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Results & Constituencies
 
 Blaenau Gwent
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Llew Smith Labour 22,855 72.0 -7.5
Adam Rykala Plaid Cymru 3,542 11.2 +6.0
Edward Townsend Liberal Democrat 2,945 9.3 +0.6
Huw Williams Conservative 2,383 7.5 +0.9
Majority 19,313 60.9
Turnout 31,725 59.5 -12.8
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 6.7% from Labour to Plaid Cymru
Lab-Con (against 1997) 4.2% from Labour to Conservative
Against 1999 devolution poll 10.1% from Plaid Cymru to Labour

Description
This constituency consists of deep valleys and plateau uplands on the eastern rim of the South Wales coalfield.

Having been traditionally dependent on coal and steel, it suffered serious economic decline throughout the last century, which despite government subsidy, culminated in the closure of the steelworks in 1978.

The coal trade also declined dramatically and was replaced by manufacturing and light industry. However, it has a high rate of unemployment.

The seat has been a traditional Labour stronghold, which incorporates parts of Abertillery, previously the safest Labour seat in Britain, and the former Ebbw Vale held by Aneurin Bevan, the architect of the National Health Service.

Former Labour leader Michael Foot held the seat until his retirement and since 1992 Blaenau Gwent has been represented at Westminster by former MEP Llew Smith - only the constituency's third MP.

Few in the area speak Welsh and voters elected a Labour candidate to the National Assembly for Wales in 1999.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Blaenau Gwent
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Llewellyn Smith Labour 31,493 79.5
Geraldine Layton Liberal Democrat 3,458 8.7
Margrit Williams Conservative 2,607 6.6
Jim Criddle Plaid Cymru 2,072 5.2
Majority 28,035 70.7
Turnout 39,630 72.3
1999 Welsh Assembly Election
 Blaenau Gwent
Labour win
Name Party Votes %
Peter Law Labour 16,069 61.8
Phil Williams Plaid Cymru 5,501 21.1
Keith Rogers Liberal Democrat 2,980 11.4
David Thomas Conservative 1,444 5.6
Majority 10,568 40.7
Turnout 25,994 48.5
 
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