Newport convention

February 28, 1997

It had to happen. Bryan Davies, Labour's further and higher education spokesman and Alan Howarth, floor-crossing former Tory minister for same, are running against each other for the same constituency and a seat in the next Parliament.

The lucky (?) constituency is Newport East, whose Labour party members will spend the next few weeks considering the duo plus the standard South Walian contingent of bright, eloquent and ambitious claimants for the succession to the retiring Roy Hughes's 10,000 majority.

The perennially unlucky Mr Davies may have one small advantage this time, local roots. He comes from Tredegar, about 20 miles to the north east, and but for Labour's definitive performance of that old favourite "how to lose a general election" would have become MP for neighbouring Newport West back in 1983.

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