The seats to watch in Wales for the general election 2024 with major changes expected across the country

Thomas Telford's Menai Suspension Bridge spanning the Menai Straits between Ynys Môn and the North Wales mainland
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


The general election is happening on July 4, 2024, and after all the results are counted, Wales will have 32 MPs. If the poll projections are correct, it is due to be a good night for the Labour Party while the Conservatives could, according to some commentators, face total wipeout.

There is some speculation and whether it could be the Conservatives' worst elections since 1997 and 2001 when they failed to take any seats. Polls before the election was called show the Conservatives could hold one or two seats - the newly-created Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe, and/or the seat of Montgomeryshire.

In 2019, the Conservatives won 14 seats, Plaid Cymru got four and Labour took the remaining 22. This election is being fought on a new map, with 32 redrawn constituencies. You can see the detail of that here, and use our widget to find your constituency,

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There are a number of seats where the results could be particularly interesting, and those which the political parties themselves are investing all they can to try and win. Labour believe every seat is in play and are hoping to deliver a total wipeout of the Conservatives who represent Westminster.

For Plaid Cymru, no-one expects either Ben Lake in the newly-configured Ceredigion Preseli seat, or Liz Savile Roberts in Dwyfor Meirionydd, not to win meaning they would have at least two seats, whether they can take another seat in Ynys Mon is an unknown.

The big unknown is Reform UK. They are fielding a number of candidates in Wales, but, at the time of writing, not in every seat. Former Brexit Party Senedd member Caroline Jones is the best known, she's standing in Bridgend. However, it is unclear whether their support will translate into votes, or simply take votes away from the Conservative Party. However, a huge poll published at the end of March this year looked at what would happen in Wales if Reform UK stepped aside, and that still showed Labour on course to win 30 seats, and the remaining two going for Plaid Cymru.

For the Lib Dems, there is no expectation of any return to Westminster. Their only hope is to start rebuilding, most likely from Cardiff, in the hope their day will once again come again in Wales.

Caerfyrddin

The situation in Caerfyrddin has got a little clearer since Jonathan Edwards, who was Plaid Cymru's MP until his suspension from the party in 2021, announced he will not stand. If he had stood, it would have likely impacted the votes for Plaid's candidate Ann Davies.

A county councillor for the Llanddarog Ward since 2017 and a cabinet member since 2021, the former university lecturer is the joint owner of a local children’s nursery and has farmed in the Llanarthne area since 1992.

The seat is however changing quite a lot in terms of combining two seats of differing political persuasions which is why it is one to watch as it could well be a three way split between Labour, Conservatives and Plaid Cymru. The new Caerfyrddin seat takes in 84% of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, which Mr Edwards/Plaid Cymru won in 2019, and 40.7% of Carmarthen West, formerly a Conservative safe seat. The Conservative candidate is Simon Hart, the Conservative party's chief whip in Westminster. There is potential that Labour and Plaid votes could split, given a boost to Mr Hart.

It its seat predictions, Electoral Calculus, put this seat as going to Plaid, projecting them to take 40% of the vote, compared to Labour's 30% and the Conservatives' 20%. Survation's March mega-poll put Plaid with 29%, Labour with 37% and the Conservatives with 16%.

Ynys Mon

Probably the most interesting of all Welsh seats as it will be a three-way split between the Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and Labour. All parties believe they could win. It is one of four Conservative target seats in Wales in a bid to keep Virginia Crosbie in her seat. Widely acknowledged as a hard-working MP, she is taking on Plaid Cymru's council leader Llinos Medi and Ieuan Môn Williams.

Ms Medi is Plaid's best hope for a third Westminster seat. Elected to the island's council in 2013, she was one of the youngest council leaders in the UK.

Electoral Calculus projects this would go to Labour, but with the tightest of margins - Labour with 35.6% and Plaid with 35.5% and the Conservatives' with 17.7%. There are similar results in the Survation mega poll which also gives Labour the win with 32%, Plaid would be second with 29% and the Conservatives with 15.%.

Mr Williams was selected by Labour in October 2023, he previously worked as a parliamentary assistant for Labour MP Albert Owen, who stood down in 2019 and has moved back to Anglesey, where he lives with his wife and son, Osian. He has previously worked for the Nuclear Industry Association.

Virginia Crosbie was elected with a majority of 1,968 in 2019 and the island has been a key point of Conservative political campaigning since with a number of visits and announcements linked to it.

Vale of Glamorgan

One of the four target seats for the Conservatives, it has been held by Conservative Alun Cairns since 2010. Mr Cairns, a former secretary of state for Wales, quit the cabinet on the first day of the last election campaign over continued questions about what he knew about a rape trial involving one of his aides.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited the Vale seat on the first day of his election campaign, to support Mr Cairns. The seat has traditionally been a bellweather seat, meaning it sets the trend for the election night. Labour's John Smith was the last MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, holding the seat from 1997 until his defeat to Mr Cairns in 2010. There has historically been a few thousand votes in it between Labour and the Conservatives, particularly in 2017 when Mr Cairns' majority was 2,190. The seat is almost entirely unaffected by the boundary review, with 91% of the former Vale seat still in this one.

This election, the Labour candidate is Kanishka Narayan. Having grown up in Cardiff, but now living in Barry, he boasts of having knocked on 30,000 doors in the last year. Previously a government adviser, his job is to mentor state school students applying for university.

Electoral Calculus projects this to be a safe Labour win with 56% of the vote going to Mr Narayan.

Wrexham

Wrexham is another Conservative target seat in the hope of getting Sarah Atherton re-elected. She was Wales' first Conservative MP and the first ever Conservative MP for the constituency when she was elected in the Boris Johnson-sponsored Red Wall collapse of 2019. She overturned a Labour majority of 1,832 and turning it into a Conservative majority of 2,131. In Parliament, she has served on the defence select committee. A former nurse, she also served in the armed forces. Ms Atherton's election in 2019 was one of the north Wales "red wall" seats, boosted by support for Boris Johnson. For the latest politics news in Wales sign up to our newsletter here.

The boundary review means that all the former constituency of Wrexham is taking on just shy of 40% of the Clwyd South seat, historically a Conservative seat. However despite being a place where two Conservative seats are coming together, it is not projected to be a seat the party hold onto.

In 2019, Labour's Mary Wimbury came second with Plaid Cymru a distant third. This time it is Andrew Ranger who is her Labour challenger. He says he has "lived, worked and breathed this town for 20 plus years".

This is another seat where the Conservatives are projected to lose comprehensively with Electoral Calculus saying 48% of voters would back Labour and 26.5% the Conservatives. Interestingly, the Reform vote share here is relatively high, projected at 10%. Similarly, Survation had Labour with 54%, the Tories with 28% but Reform UK at 5%.

Mid and South Pembrokeshire

The fourth Conservatives target seat and another where the party tries to keep another former secretary of state for Wales in their seat. As part of the boundary review, this seat is a combination of the former Preseli Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire South constituencies. Almost 70% of the former and 60% of the latter are being combined into one.

It has led Electoral Calculus to project the seat will go to Labour with 51% of the vote, with the Tories taking 22%, however, it's the constituency with one of the highest percentages of support for Reform UK, coming in at 14.6%. The Survation poll from April also projects Labour to take this seat with 46.5% of the vote, the Conservatives at 25% and Plaid with 9.5%.

The Labour challenger is Henry Tufnell. He had tried to be selected for a seat in Essex, and surprised many by being selected over expected candidates Jackie Jones, a former MEP, and Philippa Thompson, a former police and crime commissioner candidate.

He says on his website: "I have been coming to Pembrokeshire since I was a small child with my mum, who was born in Pontypridd and grew up in south Wales. I am originally from a farming family and I am now based outside St Davids. Professionally I trained and practised as a barrister before leaving to work as an organiser at a grassroots trade union."

Monmouthshire

The current Welsh secretary of state David TC Davies could have a battle on his hands to keep Monmouthshire blue. He is being challenged by Labour's Catherine Fookes. A county councillor elected in 2022, she previously headed up the Women's Equality Network (WEN Wales). Her council register of interests also has her listed as a parent governor at Monmouth Comprehensive, the chair of Fabians Cymru and member of the Community Union.

Historically this is a Conservative safe seat, but the boundary review has changed this meaning it incorporates some more Labour-leaning areas. Regardless, losing it would be a blow to the party, not only because it has a serving cabinet member as MP. It was last anything other than Conservative in 2001 when Huw Edwards was MP. David TC Davies won the seat in 2005, with a majority of 4,527.

The Electoral Calculus projections have this seat going to Labour from the Conservatives with just shy of 50% of the vote going to Ms Fookes, and David TC Davies getting 27% of the vote. Reform UK are projected to get 12.1% of the vote. Survation has Mr Davies trailing by 20% compared to Labour's 47.1%

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