Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: What's occurrin' on Barry Island?

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Media captionDavid Cornock takes the political temperature on Barry Island

As BBC Wales kicks-off an election tour of Wales on Monday - starting in the Vale of Glamorgan town of Barry - David Cornock asks "What's occurrin?" in and around the seaside resort.

His is the tightest of election schedules. He was visiting the UK's four nations in one day.

But David Cameron insisted on taking time out earlier this month to visit Barry Island.

It was not just that it is in a seat crucial to his hopes of remaining in Downing Street - it is also home to his favourite sitcom, Gavin & Stacey.

With the re-opened pleasure park and new beach huts, there's a sense Barry's back.

Although helped by a (slightly) tongue-in-cheek campaign to promote it as Barrybados.

Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns, who won the seat from Labour in 2010, hopes the improving local economy will help him keep his job.

He said: "People recognise that difficult decisions have been taken, that we've made some good progress but there's more to be done, quite obviously, and people will start feeling it more as time goes on."

Image copyright Baby cow
Image caption Gavin & Stacey is apparently the prime minister's favourite sitcom

Labour's Chris Elmore, a local councillor, tells a different story as we knock on doors in Dinas Powys.

"There are now four food banks in the Vale, one of them in Dinas so a lot of people that wouldn't be used to seeing that sort of concern and level of poverty are now very aware of it," he said.

Plaid Cymru's Ian Johnson, another councillor, is highlighting Plaid's campaign for Wales to get a better deal out of Westminster - £1.2bn a year more.

Where would the money come from?

"Well, £1.2bn is actually only a fraction of the £700bn-plus that the UK spends every year so really what you're talking about is Wales getting the same deal as Scotland," he said.

Liberal Democrat David Morgan admits five years of Westminster coalition have taken their toll saying: "It's very much an uphill struggle this time. We are out daily canvassing opinions on the doors and we are also leafleting very intensely."

Image copyright AFP

There are seven candidates here, including Green Alan Armstrong, a clinical hypnotherapist from Penarth, and Steve Reed, who's standing under the "Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol" banner.

UKIP lost their deposit here in 2010 but won most votes in last year's European elections in the local councillor area.

Candidate Kevin Mahoney says he is "an ordinary guy who's had enough".

Meeting voters at Barry's Holton Road market, he stresses his party's plan to cut immigration.

"People aren't racist, people aren't against foreigners as I'm not but what they are seeing is, if their jobs are being taken by people coming into the country it's obviously much, much harder for themselves, their children, their relatives to get jobs. That's fairly obvious," he said.

Mr Mahoney hopes to turn what is traditionally been a straight Labour/Tory fight into a three-horse race.

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