2000 Ceredigion by-election

The Plaid Cymru Member of Parliament for Ceredigion, Cynog Dafis, was unexpectedly elected to the National Assembly for Wales in May 1999 and decided to give up his seat in the House of Commons in order to concentrate on his work in the Assembly. By accepting the office of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead on 10 January 2000, he formally vacated his seat.

2000 Ceredigion by-election

← 1997 3 February 2000 2001 →

Ceredigion constituency
  First party Second party
  Simon Thomas AM (28066512752).jpg Mark Williams MP 2009.JPG
Candidate Simon Thomas Mark Williams
Party Plaid Cymru Liberal Democrats
Popular vote 10,716 5,768
Percentage 42.8 23.0
Swing Increase1.1% Increase6.5%

  Third party Fourth party
  Paul Davies AM (28170823155).jpg
Candidate Paul Davies Maria Battle
Party Conservative Labour
Popular vote 4,138 3,612
Percentage 16.5 14.4
Swing Increase1.6% Decrease9.9%

Location of Ceredigion constituency within Wales

MP before election

Cynog Dafis
Plaid Cymru

Subsequent MP

Simon Thomas
Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru selected Simon Thomas, who had been their Director of Policy and responsible for writing their manifestos for the 1997 general election and 1999 Assembly election. Labour, who had come second in the previous general election, chose a local social worker, Maria Battle.

The election campaign was dominated by the issue of European Objective 1 funding. The constituency was part of the area of Wales that was granted Objective One status in 1999, but under European rules the funding had to be matched by a minimum of 25% from other sources, including private funding and resources from central and local government. Plaid Cymru, Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians demanded this funding be made available solely from central government in addition to the block grant already paid to the Welsh Assembly by the UK Treasury, and the chief reporter for Wales on Sunday newspaper Martin Shipton stood as a single-issue candidate demanding 'Match Funding now'. The Labour administration in the Welsh Assembly insisted that such a demand misrepresented the resourcing of Objective 1 programmes.

Polling day in the by-election was 3 February. Plaid Cymru retained the seat comfortably, with the Liberal Democrats taking second in a seat they had previously held from 1974 until 1992 – and would win again in 2005.

Electoral historyEdit

General election 1997: Ceredigion[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Plaid Cymru Cynog Dafis 16,728 41.6 +10.7
Labour Robert (Hag) Harris 9,767 24.3 +5.7
Liberal Democrats Dai Davies 6,616 16.5 -10.0
Conservative Felix Aubel 5,983 14.9 -9.1
Referendum John Leaney 1,092 2.7 N/A
Majority 6,961 17.3 +4.9
Turnout 40,186 73.9 -4.1
Registered electors 54,378
Plaid Cymru hold Swing +2.5


2000 Ceredigion by-election[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas 10,716 42.8 +1.1
Liberal Democrats Mark Williams 5,768 23.0 +6.5
Conservative Paul Davies 4,138 16.5 +1.6
Labour Maria Battle 3,612 14.4 -9.9
UKIP John Bufton 487 1.9 N/A
Independent Green – Save the World Climate John Davies 289 1.2 N/A
Wales on Sunday – Match Funding Now Martin Shipton 55 0.2 N/A
Majority 4,948 19.8 +2.5
Turnout 25,143 46.0 -27.9
Registered electors 55,025
Plaid Cymru hold Swing -2.7


  1. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  2. ^ Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 1997-2001 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 14 February 2020.

External linksEdit