Plaid wins historic by-election in Labour First Minister's constituency

Andrea Gibson and Adam Price
Plaid Leader Adam Price AM and Cllr Gibson

Plaid Cymru's Andrea Gibson has won a by-election in Ely to gain an extra seat for Plaid on the City of Cardiff Council. The by-election took place within the Cardiff West constituency held by Mark Drakeford, the Welsh First Minister, after the death of Labour Councillor Jim Murphy.

The Ely contest was seen as a measure of Mark Drakeford's popularity, coming just months after he was elected as First Minister. Ely was an area of traditional Welsh, working-class Labour support and has consistently been one of Labour's strongest areas in Wales. But in the 2016 National Assembly elections Neil McEvoy managed to double Plaid's vote and turn Cardiff West into a marginal seat.

Neil McEvoy AM and Cllr Gibson
Neil McEvoy AM and Cllr Gibson

New Plaid Councillor Andrea Gibson also stood for the Ely seat in the 2017 local elections, where all three seats were won by Labour. But with the new First Minister Mark Drakeford now in charge, Ms Gibson was able to win the seat for Plaid at the second time of asking.

Speaking after the historic vote Cllr Gibson said:

"I would like to thank the people of Ely from the bottom of my heart. I'm so glad that this proud community has stood up for itself after being neglected for so long. Abandoned houses, litter and crumbling roads were there for all to see. And after so much neglect it would have been easy for people in Ely to give up. But we're tougher than that. This vote is about demanding better. The whole community has sent a clear message that Ely Can. 

"I'd also really like to thank new Plaid leader Adam Price and Neil McEvoy. Adam came to campaign in Ely and has brought fresh energy to the party. He's someone that goes down very well on the doorstep in Cardiff and this win shows what's to come with him in charge. And Neil worked tirelessly for months to help get me elected. In house after house people couldn't speak highly enough of him. He was the difference and I'm looking forward to working with him now to ensure that Ely gets the attention it needs."


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