"Created in 1983, this seat is safe Labour territory at Westminster, both it and its predecessor constituency, Newport, having a succession of Labour members. Alan Howarth, who had famously defected from the Conservatives to Labour, became its MP at the 1997 General Election following the departure of the previous member, Roy Hughes, to the House of Lords. Mr Howarth had a majority of 13,523 over the Conservatives, who polled 7,958. The Liberal Democrats came third, with 3,880 votes, and Plaid Cymru came sixth, with 721 votes, behind both the Referendum Party and Socialist Labour. The seat, which includes part of the town of Newport together with the giant Llanwern steelworks, forms part of the Newport local authority area, whose electors voted No in the 1997 devolution referendum by a majority of 10,845. The local council is in almost total Labour control, with 46 of the 47 councillors belonging to Labour. A sole Conservative forms the only opposition."