Cardiff North voters focus on national issues

Just a month after local elections were held on March 5th, voters in Cardiff will have to elect their representatives at Westminster. Cardiff North is one Cardiff’s four constituencies, and includes areas such as Gabalfa, Llandaff North, Whitchurch, Rhwibina and Heath.

At present, a Conservative MP is in power in the constituency. What issues are people likely to focus on when electing their candidate?

Richard Wyn Jones, a Professor of Welsh Politics at Cardiff University, says the electorate will more attention to UK level issues. “This is being presented as a Brexit election, and I think that is true in some ways”.

At Llandaff North, National Health Service (NHS) funding seems to be a subject on most people’s minds. A man who used to work with the NHS as a nurse says it is definitely going to determine his vote. Another nurse says that the NHS is most important national issue for her.

Professor Richard Jones, however, does not think the Welsh electorate in general will pay much attention to the NHS.”The NHS in Wales is devolved. That was the centre of the devolved election last year. I don’t think it is going to feature much in Wales in this election.

Llandaff North edit

Lidl at Llandaff North. Photo: Llandaff North Post

 

It is almost impossible to ignore the impact of the Brexit negotiations with the European Union (EU) in this snap general election. When the snap general election was announced, Prime Minister Theresa May made it clear that the Brexit negotiations influenced the decision to call for early election.

“It does appear to be an election dominated by Brexit and the realignment of politics after the vote to leave the EU’, says Professor Richard Jones. People at Llandaff North had mixed opinions on Brexit.

Jack Davies is the editor of a local news website called myCardiffNorth. He think both NHS and Brexit are important issues. “I know people who work at Universities, and the Brexit vote could negatively affect them. Also healthcare is something everyone is worried about. I am at an age where a lot of people’s parents are getting older and they are concerned about having an NHS system in place.”

Local elections were held in Cardiff recently. There is a chance that the mood and choices reflected in the local election will spillover to the general election. Jack Davies says there is a possibility that people might vote similarly in the general election.

“I know definitely that in Whitchurch, where I live, I think a lot of people knew the Conservative candidate and knew that were involved in local issues”.

Given that this is the third major election for the Welsh electorate in the past year, it is important to talk about voter fatigue. Voter fatigue is the apathy that the electorate can experience under certain circumstances, one of which could be that they are required to vote too often, or that they feel disengaged. Professor Richard Jones says a low turnout cannot be ruled out.

“Voter fatigue may be a factor. Also the fact that this election looks like a foregone conclusion. Everybody expects the Conservatives to win easily. So that may lead to a lack of motivation to go out and vote. We shall see soon enough. But it plausible that people won’t turn out thinking they know the result “.

Cardiff North is no doubt just one of may parliamentary constituencies in the UK. It will be extremely interesting to see which of the five candidates will represent this area after the 8th of June.

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