"A safe Labour seat in the south Wales Valleys. It has been held since 1995 by Don Touhig, who won it at a by-election called when the former long-term member for the seat, the former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, was appointed a European Commissioner. Mr Touhig increased his majority to 23,931 at the 1997 General Election, leaving the Liberal Democrats in second place on 3,064, the Conservatives third on 2,864 and Plaid Cymru third on 2,272. Economically and socially, the seat comprises former mining areas of the Gwent Valleys and the town of Blackwood, and has the mix of unemployment and new industry characteristic of Valley seats. The seat forms part of the Caerphilly local authority area, which voted Yes in the 1997 devolution referendum by a majority of 5,989. The Caerphilly unitary authority area is a Labour stronghold, with 54 of the 68 councillors belonging to Labour. Plaid Cymru, traditionally a strong second party in this area, have 10, the Independents 3 and the Liberal Democrats 1."