelli.

But people in the town centre generally warmed to the idea of a couple of questions put to them by a reporter, although several hurried on with words to the effect of “a plague on all politicians’ houses” ahead of polling day in just over a fortnight.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked respondents to rank the following issues in order of importance: building more homes, better public transport, reducing net migration, more NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients, reducing cost-of-living pressures, action to tackle and adapt to climate change, and growing the economy.

The second question was to rank what motivates them the most and least when it comes to actually voting. The options were voting for a particular party, voting for a particular candidate, what’s best for the constituency they live in, what’s best for the country, and what’s best for their own economic circumstances.

The unscientific findings highlight the complexity of the challenges – and opportunities – facing Wales and the UK.

Certain themes cropped up: the frustration of those unable to get on the housing ladder, the still strong affection for the NHS, people’s mental health struggles, the cost of living, the multi-faceted migration question, trust in politicians, and the sense climate change was important but corporations and other countries must step up to the mark.

Jessica Rhian, 24, cited the affordability problems that bedevil many prospective first-time home buyers like her.

“There’s no point building more homes when I can’t afford them,” she said.

Mandy Davies, 58, agreed, saying how tough it was for her son and his partner – both of whom work – to own bricks and mortar.

Former NHS employee Matthew Thomas said he was pessimistic about the state of the beloved institution he used to work for which, although a devolved area in Wales, relies on Westminster funding.

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But without migration, he said, the state health system would be in very precarious territory.

Philip Prendiville, meanwhile, didn’t want the UK to be “run by millionaires”.

Not all of the respondents lived in the Llanelli constituency but they all had skin in the General Election game.

A reminder – the questions were:

1) Rank the following issues in order of importance: building more homes, better public transport, reducing net migration, more NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients, reducing cost-of-living pressures, action to tackle and adapt to climate change, and growing the economy.

2) What motivates you the most and least when it comes to actually voting? Voting for a particular party, voting for a particular candidate, what’s best for the constituency they live in, what’s best for the country, and what’s best for their own economic circumstances.

Jessica Rhian, 24, a Carmarthenshire Council employee from Llanelli

Jessica Rhian, 24, of Llanelli (Pic: Richard Youle)

Ranking of issues in order of importance:

  1. NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients
  2. Growing the economy
  3. Reducing cost-of-living pressures
  4. Reducing net migration
  5. Action to tackle and adapt to climate change
  6. Better public transport
  7. Building more homes

Ranking of motivations that drive you to vote the way you do:

  1. What’s best for the country
  2. My own economic circumstances
  3. What’s best for the constituency
  4. A particular party
  5. A particular candidate

Stephen Jones, 69, retired publican from Pembrey

Stephen Jones, 69, of Pembrey (Pic: Richard Youle)

Ranking of issues in order of importance:

  1. Growing the economy
  2. Reducing cost-of-living pressures
  3. Better public transport
  4. Action to tackle and adapt to climate change
  5. NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients
  6. Building more homes
  7. Reducing net migration

Ranking of motivations that drive you to vote the way you do:

  1. A particular candidate
  2. What’s best for the constituency
  3. What’s best for the country
  4. My own economic circumstances
  5. A particular party

Grace Jackson, 68, retired social work lecturer from Bynea

Grace Jackson, 68, of Bynea (Pic: Richard Youle)

Ranking of issues in order of importance:

  1. NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients
  2. Growing the economy
  3. Better public transport
  4. Reducing net migration
  5. Building more homes
  6. Reducing cost-of-living pressures
  7. Action to tackle and adapt to climate change

Ranking of motivations that drive you to vote the way you do:

  1. What’s best for the country
  2. My own economic circumstances
  3. What’s best for the constituency
  4. A particular party
  5. A particular candidate

Ken Warnes, 46, of Llanelli, registered disabled and does voluntary work

Ken Warnes, 46, of Llanelli (Pic: Richard Youle)

Ranking of issues in order of importance:

  1. NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients
  2. Reducing cost-of-living pressures
  3. Growing the economy
  4. Building more homes
  5. Better public transport
  6. Reducing net migration
  7. Action to tackle and adapt to climate change

Ranking of motivations that drive you to vote the way you do:

  1. What’s best for the constituency
  2. My own economic circumstances
  3. What’s best for the country
  4. A particular candidate
  5. A particular party

Kinga Chmielewska, 34, of Llanelli

Kinga Chmielewska, 34, of Llanelli (Pic: Richard Youle)

Ranking of issues in order of importance:

  1. NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients
  2. Building more homes
  3. Growing the economy
  4. Reducing cost-of-living pressures
  5. Better public transport
  6. Reducing net migration
  7. Action to tackle and adapt to climate change

Ranking of motivations that drive you to vote the way you do:

  1. What’s best for the country
  2. My own economic circumstances
  3. What’s best for the constituency
  4. A particular party
  5. A particular candidate

Matthew Thomas, 54, former NHS worker from Llanelli

Matthew Thomas, 54, of Bynea (Pic: Richard Youle)

Ranking of issues in order of importance:

  1. More NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients
  2. Building more homes
  3. Action to tackle and adapt to climate change
  4. Reducing cost-of-living pressures
  5. Growing the economy
  6. Better public transport
  7. Reducing net migration

Ranking of motivations that drive you to vote the way you do:

  1. What’s best for my economic circumstances
  2. What’s best for the country
  3. Voting for a particular party
  4. Voting for a particular candidate
  5. What’s best for the constituency I live in

Carol Evans, 63, a nurse from Gorseinon, Swansea

Carol Evans, 63, of Gorseinon, Swansea (Pic: Richard Youle)

Ranking of issues in order of importance:

  1. NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients
  2. Reducing net migration
  3. Building more homes
  4. Action to tackle and adapt to climate change
  5. Reducing cost-of-living pressures
  6. Better public transport
  7. Growing the economy

Ranking of motivations that drive you to vote the way you do:

  1. What’s best for the country
  2. My own economic circumstances
  3. What’s best for the constituency
  4. A particular candidate
  5. A particular party

Philip Prendiville, 74, a former fabric welder from Llanelli

Philip Prendiville, 74, of Llanelli (Pic: Richard Youle)

Ranking of issues in order of importance:

  1. NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients
  2. Growing the economy
  3. Reducing cost-of-living pressures
  4. Action to tackle and adapt to climate change
  5. Growing the economy
  6. Reducing cost of living pressures
  7. Better public transport
  8. Reducing net migration
  9. Building more homes

Ranking of motivations that drive you to vote the way you do:

  1. What’s best for the country
  2. A particular party
  3. What’s best for the constituency
  4. My own economic circumstances
  5. A particular candidate

Mandy Davies, 58, a dog groomer from Pembrey

Mandy Davies, 58, of Pembrey (Pic: Richard Youle)

Ranking of issues in order of importance:

  1. Reducing cost-of-living pressures
  2. Growing the economy
  3. Better public transport
  4. Reducing net migration
  5. NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients
  6. Action to tackle and adapt to climate change
  7. Building more homes

Ranking of motivations that drive you to vote the way you do:

  1. What’s best for the country
  2. What’s best for the constituency
  3. My own economic circumstances
  4. What’s best for the constituency
  5. A particular candidate
  6. A particular party

Susan Freeman, 63, an accounts assistant from Pontarddulais, Swansea

Susan Freeman, 63, of Pontarddulais, Swansea (Pic: Richard Youle)
  1. NHS appointments and better outcomes for patients
  2. Building more homes
  3. Reducing net migration
  4. Better public transport
  5. Reducing cost-of-living pressures
  6. Growing the economy
  7. Action to tackle and adapt to climate change

Ranking of motivations that drive you to vote the way you do:

  1. What’s best for the country
  2. My own economic circumstances
  3. What’s best for the constituency
  4. A particular candidate
  5. A particular party

The candidates running for the Llanelli parliamentary seat are Gareth Beer (Reform UK), Rhodri Davies (Plaid Cymru), Charlie Evans (Conservatives), Nia Rhiannon Griffith (Labour), Karen Laurence (Green Party), Chris Passmore (Lib Dem), and Stan Robinson (UKIP). Polling day is July 4.

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