MONMOUTHSHIRE is the largest local authority area in Gwent, encompassing towns including Usk, Chepstow, Abergavenny, and Monmouth itself, with a population of 92,476.

The county stretches from Severn estuary in the south, along the English border in the east, stopping short of the Brecon Beacons to the north, bordering Newport and Torfaen to the west.

Unlike the rest of Gwent, Monmouthshire is a Conservative stronghold, with David Davies representing the area in Parliament and Nick Ramsay in the Assembly.

A small part of the southernmost point of the county encompassing Magor, Undy, Rogiet and Caldicot falls into the Newport East constituency, currently represented by Labour’s Jessica Morden in Parliament and John Griffiths in the Assembly.

Although the Conservatives had a majority on the council between 2004 and 2012, in 2012 the party failed to achieve an overall majority and entered into a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

There are 138 nominees running for the council next month, with both the Conservatives and Labour fielding 42 candidates each.

This year is the first time Labour has contested every seat in the county.

There are also 25 Independent candidates, 20 running for the Liberal Democrats and three each for Plaid Cymru and the Green Party.

There are two nominees running for Ukip and one for the Labour and Co-operative Party.

Monmouthshire also falls within the South Wales East Assembly region, which is currently represented by Conservatives Mohammad Asghar, better known as Oscar, and Mark Reckless, who earlier this month defected from Ukip, as well as Steffan Lewis for Plaid Cymru and Ukip’s David Rowlands.

The county also falls within the responsibility of Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent Jeff Cuthbert, formerly AM for Caerphilly, The county was also the only one in Gwent to vote against leaving the European Union in last year’s referendum, albeit by a small margin, with 50.44 per cent of voters backing Remain, despite the area’s MP Mr Davies being one of the most prominent figures in the Welsh pro-Leave campaign.

The two Severn bridges fall on the eastern edges of the county, meaning the perennial issue of the tolls is often at the forefront of political discussion in the area.

The UK Government has said it is considering cutting the tolls by more than half, as well as introducing measures such as free-flow tolling, next year, with the results of a public consultation to be presented in the summer.

Other landmarks in the county the Monnow Bridge in Monmouth, the only remaining fortified river bridge in the UK, include Chepstow Castle, which is almost 1,000 years old and is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fort in Britain, and HMP Usk, which is located near the town centre, with about 250 inmates.

Other castles remains are located in Monmouth and Abergavenny.

Cyclist Becky James, who won two silver medals in last year's Olympic Games in Rio, is from Abergavenny.

County statistics:

Population: 92,476

Ethnicity: White - 96.7 per cent

Asian/Asian British - 1.1 per cent

Black/Black British - 0.6 per cent Mixed - 0.9 per cent

Other - 0.7 per cent

Average weekly pay: £555 Unemployment: 3.3 per cent

Average house price: £229,000

Average life expectancy: 80.1 (men) 83.9 (women)

Number of Welsh speakers: 9.9 per cent

Number of businesses: 3,720

Current council makeup:

Number of seats: 43

Conservative: 19

Labour: 11

Independent: 10

Liberal Democrat: 3