Five years ago Labour returned to power in Swansea gaining 10 council seats it replaced a Liberal Independent coalition that was once colourfully described by on labour Councillor as a devils cabal of crypto fascists, fruitcakes and weirdoes. Five years ago the Liberals lost 11 seats, the independents 4 and the independents' Swansea group another 3. Plaid lost its last seat and across the area Labour scored just over 45% to the Liberal Democrats 15%, the varying independent groups 10% and 5 % respectively and the Tories 11%.
Yesterdays local government poll suggest labour was down by 9% and the Tories up 13%. This poll would suggest they the Tories will emerge as the opposition again, This will be the first time they have been back here since the 1990s. This poll suggests that a large number of seats will change hand a week next Thursday, I will look at the Seats in order and try and predict what will happen. Nine days are still a long time and much might change but this is how it stands as present
The elction here suggests that Tory inroads will be made. Bishopston has been a Conservative seat in the past and a doubling of their vote here presents the possibility of a Tory gain over long serving independent Keith marsh. However it will simply mean that one unofficial conservative will be replaced by an official one.
This seat will be held by Labour. Paul Lloyd is a popular local councillor who gained the seat with his colleague five years ago from two independents. No independent is standing this time and two Tories and one Plaid will make little impact.
Castle is a vast ward that covers the centre of Swansea . It runs from Mount Pleasant to the sea and from High Street to the Uplands. This ward has seen close elections in 2008 and here Labours performance will be dependent on the state of their organisation. The mariner polling stations have never adequately understood by any political party and yet there are rich sources of votes for other parties. Here 21 candidates battle it out for four council seats. The parties represent the whole political spectrum and many combinations of voting across parties will occur. I would think as this point it would be safe to say that labour will hold at least three of these seats. The fourth could be Liberal or Plaid. I will interested to see how the UKIP voters spread their other three votes. David Phillips, Sybil Crouch and Erica Kirchner are established Councillors and should win their seats again. However there is till nine days to go. The new Labour candidate Fiona Gordon lives on the Marina and may access votes from her own patch. Castle will depend on turnout and on organisation. There will be a solid Green vote here as some Labour voters pick an alternative to the sometimes crass David Philips.
Last time Clydach was represnted by one independent and one Labour. The independent is not standing again and I would imagine that it is likely that one Plaid gain may occur here. I know Clydach well having been the agent in a number of by elections here.
Cockett has 15 candidates battling it out for four seats. Last time all four seats were won by labour. However only of the sitting Councillors are standing again from that year. Former Councillors Jim Kelleher and Nicola Halley are standing again as is Plaids Adrian Rees.. Cocket is a key seat and I am expecting two Liberal Democrat gains here and one Plaid. Labour will hold the remaining seat.
No surprises here. The Liberal democrats will hold all three seats. Labour ran them close in 2012 but five years is a long tome and the Liberal democrats have dominated politics here for over 30 years. Peter Black free from the Assembly will be manic in his defence of the seat.
Last time the Liberal democrats lost one seat to labour. John Newbury who has held the seat since the 80s easily topped the poll. The Liberals lost a seat here because former Lib Dem Councillor nick nick Tregoning so cheesed off by not being reselected stood as an independent. The loss here for the Liberal Democrats was partly caused by ego and by the Byzantine nature of the administration they ran. in Swansea However now we see that Nick nick has returned to the fold and seems to be on his way to establishing a family dynasty here as yet another Tregoning appears on the ballot paper. Of course a reviving Tory party might cause some problems here.
Fairwood .This will remain Conservative. No surprises here
Gorseinom I am predicting a Plaid Cymru gain here by the hard working Darren Thomas. He is a community campaigner little valued by his own party
This will be a Conservative gain. Five years ago Richard lewis held the seat as a Liberal democrat. He is standing as an Independent this time and will lose by a couple of hundred votes this time.
Gowerton. No change here with the independents holding on
Killay North and Killay South. Both of these seat will be held by the sitting Liberal Democrats.
Kinsbridge This seat will be easily held by Labour
This seat was held by the Liberal Democrats until 2012, its odd that they have not fielded candidates. Its also surprising that the Conservatives are standing here. There may as well be a very high vote for UKIP here. If Paul Nuttal strategy of challenging labour means anything then we will see evidence of it here. However I give both seats to labour
Llangyfelach will easily be held by the Independents
Llansamlet will be held by the Labour party however they will be weakened here by the loss of Bob and Uta Clay. I am told that the UKIP candidate here is ex labour and will make some impact. Once more a test for Nuttal`s strategy of targeting Labour wards. But I doubt that there will be any surprises here.
Lower Loughor will be held by labour. I am surprised that there is no Plaid candidate here
Mawr This is going to be an interesting one. Long serving anti wind farm candidate and former Plaid member Ioan Richard is standing down Over half the electorate voted against him last time and a split between Labour and Plaid allowed him to survive. I would put my money on a gain by Plaid's Linda Frame.
Mayals. This is an odd one. Last time it was a three way marginal between independent, Conservative and Liberal democrat. I am surprised no Liberal democrat is standing and I expect the seat to won by the Conservatives. This was a former Liberal Democrat seat until 8 years ago.
Morriston. I cant see any other result here except five labour holds. This is held powerfully by the Labour party
Mynyddbach. Once more a clear labour victory here. This was an independent seat until five years ago. There are only two Conservatives standing here and so I expect no change.
Newton I imagine this will be held by the Conservatives however with a new candidate you can never tell. There will be a substantial Green vote here. The community Council promising for the future. This was a Liberal democrat seat until five years ago. Once more we have no Liberal democrat standing here.
Oystermouth . I wonder what has happened here. The sitting Councillor Tony Colborn was elected as a Conservative nut is now defending as an independent. Once more there is no Liberal Democrat standing This seat has been won by the Greens over ten years ago at Community Council level. I expect a very high green vote here. With six candidates there is a good change of a Green gain here. Particularly as the right wing vote will be split between four candidates.
Penclawdd. A certain labour victory here.
Penderry Three labour holds with a substantial Green vote for the perennial Tony Young
Penllergaer. The hectoring Wendy Fitzgerald will keep her seat as an independent as will Linda James in Pennard
Penyrheol I will be surprised if labour do hold two seats hear. But possibility an outside chance of a Conservative win.
Pontardulais. With so many right wing candidates standing this will be an easy victory for Labour.
Sketty will be a fascinating result. All five seats at present are held by the Liberal Democrats. However last time the coat tails of June Stanton saved them. She is not standing this time so I expect only Mike Day and Cheryl Philpott to survive. I have a lot of time for Cheryl and remember her work well from my time a chairperson of Sketty Resident's Association. The opinion polls suggesting an increase in Tory votes will give the Tories three gains here. This will be a close contest and there will be many recounts late into the night. The birds will be singing before this result is known.
St Thomas St Thomas has a long history of electing independents. I expect that if UKIP had any chance of winning a seat it would be hear. Clifford Jones the UKIP candidate has a colourful turn of phrase. Just recently he called the Cobynistas and Plaid “Hitler Parties and suggested that an opponent in debate should try flying off a tall building. St Thomas has elected representatives of an independent hue before. One even suggested sterilisation as a realistic option to women who became repeatedly pregnant ,
Townhill is one of those seats where I would expect Labour to hold both. However with UKIP standing once more the Nuttal strategy will be tested. In fact throughout Swansea UKIP are only standing in Labour seats. This will be an interesting result.
Uplands The Liberal Democrats lost four seats to Labour here five years ago but one of the defeated Liberal democrats won a seat back in a by election as an independent in November 2014 With 18 candidates this will be a fascinating and close election. The Peter May group of "Uplands" may well sweep the board but in a close run election I am predicting that Uplands has h the possibility of a Green, labour or Lib Dem victory for the fourth seat.
Upper Loughor. I expect no surprises here with a Labour hold
West Cross. This has been a seat held by the Conservatives in the past. I expect likely Conservative gains here. However Christopher Evans of the Green party stands a reasonable chance of victory. Once more we see UKIP testing the waters in a Labour seat. There will be several recounts here as well.
Its going to be a long night. I estimate that the parties will score as follows The independents and other sorted types will elect 8 seats, The Conservatives 10, the Liberal Democrats will elect 10 or 11. Labour will reach 33 or 34 seats and lose up to 15 seats. Plaid may elect as many as 5 and the Greens between 1 and 3. These are estimates I h have looked at results going back to 2004.. The effects of Momentum and the Corbynista may save Labour r in areas like the Uplands.
I would finally like to pay tribute to the late Lily Jane Summers who as a Trans gender candidate would have brought some colour and style to the largely bland candidates standing in the Uplands. We all miss you Lily. I do hope that we do not see the revival of the Coalition that ruled Swansea from 2004 to 2012. We all deserve a better Swansea. A progressive and outward looking one.