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Results & Constituencies
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Don Touhig Labour 19,505 61.5 -12.7
Kevin Etheridge Liberal Democrat 4,196 13.2 +4.8
Leigh Thomas Plaid Cymru 3,767 11.9 +5.7
Phillip Howells Conservative 2,543 8.0 +0.1
Paul Taylor Independent 1,263 4.0  
Mary Millington Socialist Labour 417 1.3  
Majority 15,309 48.3
Turnout 31,691 61.9 -10.1
Against 1997 General Election 8.7% from Labour to Liberal Democrat
Lab-Con (against 1997) 6.4% from Labour to Conservative
Against 1999 devolution poll 9.4% from Liberal Democrat to Labour

Regarded until the Assembly election as a safe Labour seat, this has been held since 1995 by Don Touhig, who won it at a by-election called when the former Labour leader, Neil Kinnock, was appointed a European Commissioner. Mr Touhig increased his majority to 23,931 (or 65.7%) at the 1997 general election, leaving the Liberal Democrats in second place, the Conservatives third, and Plaid Cymru fourth.

Astonishingly the seat fell to Plaid Cymru in the Assembly elections with a swing in excess of 35%. Plaidís Brian Hancock beat the Labour candidate by six hundred votes. The seat forms part of the Caerphilly local authority area, which voted Yes in the 1997 devolution referendum by a majority of 5,989. Plaid Cymru hold the majority of council seats in Islwyn and overall control of the wider county borough.

Islwyn is a former mining district in south east Wales. The seat comprises the town of Risca on the Northern fringes of Newport, the relatively prosperous commuter town of Blackwood and the more deprived community of Newbridge. Islwyn is overwhelmingly English-speaking although it takes its name from an eponymous Welsh Language poet of the 19th Century.

Past Results

1997 General Election
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Don Touhig Labour 26,995 74.2
Chris Worker Liberal Democrat 3,064 8.4
Russell Walters Conservative 2,864 7.9
Darren Jones Plaid Cymru 2,272 6.2
Susan Monaghan Referendum 1,209 3.3
Majority 23,931 65.7
Turnout 36,404 72.0
1999 Welsh Assembly Election
Plaid Cymru win
Name Party Votes %
Brian Hancock Plaid Cymru 10,042 41.9
Shane Williams Labour 9,438 39.4
Caroline Bennett Liberal Democrat 2,351 9.8
Chris Stevens Conservative 1,621 6.8
Ian Thomas United Socialist 475 2.0
Majority 604 2.5
Turnout 23,927 47.6