On August 1st, voters in Brecon and Radnorshire will choose who they want to represent them in Parliament. A by-election was triggered after a successful recall petition against Chris Davies, the Conservative MP who had held the seat since 2015.
Why is there a by-election?
Davies was charged with filing false expenses claims in February this year. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced with an £1,500 fine and a community order of 50 hours unpaid work. His conviction triggered a recall petition, which was open from May 9th to June 20th.
The Conservatives, Chris Davies’ party, campaigned to have the petition fail, whilst Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru campaigned for the petition’s success. 19 percent of constituents signed the petition, surpassing the ten percent threshold required to trigger a by-election and remove the incumbent MP from their seat.
Unlike in Peterborough earlier this year, Davies is attempting to win his seat back after being ousted – the first person to do so.
The by-election will take place the week after both the new leaders of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats will take office, proving a major first test for whoever takes up the positions.
Full list of candidates
Six candidates are running in the by-election; the fewest number of candidates for a by-election in Great Britain since the Ogmore by-election in May 2016. Four parties (Plaid Cymru, the Greens, Renew and Change UK) have opted not to stand a candidate in the election, instead backing the Liberal Democrat candidate to unite around a party calling for a second referendum on Brexit.
In alphabetical order, the candidates are:
- Brexit Party: Des Parkinson
- Conservative Party: Chris Davies
- Labour: Tom Davies
- Liberal Democrats: Jane Dodds
- Monster Raving Loony Party: Lady Lily The Pink
- UKIP: Liz Phillips
What was the result at the last election?
At the 2017 election, the Conservatives held the seat with an increased majority of over 8,000 votes, with the Liberal Democrats trialling behind with less than 30 percent.
However, the Liberal Democrats did hold the seat from 1997 to 2015 and, with the party enjoying a boost in national polling at the main parties’ expense, they could win the seat back.
If the Conservatives were to lose the seat, their governing majority would be reduced to just three.
How did Brecon and Radnorshire vote in the EU referendum?
The Brecon and Radnorshire constituency sits in the county of Powys in Wales, which voted to leave in the EU referendum, with 53.7 percent supporting Britain’s withdrawal.
In the European elections in May, over a third of voters in the county backed the Brexit Party, giving the party’s supporters hope that they may win their first seat in Parliament.