A GENERAL Election is to be be held this Summer, Rishi Sunak has announced with new-look wards up for grabs across mid and west Wales.

Voters will go to the polls on Thursday, 4 July.

Speaking outside Number 10, a rain-soaked Prime Minister said: “Now is the moment for Britain to choose its future.

“Earlier today I spoke His Majesty the King to request the dissolution to Parliament.

“The King has granted this request and we will have a General Election on 4 July.”

Plaid Cymru are expected to retain a new look Ceredigion and Dwyfor Meirionnydd seats while Labour gains an enlarged Montgomeryshire seat from the Conservatives who are slated to lose hundreds of seats across the UK ahead of an expected General Election in the autumn.

For the 2024 election, the Ceredigion seat will take on part of the axed Preseli Pembrokeshire seat in north Pembrokeshire – including Crymych and Maenclochog - to create Ceredigion Preseli.

The Montgomeryshire constituency, which is home to Machynlleth and Llanidloes, will be enlarged to take on parts of Clwyd South to become Montgomeryshire & Glyndŵr.

An extended Dwyfor Meirionnydd seat will incorporate several wards from the current Arfon constituency, but will retain its name.

The changes were part of a Boundary Commission project to cut the number of Welsh seats in the House of Commons from 40 to 32.

The enlarged Ceredigion constituency will see the county take on a south boundary last used more than 25 years ago.

Ceredigion and Pembroke North was a constituency until 1997.

The Ceredigion Preseli constituency will have 74,063 electors.

Polls suggest a comfortable Plaid Cymru victory in Ceredigion Preseli, with a landslide Labour victory UK-wide.

So far, five candidates from major parties have been named as in the running to contest Ceredigion Preseli, with other parties including Reform UK and independent candidates also expected to run.

Candidates announced so far are Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake – who has represented Ceredigion in Westminster since 2017; Liberal Democrat Mark Williams, formerly the MP for Ceredigion from 2005 to 2017; Welsh Labour’s Jackie Jones; Pembrokeshire county councillor Aled Thomas who will be standing for the Welsh Conservatives and Aberystwyth University student, Tomos Barlow for the Green Party.

Mr Lake has represented Ceredigion in Westminster since 2017, increasing his majority in the 2019 election to 6,329 votes.

Mr Lake said: “My priorities were I to be elected as the Member of Parliament for Ceredigion Preseli are clear – a fair deal for rural communities, investment in infrastructure and increased funding for public services, and a thriving, sustainable economy that has the needs of communities rather than those of large corporations as its focus.”

Mark Williams was MP for Ceredigion from 2005 to 2017 and said: “Ceredigion is a wonderful place in which to live, but all too often is overlooked by UK Government Westminster and the Welsh Government in Cardiff Bay.

“That is why Ceredigion needs a strong voice to champion it in Parliament and why I’m going to be working hard to win back the seat and put Ceredigion’s interests first.”

Welsh Labour’s Jackie Jones said: “We desperately need a Labour government in Westminster and a strong voice for Ceredigion Preseli.

“After 13 years of the Tories’ mismanagement of the economy, prevalent corruption and neglect we’re all dealing with the cost of food in our shops up, the cost of fuel up and energy prices still sky-high.”

Aled Thomas said: "Labour and Plaid Cymru have badly let down rural communities in North Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion with their Senedd policies, and I cannot stand by and let further decline happen.”

Tomos Barlow said: “With our plan to make Ceredigion and Preseli a greener place to live, we aim to improve people’s lives.

“We will stand by our promise to get to net Zero by 2050.”

The new constituency has the unusual situation of part of it currently occupied, to the north, by Plaid Cymru, and, to the south, part of the current Conservative-held Preseli Pembrokeshire.

The latter seat, occupied by Welsh Conservative MP Stephen Crabb, is to disappear, with Mr Crabb standing in the adjoining newly created seat of Mid and South Pembrokeshire.

Incumbent MP Liz Saville Roberts has been announced again as running for the seat in Dwyfor Meirionnydd, with three other names also throwing their hats into the ring.

Tomos Day will stand for the Welsh Conservatives, with Joanna Stallard as the Welsh Labour candidate and Janet Balfe standing for Reform UK.

Mrs Saville Roberts said: "It is an honour to be selected unopposed by Plaid Cymru members to fight the new Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency at the next general election.

"I am extremely grateful to party members in Dwyfor and Meirionnydd for putting their faith in me once again, and to members in Arfon and Edeirnion for selecting me as their new parliamentary candidate.”

Tomos Day said it was “an honour to have been chosen” to challenge for the Dwyfor Meirionnydd seat.

“Like most people, I am deeply concerned about standards of healthcare in our area and the fact that the local health board has been left to struggle,” he said.

Joanna Stallard, for Labour, was previously a parliamentary researcher for former MP Susan Elan Jones.

Current Montgomeryshire MP Craig Williams will stand for the new Montgomeryshire & Glyndwr seat for the Welsh Conservatives and faces a battel to retain the seat against Welsh Labour candidate Steve Witherden.

Also standing are Llanidloes County Councillor Glyn Preston as candidate for the Welsh Liberal Democrats, local councillor Jeremy Brignell-Thorp standing for the Green Party, Glantwymyn county councillor Elwyn Vaughan standing for Plaid Cymru and Oliver Lewis standing for Reform UK.

Mr Williams said: “It has been a great honour to have represented Montgomeryshire, my home constituency, as it’s Member of Parliament for the last five years.

“Much progress has been made, with millions of pounds of Conservative Government funding delivered for the area, as well as significantly enhanced mobile & broadband coverage and key transport infrastructure projects secured.

“There is much more to do, and I very much hope to be able to continue this work after the election.”

Steve Witherden for Welsh Labour, said he was “standing because as a teacher I see the devastating consequence of Tory cuts every day in my job.”

Glyn Preston said: “I’d like to stop that ‘brain drain’, and make sure that more young, skilled people and their families feel able to stay in here.

“Montgomeryshire & Glyndŵr needs an MP that they can trust, one that will represent people, of all ages and backgrounds.”

Jeremy Brignell-Thorp said he was “pleased to be standing as the official Green Party candidate in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr.”

“The Green Party is the only party taking the climate emergency seriously - and this is the defining issue of this century,” he said.

Elwyn Vaughan said: “As the keeper of the old Welsh liberal tradition of Cymru Fydd – we will focus on environmental and community sustainability and supporting an entrepreneurial and can do attitude in Montgomeryshire – a essential element when we face continued depopulation and loss of our young people.”

Oliver Lewis said he would be “campaigning to modernise the county’s infrastructure, to provide a dual carriageway from Shrewsbury to Welshpool, electrification of the Cambrian Line to Aberystwyth, and, by dismantling Powys, restoration of a County Council for Montgomeryshire, based in Newtown.”