With just hours to go before the polls open at 07:00 tomorrow morning for the 2017 General Election (and what’s widely acknowledged a being just a two-horse race) now the contest in Cardiff South and Penarth really IS getting personal.
In a surge of last-minute leafleting across the Cardiff South and Penarth constituency the Conservatives have launched an unprecedented personal attack on Labour candidate Stephen Doughty – labelling him as “complacent” – and reminds the electorate that Doughty voted in Parliament against triggering Brexit [opposing the majority view of voters in Wales].
In contrast the leaflet provides voters with more background about Doughty’s Tory opponent – Bill Rees – and reveals he is from a relatively “humble” single-parent background .
Welsh-speaking Bill Rees – we now learn – “was born and raised in a single-parent household in West Wales” [Earlier biographical information on Bill Rees had simply said that he had “grown up milking cows in West Wales” – perhaps inadvertently giving the impression he was the scion of a farming dynasty] .
The leaflet goes on to say that Bill Rees “is from a humble background and was the first in his family to go to university, where he read economics” and adds that he “has a successful career in business and is married to the author Joanna Rees, with whom he has two children.” .
The leaflet says that Conservative candidate Bill Rees “believes that MPs should have an active role in the community, promoting local initiatives and always being available.”
“Since 2012″ – the leaflet alleges – “Cardiff South and Penarth has had a complacent MP [Doughty’s name is not mentioned] who isn’t at the forefront of the community like Conservative Alun Cairns in the Vale or even Labour’s Jo Stevens in Cardiff Central. It’s time for a new MP.”
In another swipe at Doughty, the leaflet adds “While Bill [i.e. Bill Rees] is committed to making a success of Brexit, the Labour candidate in Cardiff South and Penarth [again, Doughty is not mentioned by name] voted against triggering Article 50 in Parliament.”
Meanwhile Doughty’s Labour acolytes have taken to Twitter to dub Bill Rees as “Banbury Bill” – a reference to the fact that, although raised in West Wales, Bill Rees currently lives in Banbury because of his work at the FTSE 100 company Centrica .
However, if elected, Rees has already undertaken to move immediately to the constituency – and probably Penarth. Doughty, on the other hand, did not reveal his home address on his nomination papers.