"One of Labourís safest Westminster seats in Wales, Rhondda has been in Labour control for generations. Since 1983, it has been held by Allan Rogers, who had a majority of 24,931 at the 1997 General Election. Plaid Cymru, who have traditionally been the second party in Westminster and local council elections, came second, with 5,450 votes, the Liberal Democrats came third with 2,307 and the Conservatives came fourth with 1,551. A traditional mining area, it has suffered along with the rest of the south Wales valleys, from the disappearance of the coal industry, and has comparatively high levels of unemployment and social deprivation. The seat forms part of the Rhondda Cynon Taff local authority, which voted Yes in the 1997 devolution referendum by 14,839 votes. The local council is in strong Labour control, with Labour holding 55 of the seats. Plaid Cymru are the next-largest group, with 14, while the Independents have 4 and the Residents' Association 1."