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Re-elected Labour Senedd member praises ‘friendly and fair’ opponents

07 May 2021 3 minutes Read
Hefin David of Labour has been re-elected to the Senedd

Emily Gill, local democracy reporter

Labour won big in Caerphilly in the Senedd Election, as Hefin David was re-elected to the Senedd with a whopping 45 per cent of the vote.

David received 13,289 votes – 5,000 more than second place Delyth Jewell of Plaid Cymru, who received 8,211 votes.

In his speech after being re-elected David praised the other candidates for “friendly and fair” debates over the election period.

This result will give Labour some confidence in Caerphilly, after the last election in 2016 saw the party’s majority slashed from 19.3 per cent to 5.8 per cent.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after his re-election, David said: “I want to get back to work and that’s what I’ve said all the way through.”

He added he wasn’t concerned how constituents voted, saying “was here to help anyone” in Caerphilly.

When asked about the key issues for his next Senedd term Mr David said: “We need to connect our communities better so we’re looking for improvements in bus and rail services.

“That is a key issue for people across the constituency particularly in Senghenydd, Bedwas and places like that.

“We want to make sure we protect our green spaces and rebuild our town centres.”

‘Challenge’ 

He said: “This last year has been the biggest challenge of our lives and people want to feel safe, they want to feel cared for and they want their rights respected as far as possible given the restrictions we’ve been forced to live under.

“I believe the Welsh Government has provided the leadership that’s been needed, particularly I think Mark Drakeford has been exceptional.”

Runner-up Jewell said she had “thoroughly enjoyed” all of the campaign and described it as “phenomenally positive”.

Like Mr David, she paid tribute to an “honourable campaign” between candidates in Caerphilly and earlier told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that she was grateful for how all the candidates had conducted themselves.

Ms Jewell received 8,211 in the ballot, but could still yet get a seat in the regional list system.

Four Members of the Senedd are elected via the regional list in South Wales East and Ms Jewell is the first candidate for Plaid Cymru. If Plaid get a big enough proportion of the vote in the region-wide ballot, then Jewell will find herself elected as a Member of the Senedd.

At the time of writing the results had not been announced for the South Wales East region.

Turnout for the Caerphilly Senedd constituency was up by 0.8 per cent on five years ago.

In the 2016 Senedd election, the turnout in Caerphilly was 43.3 per cent.

‘Long queues’ 

Despite social distancing measures and reports of long queues outside polling stations at the 10pm deadline yesterday (May 6), 29,090 residents in Caerphilly turned out to vote.

Turnout in Caerphilly was 44.1 per cent – 0.8 per cent higher than five years ago when 43.3 per cent turned out to vote in the Caerphilly constituency Senedd election of 2016.

Due to the current coronavirus restrictions, verification did not start until 9am on Friday (May 7), with the count itself starting just after 3pm.

The final result was announced at around 5pm.

The full results are as follows:

Hefin David (Labour) – 13,289

Delyth Jewell (Plaid Cymru) – 8,211

Steven Mayfield (Conservatives) – 5,013

Steve Jones (Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party) – 1,119

Steve Aicheler (Liberal Democrats) – 787

Tim Price (Reform UK) – 495

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