The Conservative Party retained Whitchurch and Tongwynlais ward last Thursday in a council by-election. The result means Mia Rees will now represent the ward in Cardiff Council alongside three other already elected Conservative Councillors. The by-election was called after the death of Cllr Timothy Davies in June; Davies having been the Councillor for Whitchurch since 1976.
The Conservatives took 36% of the vote, beating Labour into second place on 28%. Plaid Cymru’s candidate polled 16%, the Lib Dems 14% and the Green Party 6%. Rees’ previous work includes working for a local charity that supports getting young people in education, employment and training.
The ward of Whitchurch and Tongwynlais was established in 1983 and in recent years has swung between Conservative and Labour representation. Labour held all of the seats in the ward as recently as 2012 but lost all four to the Conservatives in the 2017 Welsh local elections. The ward is part of Cardiff North constituency, a potential target seat for the Conservatives at both the 2021 Welsh Assembly elections and the next general election.
In a statement put out shortly after her election, Cllr Mia Rees said “When I told my friends that I had decided to stand in a local council by-election they weren’t at all surprised – I’ve always been a political animal – but they were a bit concerned about the timing. We all know that national politics right now is challenging, no matter what side of the debate you’re on but this was a local by-election and I was determined to stand on local issues and fight for my community.
“Although Brexit and the Prime Minister were mentioned on the doorstep, most residents wanted to talk about their community, their roads, litter, anti-social behaviour – issues that affect them day in, day out. The reasons behind this by-election aren’t what any of us wished for. I want to pay tribute to Cllr. Tim Davies, it’s clear he’s fondly remembered by so many local residents.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have a wonderful team of Cardiff Tory Councillors and party members – particularly the Whitchurch and Tongwynlais team. We’ve worked super hard delivering leaflets, getting the word out and listening to local residents. Everyone has been amazing and I couldn’t have done half of what I did without their help.
“It’s a real honour that the people of Whitchurch and Tongwynlais have elected me to represent them in City Hall. I promise to be a strong voice for them and to work as hard as I can to make sure that Whitchurch and Tongwynlais continues to thrive. Let’s get to work!”
Result: 2019 Whitchurch and Tongwynlais By-Election
Mia Rees (Conservative): 1,544, 36%
Marc Palmer (Labour): 1,190, 28%
Dan Allsobrook (Plaid Cymru): 674, 16%
Sian Donne (Liberal Democrats): 588, 14%
David Griffin (The Green Party): 248, 6%