Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: Fierce fight to take Ceredigion

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Media captionCemlyn Davies looks at the big issues affecting Ceredigion

Ceredigion has already made headlines during this election campaign after controversial comments made several years ago by two of the local candidates came to light.

But what story will voters here be waking up to on 8 May?

Mark Williams is hoping the result here will not be particularly newsworthy. The Liberal Democrat has been the local MP for the last 10 years and at the last election he increased his majority from around 200 votes to more than 8,000.

But of course, that was before his party decided to form a government with the Conservatives and break its promise not to increase tuition fees.

With the election looming, none of the candidates need reminding about the importance of securing student votes in a constituency boasting two universities.

Image caption Lib Dem Mark Williams says he has put his constituents first above coalition policies

"I have felt anxiety about that myself," Mr Williams admits.

"I've explained to people that a difficult decision had to be taken at a very difficult time."

"There have been positives to come out of the coalition but, on the tuition fees issue specifically, my constituents don't need reminding that where I have had a clash between what the party or the coalition have done and what Ceredigion needs I've been unable to support the government."

"In other words I had to put my constituents first."

Image caption Mike Parker wants to retake the seat which Plaid Cymru lost in 2005

Plaid Cymru may have fallen further behind the Liberal Democrats in 2010 but candidate Mike Parker remains hopeful of regaining a seat which his party held between 1992 and 2005.

"We are taking the Lib Dems on on their record in government," he said.

"We've seen them in government for the first time in the best part of a hundred years and it's not been a pretty sight."

"Their fine noble words haven't matched their deeds."

Image caption Huw Thomas hopes Labour can pick up support from disaffected Liberal Democrats

In recent times this constituency has been a two horse race between the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru, but Labour candidate Huw Thomas believes he can make a challenge.

"What I'm finding on the doorstep is a lot of people who are former Liberal voters are feeling very unhappy with the Liberals going into coalition with the Tories and propping up a Tory government," he said.

"And also a lot of people are realising that Plaid Cymru can't actually give this part of the world the strong voice it needs because they're too small," he added.

Image caption Henrietta Hensher is standing for the Conservatives in Ceredigion

For the Conservatives, Henrietta Hensher insisted that voters in Ceredigion recognised what her party had achieved in government.

"It's been very receptive actually and in terms of [the seat] not necessarily being traditionally Tory, I don't necessarily agree with that," she said.

"I'm getting a great response on the ground. We are getting the message across, people are happy with what the coalition have achieved."

Image caption Gethin James wants UKIP to build a platform for next year's assembly election

UKIP came second in Ceredigion at last year's European elections and its candidate Gethin James is hoping to build upon that strong showing.

"We're going around the county and people are very keen to support us," he said.

"I'd like to think on the morning of the 8th I'll have a significant vote and, looking forward to next year with the assembly elections, I think it's putting us in a strong position not only here in Ceredigion but across Wales."

Image caption Green candidate Daniel Thompson hopes his anti-austerity stance will win support

The Green Party has a strong tradition in Ceredigion having teamed up with Plaid Cymru to get Cynog Dafis elected to parliament in 1992.

Daniel Thompson is standing for the Greens in this constituency at the upcoming election.

"The message is getting through to people that we want change," he said.

"We look at the current parties and we don't see change coming from them."

"We want to see a future for Wales, for Ceredigion, that is prosperous and sustainable."

"People's day-to-day lives are being made miserable unnecessarily by these austerity cuts; we fundamentally oppose this."

The full list of candidates for Ceredigion can be seen here.

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