AS THE General Election approaches, voters will once again go to the polls in Cardiff South and Penarth to elect their next member of parliament.

The Parliamentary constituency of Cardiff South and Penarth is the largest in Wales with an electorate of more than 75,000 people.

It has been a safe Labour seat since it was formed in 1983 when James Callaghan was the MP.

Penarth was previously part of the now defunct Barry constituency.

Cardiff South and Penarth has had three MPs since its creation including James Callaghan, Alun Michael (the current police and crime commissioner) and Stephen Doughty.

Mr Michael, who has also been secretary state for Wales, served as MP in the constituency for 25 years from 1987 before choosing to stand down in 2012.

Mr Doughty was elected as a Labour Co-operative MP in a by-election in 2012 and then re-elected at the 2015 General Election.

The Conservatives have finished second in the constituency on each occasion since its creation.

Mr Doughty has confirmed he is running again this year and faces competition from the Conservatives, Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, the Wales Green Party and the Pirate Party.

The constituency currently includes Penarth and Sully as well as the Cardiff areas of Butetown, Grangetown, Llanrumney, Rumney, Splott and Trowbridge.

The constituency borders the Vale of Glamorgan constituency, Cardiff West, Cardiff Central and Cardiff North as well as Newport West.

The constituency covers two council areas including the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Cardiff City Council, both of which voted to remain in the European Union in last year's referendum.

Currently the constituency's unemployment rate stands at 3.7 per cent which is above the 2.6 per cent UK average and more then 30 per cent of children in the constituency are considered to be living in poverty.

Meanwhile 8.2 per cent of residents are claiming disability benefits, in comparison with the national average of 6.2 per cent.

The average worker in Cardiff South and Penarth earns £460 a week which is £70 less than the national average.

The average house price for the constituency is £161,000 which is well below the national average of £215,000.

The constituency includes Penarth's famous Victorian pier and pier pavilion which was restored with £4m Heritage Lottery funding in 2013.

The constituency is on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast along which the Wales Coastal Path runs.

It also home to Cosmeston Lakes Country Park as well as the several green spaces in Penarth which has led the town to be known as the "Garden by the Sea."

The constituency also includes Cardiff Bay where The Senedd, the home of the Welsh Assembly, is based.


Cardiff South and Penarth

l Population: 111,714

l Number of these aged 65 or older: 15,648 (14 per cent)

l Average weekly pay: £460

(UK average £530)

l Average house price: £161,000

(UK average £215,000)

l Number of people on disability benefits: 6,040 (8.2 per cent)

(UK average 6.2 per cent)

l Unemployment: 1,875 (3.3 per cent)

(UK average 2.6 per cent)

l Child poverty: 8,040 (30.9 per cent)

(UK average 20 per cent)

l Number of businesses: 3,785

Your candidates

UKIP Andrew Bevan

Labour Co-op Stephen Doughty

Pirate Party Jebediah Hedges

Conservative Bill Rees

Liberal Democrat Emma Sands

Green Party Anthony Slaughter

Plaid Cymru Ian Titherington