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This was a Conservative-held three-way marginal constituency throughout the 1980s but since 1997 Labour and the Liberal Democrats have pushed the Conservative candidate into third place. The Liberal Democrats won the equivalent Welsh Assembly seat in 1999 and 2003 and also dominate the wards which make up the seat in elections to Cardiff Council.
The constituency is socially diverse, with both very affluent and very deprived areas. It has a large student population which seems to have helped Labour to win in 1992 and 1997 but thereafter increasingly switched to the Liberal Democrats due to opposition to government plans for reforming student support. This switched yet again in the 2015 general election where students were disillusioned by the broken promises the Liberal Democrats made regarding tuition fees. This was despite the fact that these student loan promises did not apply to Wales, which has a different funding system and MP Jenny Willott had also voted against the English changes in Parliament.
The seat was unchanged in the Fifth Periodical Report of the Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Wales, which took effect at the 2010 general election.
Since the seat's re-creation in 1983, it has been held successively by each of the three main political parties; the Liberal Democrats gained it at the 2005 election after 13 years of Labour representation.
General election 1939/40:
Another general election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1939 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected;