Meet your Cardiff Central candidates

What are the promises they’ll break in government?


Yesterday saw Ed Balls and Nick Clegg visit the key Cardiff constituency.

The Electoral Reform Society has labelled the seat as fundamental to who becomes PM.

The constituency has one of the highest student populations in the UK, which is reflected in victories for Labour in 1992 and 1997 before swinging toward the Liberal Democrats after New Labour’s introduction of tuition fees.

Following the Lib Dem’s fee flip-flop in 2010, it’s likely that their student support base will switch back to Labour, providing Ed Miliband’s party with an excellent chance of winning the seat.

As a result, the Labour campaign team has been hitting the door step hard and funnelling resources toward what they view as a key seat in winning the general election.

But what is the story behind each candidate standing for election, and what have they promised to the Welsh electorate?

Jenny Willott – Liberal Democrat

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Born and raised in Wimbledon, South West London, Jenny went to Durham University and then studied for a Masters at LSE. Before becoming the Liberal Democrat member of Parliament for Cardiff Central in 2005, Jenny worked in politics and for charities. She is the first woman, and first Liberal Democrat, to represent Cardiff Central at Westminster. If re-elected Jenny would campaign to scrap the tolls on the Severn Bridge and against plans to introduce monthly black bin bag collection in Cardiff.

Key policies:

– Introduce more street sweepers and stronger enforcement against litter, rubbish and fly-tipping
– Increase Lib Dem income tax cut to £1,200

Chance of winning: 22%

Our prediction: 2nd

Vote for Jenny if: You don’t remember 2010

 

Jo Stevens – Labour

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Jo studied law at Manchester University and moved to Cardiff for her first job as a trainee solicitor. She has since lived in every single Cardiff constituency and moved to Roath with her family after being selected to stand in the 2015 election. An avid sports fan, Jo has a keen interest in football, rugby cricket and darts and, by her own admission, loves real ale. Jo plans to tackle the cost of living crisis in Cardiff, if she were to be elected on Thursday.

Key policies:

– Organising community litter picks
– Raising the national minimum wage to £8

Swing needed: +12.6%

Chance of winning: 63%

Our prediction: 1st

Vote for Jo if: You like beer and darts

Richard Hopkin – Conservative

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Born, raised and educated in the Swansea Valley before studying law at Cambridge, Richard Hopkin has had a successful 30 year career working as a solicitor and in financial services. He now lives with his civil partner and has stood several times for the Conservative party in Welsh Assembly and European elections. After having lost his job in 2008, Richard established a job club to help people return to employment. If elected Richard would like to improve Cardiff’s rail and bus networks.

Key policies:

– Opposition to the Labour council’s cuts to local bus services
– Saving Cardiff Central and Rhydypennau libraries from closure

Swing needed: +19.8%

Chance of winning: 13%

Our prediction: 3rd

Vote for Richard if: You want to keep Cardiff’s public services

Martin Pollard – Plaid Cymru

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Born in London and spending his childhood in North Devon, Martin studied English and Philosophy at Cardiff and has stayed in Wales ever since. He is the Chief Executive of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs, an organisation which in the past has held events regarding human rights, poverty and the decriminalisation of cannabis. Married with a son, in his spare time Martin likes to kick back and chill to the mellow sounds of 70s funk and soul music.

Key policies:

– Equality of funding and powers between Wales and Scotland
– Increase the minimum wage to a living wage

Swing needed: +38%

Chance of winning: 0%

Our prediction: 6th

Vote for Martin if: You believe in devolution

Chris von Ruhland – Green

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Originally born in London, but having lived in Cardiff for 25 years, Chris works as a biomedical scientist in Cardiff Uni’s School of Medicine. He believes in sustainability, abolishing tuition fees and is fundamentally opposed to tactical voting. Chris also advocates using happiness and health as indicators of our success over monetary indicators such as GDP.

Key policies:

– Providing every UK citizen over the age of 16 with an unconditional basic income
– Making tackling the global warming the government’s number one priority

Swing needed: +39.8%

Chance of winning: 0%

Our prediction: 5th

Vote for Chris if: You want to preserve the environment

Anthony Raybould – UKIP

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Born in Pontypridd, Tony is married with two children and lives in Dinas Powys. He has trained as a gas and electric welder and is also qualified as a sea captain and aircraft pilot. Tony has worked in the Middle East with many people of different nationalities.

Key policies:

– Tackling austerity to reduce the need for food banks
– Opposition to the rise in energy prices since 2010

Swing needed: +39.3%

Chance of winning: 2%

Our prediction: 4th

Vote for Tony if: You don’t like immigration