In the Gwelfor Community Centre in Holyhead, it’s bingo night. Dabbers in hand, players are poised to win.

But there’s another competition brewing here.

Anglesey – and the constituency of Ynys Mon – is one of the most hotly contested seats in Wales.

The Conservatives are desperate to keep hold of it after their narrow win in 2019, but it’s a three-way split, with Plaid Cymru and Labour both vying for victory. All are in with a chance of winning.

In fact, there are double the number of parties running this time, eight in total, compared to the last election.

But every politician in this remote part of Wales has a battle on their hands to convince disillusioned voters.

Bingo caller Margaret Pratchett says politicians in Westminster don’t care about the plight of people in North Wales.

“Just because we’re out in the middle of nowhere, doesn’t mean to say we’re absolutely forgotten,” bingo caller Margaret Pratchett tells me.

More on Anglesey

I ask whether she thinks politicians in Westminster care about North Wales.

“No. Not one little bit. They’ve got no idea what we need around here. We need work. We need doctors. We need care assistants. All things like that.”

Ynys Mon is home to the port of Holyhead
Since Brexit there has been a 14% drop-off in trade at Holyhead

Trade ‘drop off’

Holyhead is a busy working port.

Five times closer to Dublin than London, it is a major freight route between Britain and Ireland.

But since Brexit, trade remains 14% lower – and that impact trickles down to the smallest of businesses.

At the Boathouse B&B, owners Claudia and Chris have seen footfall decline. From port workers to tourists, they’re having to work harder to fill rooms.

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“I think trade overall has gone down, but you can see that with the number of people, the number of freights, everything going through the port that has dramatically dropped off,” Claudia says.

The couple say they’ll vote Plaid Cymru – but Claudia isn’t happy with any of the choices: “It’s more a tactical vote. If you’ve got to pick a rotten tomato, you’re going to pick the least rotten.”

Ynys Mon is one Welsh constituency where it is all to play for
Ynys Mon is one Welsh constituency where it is all to play for.

Mix of opinions

In Breakwater Country Park, 30 or so mums are busy painting, singing and reading with their babies and toddlers.

There’s a mix of opinions here on who to vote for.

“I will vote Plaid Cymru because they’ve got Wales’s priority in mind, I think. And I think the Conservatives haven’t done much for Wales in the last couple of years,” one mum tells me.

Another – happy with the PM’s performance.

“I saw what Rishi Sunak had to say and I supported everything he said to be honest. I think the Conservatives have done a good job since they’ve been in power and I think they deserve a chance to continue,” she said.

Mum of two Ffion Edwards has been approached by all of Ynys Mon's major parties
Ffion Edwards remains undecided about whom she is going to vote for

While some are decided, the majority are not.

Mum of two Ffion Edwards says she’s been approached by all the big parties.

“Yes. From Labour, Conservative, Plaid Cymru – they’ve each been knocking at the door trying to gain our support,” she tells me.

“I’m still very undecided, so – I will be voting for sure, but I’m just not sure which party to vote for at the moment. I’m feeling a little bit nervous. It’s difficult to anticipate what’s going to happen and how that’s going to affect us locally and nationally.”

The Menai Suspension Bridge connects Anglesey to the Welsh mainland
The Menai Suspension Bridge


Like everywhere in this election, jobs and the economy are often front and centre.

Plans to build a new nuclear power station on the north coast of Anglesey would bring thousands of jobs, but it’ll be decades before it’s powering the lights across the Menai Strait.

Shuan Krijnen has grown oysters on Anglesey for decades
Oyster farmer Shuan Krijnen says he is experiencing unprecedented levels of despondency

On the south of the island and fresh from the riverbank is Shaun Krijnen – who for decades has farmed oysters in Anglesey.

They’re shipped to London’s finest restaurants, but he’s not happy about the capital’s political offering.

“I’ve been voting in every election since I was 18. I’m 53 now. I don’t think I’ve felt a level of despondency for an election as I have at the moment,” he said.

“Anglesey’s been Labour. Then it’s been Conservative but it’s also, I would say, one of Plaid’s heartlands really. But for me, I don’t even know…I might make up my decision when I see the names on the ballot paper.”

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While polls show the general election result may be a foregone conclusion, in battleground constituencies like Ynys Mon, there is all to play for.

Here is the full list of candidates standing in Ynys Mon:

  • Virginia Ann Crosbie (Conservatives)
  • Leena Sarah Farhat (Lib Dem)
  • Emmett Jenner (Reform UK)
  • Llinos Medi (Plaid Cymru)
  • Martin Schwaller (Green Party)
  • Sir Grumpus L Shorticus (Monster Raving Loony Party)
  • Ieuan Mon Williams (Labour)
  • Sam Andrew Wood (Libertarian Party)