When Steve Garrett agreed to stand for Plaid Cymru in the forthcoming Riverside by-election, he would have expected the usual competition from candidates of other parties.
What the founder of the Riverside Market may not have expected, however, was to see the name of a colleague on the ballot sheet.
The Liberal Democrats named Gwilym Owen as their candidate to replace the outgoing Councillor Gwenllian Lansdown, pitting Steve against the man who has run the Riverside Market’s website for the past seven years.
"I was actually quite pleased to see Gwilym running," says Steve. "I don’t consider myself a political animal, and I'm pretty familiar with most of the other candidates."
Gwilym has known Steve since he first moved to Cardiff from London seven years ago, and the by-election on March 3 does not look like souring their relationship.
"I know Steve well and I’m looking forward to running against him," says Gwilym. "When I first got involved with the Riverside Market’s committee, the market was only a monthly occurrence but these days it happens on a weekly basis, so I’ve seen it grow.
"In London I went to Borough Market all the time, so when I came to Cardiff I was keen to check out Riverside Market," he adds. "The website wasn’t great when I arrived, so that was an area where I could offer my help."
Coun Lansdown, who represents Plaid Cymru, announced last month she would be resigning as one of Riverside's three councillors when she moves to Powys in June. Coun Lansdown describes Steve as "Mr Riverside through and through", and the respect is mutual.
"I have a lot of respect for Gwenllian and the work she has done, and I feel a certain affinity with her values," says Steve.
Steve is also a former member of the Green Party, and both he and Gwilym know the Greens’ candidate Yvan Maurel. Yet rather than causing friction, Steve argues the similarities between candidates are beneficial for Riverside.
"It’s good for Riverside residents to be able to choose from quality people," says Steve. "We all have the community’s best interests at heart.
"The only candidate I don’t know very well is the Conservative," he adds. "But I suppose that’s not very surprising!"
With Gwilym echoing Steve’s sentiments, casual observers could be forgiven for thinking this byelection is in danger of becoming a mutual love-in. Steve, however, is confident he can stand out from the crowd.
"I stand for more support for small businesses," he says. "I have more than 14 years experience of working with different social enterprises and small businesses."
Gwilym, meanwhile, also has specific appeals. "One of my main passions is cycling," he says. "I really want to improve access for cyclists all over Cardiff as well as Riverside.
"Hopefully, if I’m elected, I can really press on the council to make Cardiff a better and safer place to cycle.
"South Riverside is one of the poorest areas in Cardiff and Wales, so the divide between this area and the rest of the city is something we're always trying to improve."
The Riverside byelection takes place on March 3. The candidates are: Steve Garrett (Plaid Cymru), Iona Gordon (Labour), Gwilym Owen (Lib Dems), Yvan Maurel (Green), James Roach (Conservative).