With the General Election just weeks away, the Free Press has looked at the Monmouth constituency.

MONMOUTH is the sole Conservative stronghold in Gwent, with the area’s MP and AM both representing the Party, which also has overall control of the county council.

Although the Parliamentary seat has flipped between the Conservatives and Labour multiple times over the past 50 years, Tory David Davies has become firmly entrenched since first being elected in 2005.

He increased his majority at both the 2010 and 2015 elections and is defending it again next month.

He faces opposition in next month’s election from candidates running for Labour, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, Ukip and the Green Party.

Conservative Nick Ramsay also represents Monmouth in the Senedd.

But despite being such a heavily Conservative area and Mr Davies being one of the prominent figures in the Welsh pro-Brexit campaign, Monmouth was the only area in Gwent to vote Remain in last year's European Union referendum, albeit by a very small margin of 50.4 per cent.

Geographically, Monmouth is the largest constituency in Gwent and is largely rural. It rural area borders Caldicot, Pontypool, Cwmbran and Blaenavon in the west, Brecon in the north and the English border in the west and encompasses Chepstow, Usk, Abergavenny and the town of Monmouth itself.

It is also by far the wealthiest constituency in the area, with residents paid on average £570 a week, £40 more than the national average and a massive £170 more than their neighbours in Blaenau Gwent.

Unemployment is also just 1.6 per cent, lower than the national average of 2.6 per cent, while just 14.4 per cent of children living in the area are classed as being in poverty and 6.1 per cent of working-age residents are claiming disability benefits, just below the national average.

Although this brings with it the highest house prices in Gwent, with the average home in Monmouth costing £208,000, almost £40,000 more than in Newport, this is still lower than the national average of £215,000.

It also has a relatively old population, with 24.2 per cent of residents, almost one in four, aged 65 or older.

Many people living in Monmouth work over the border in Bristol or the surrounding area, and therefore the price of tolls on the two Severn Crossings has been a perennial issue of campaigning for politicians and others living 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 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 castle remains are located in Monmouth and Abergavenny.

Notable people from the area include cyclist Becky James, who won two silver medals in last year’s Olympic Games in Rio and is from Abergavenny.


Population: 84,500

Number of these aged 65 or older: 20,411 (24.2 per cent)

Average weekly pay: £570

(UK average £530)

Average house price: £207,975

(UK average £215,000)

Number of people on disability benefits: 3,080 (6.1 per cent)

(UK average 6.2 per cent)

Unemployment: 1.6 per cent

(UK average 2.6 per cent)

Child poverty: 14.4 per cent

(UK average 20 per cent)

Number of businesses: 4,080


Ian Roy Chandler (Green)

Carole Sian Damon (Plaid Cymru)

David Thomas Charles Davies (Conservative)

Veronica German (Lib Dem)

Ruth Lorraine Jones (Labour)

Roy Anthony Neale (Ukip)