Gower (UK Parliament constituency)

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Not to be confused with Gower (Assembly constituency).

Coordinates: 51°37′12″N 4°08′13″W / 51.620°N 4.137°W / 51.620; -4.137

Gower
Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Gower in Wales.
Preserved county West Glamorgan
Electorate 62,389 (December 2010)[1]
Major settlements Mumbles, Clydach, Pontarddulais, Penllergaer
Current constituency
Created 1885
Member of Parliament Martin Caton (Labour)
Number of members One
Created from Glamorganshire
Overlaps
Welsh Assembly South Wales West
European Parliament constituency Wales

Gower (Welsh: Gŵyr) is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP), using the first-past-the-post voting system.

Overview[edit]

The constituency was first created in 1885 and has existed in various forms ever since. It has elected only Labour MPs since 1906, the longest run (with Normanton and Makerfield) of any British constituency. It is one of three parliamentary seats representing the city and county of Swansea, the others being Swansea West and Swansea East.

Boundaries[edit]

The constituency encompasses most of the old Lordship of Gower (less the city of Swansea) and covers the inner Gower Peninsula and outer Gower areas including Clydach, Gowerton, Gorseinon, Felindre and Garnswllt.

Gower currently comprises the electoral wards of Gower, Oystermouth, Newton, Mawr, Pennard, Fairwood, Kingsbridge, Lower Loughor, Upper Loughor, Penyrheol, Bishopston, Gorseinon, Pontarddulais, Clydach, Penclawdd, Gowerton, Penllergaer, Llangyfelach and West Cross.

History[edit]

Liberals and Labour 1885-1918[edit]

The first years of the constituency history saw a struggle between the Liberals and those who favoured direct labour representation. Although its new electors in 1885 were predominantly the miners and tinplaters of the Swansea Valley the forces of paternalism were strong enough to return a local colliery owner, Frank Ash Yeo.[2] In 1885 he comfortably defeated Henry Nathaniel Miers of Ynyspenllwch in the Swansea Valley, a coal owner, tinplate manufacturer and landowner.[3]

General Election 1885: Gower

Electorate

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Frank Ash Yeo 5,560
Conservative Henry Nathaniel Miers 2,103 -
Majority 3,457
Turnout 72.6
Liberal win (new seat)

On Yeo's death in 1888, representatives of the trade unions in the constituency overturned the Liberal association's choice of Sir Horace Davey and ensured the selection of David Randell as Liberal candidate. Randell was a Methodist solicitor who specialised in trade union litigation and his victory, albeit with a reduced majority over J. T. D. Llewellyn, formed the basis of later claims that Gower was a 'labour' seat.[2]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[4] Party
1885 Frank Yeo Liberal
1888 by-election David Randell Liberal
1900 John Aeron Thomas Liberal
1906 John Williams Liberal-Labour
1910 Labour
1922 David Grenfell Labour
1959 Ifor Davies Labour
1982 by-election Gareth Wardell Labour
1997 Martin Caton Labour

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Byron Davies
Labour Liz Evans
Green Julia Marshall
General Election 2010: Gower[5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Martin Caton 16,016 38.4 -4.0
Conservative Byron Davies 13,333 32.0 +6.5
Liberal Democrat Mike Day 7,947 19.1 +0.6
Plaid Cymru Darren Price 2,760 6.6 -1.2
BNP Adrian Jones 963 2.3 N/A
UKIP Gordon Triggs 652 1.6 -1.6
Majority 2,683 6.4
Turnout 41,671 67.5 +2.1
Labour hold Swing -5.3

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Martin Caton 16,786 42.5 -4.8
Conservative Mike Murray 10,083 25.5 -2.0
Liberal Democrat Nick Tregoning 7,291 18.4 +6.3
Plaid Cymru Sian Caiach 3,089 7.8 -2.5
UKIP Richard Lewis 1,264 3.2 +3.2
Green Rhoddri Griffiths 1,029 2.6 +1.0
Majority 6,703 17.0
Turnout 39,542 64.9 +1.5
Labour hold Swing -1.4
General Election 2001: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Martin Caton 17,676 47.3 -6.5
Conservative John Bushell 10,281 27.5 +3.7
Liberal Democrat Sheila Waye 4,507 12.1 -0.9
Plaid Cymru Sian Caiach 3,865 10.3 +5.2
Green Tina Shrewsbury 607 1.6 N/A
Socialist Labour Darran Hickery 417 1.1 N/A
Majority 7,395 19.8
Turnout 37,353 63.4 -11.7
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Martin Caton 23,313 53.8 +3.7
Conservative Alun Cairns 10,306 23.8 −11.3
Liberal Democrat Howard W. Evans 5,624 13.0 +3.0
Plaid Cymru D. Elwyn Williams 2,226 5.1 +1.6
Referendum Party Richard D. Lewis 1,745 4.0 N/A
Independent Anthony G. Popham 122 0.3 N/A
Majority 13,007 30.0 +15.0
Turnout 43,336 75.1 −11.7
Labour hold Swing +7.5
General Election 1992: Gower[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Gareth Wardell 23,485 50.1 +3.5
Conservative Anthony L. Donnelly 16,437 35.1 +0.6
Liberal Democrat Christopher G. Davies 4,655 9.9 −6.2
Plaid Cymru Adam Price 1,639 3.5 +0.7
Green Brian Kingzett 448 1.0 N/A
Raving Loony Green Giant Party Gerry P. Egan 114 0.2 N/A
Natural Law Michael S. Beresford 74 0.2 N/A
Majority 7,048 15.0 +2.9
Turnout 46,852 81.9 +1.2
Labour hold Swing +1.5

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Gareth Wardell 22,139 46.6 N/A
Conservative G A L Price 16,374 34.5 N/A
Social Democratic D H O Elliott 7,645 16.1 N/A
Plaid Cymru J G M Edwards 1,341 2.8 N/A
Majority 5,765 12.0 12.1
Turnout 47,498 80.7 N/A
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1983: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Gareth Wardell 16,972 38.1 N/A
Conservative A R T Kenyon 15,767 35.3 N/A
Social Democratic C G Jones 10,416 23.4 N/A
Plaid Cymru N Williams 1,444 3.2 N/A
Majority 1,205 2.8 N/A
Turnout 44,599 78.7 N/A
Labour hold Swing
Gower by-election, 1982
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Gareth Wardell 17,095 43.5 -9.8
Social Democratic Gwynoro Jones 9,875 25.1 +16.1
Conservative Trefor Llewellyn 8,690 22.1 -8.4
Plaid Cymru Ieuan Owen 3,431 8.7 +1.6
Computer Democrat John Donovan 125 0.3 N/A
Civil Rights/Welsh Political Prisoner David Burns 103 0.3 N/A
Majority 7,220
Turnout
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 3 May 1979:

constituency of
Composed of the wards of
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Ifor Davies 24,963 53.24 N/A
Conservative T Llewellyn 14,322 30.55 N/A
Liberal R Blakeborough-Pownal 4,245 9.05 N/A
Plaid Cymru E Thomas 3,357 7.16 N/A
Majority 10,641 22.69 N/A
Turnout 46,887 80.8 N/A
Labour hold Swing
General Election 10 October 1974:

constituency of
Composed of the wards of
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Ifor Davies 25,067 57.29
Conservative DFR George 8,863 20.26
Liberal R Owen 5,453 12.46
Plaid Cymru M Powell 4,369 9.99
Majority 16,204 37.04
Turnout 76.94
Labour hold Swing
General Election 28 February 1974:

constituency of
Composed of the wards of
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Ifor Davies 23,856 52.88
Conservative DFR George 8,780 19.46
Liberal RCC Thomas 8,737 19.37
Plaid Cymru JN Harris 3,741 8.29
Majority 15,076 33.42
Turnout 79.88
Labour hold Swing
General Election 18 June 1970:

constituency of
Composed of the wards of
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Ifor Davies 26,485 63.38
Conservative MJ Carter 9,435 22.58
Plaid Cymru CG Davies 5,869 14.04
Majority 17,050 40.80
Turnout 76.94
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 31 March 1966:

constituency of
Composed of the wards of
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Ifor Davies 29,910 77.16
Conservative DRO Lewie 8,852 22.84
Majority 21,058 54.33
Turnout 77.94
Labour hold Swing
General Election 15 October 1964:

constituency of
Composed of the wards of
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Ifor Davies 27,895 71.02
Liberal National JHP Griffiths 8,822 22.46
Plaid Cymru JG Griffiths 2,562 6.52
Majority 19,073 48.56
Turnout 79.97
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 8 October 1959: Gower

Composed of the wards of
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Ifor Davies 27,441 66.89
Conservative Michael Heseltine 9,837 23.98
Plaid Cymru JG Griffiths 3,744 9.13
Majority 17,604 42.91
Turnout 82.91
Labour hold Swing
General Election 26 May 1955:

constituency of
Composed of the wards of
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Grenfell 26,304 68.25
National Liberal BG Jones 8,135 21.11
Plaid Cymru Edward Christopher Rees 4,101 10.64
Majority 18,169 47.14
Turnout 76.78
Labour hold Swing
General Election 25 October 1951:

constituency of
Composed of the wards of
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Grenfell 32,661 75.93
National Liberal Rowe Harding 10,351 24.07
Majority 22,310 51.87
Turnout 84.31
Labour hold Swing
General Election 23 February 1950:

constituency of
Composed of the wards of
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Grenfell 32,564 76.13
National Liberal Rowe Harding 10,208 23.87
Majority 22,356 52.27
Turnout 84.77
Labour hold Swing

Election in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 5 to 19 July 1945:

constituency of Gower
Composed of the wards of Urban District of Oystermouth and Rural Districts of Gower and Swansea
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Rhys Grenfell 30,676 68.49
Liberal National John Aeron-Thomas 14,115 31.51
Majority 16,561 36.97
Turnout 76.98
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 14 November 1935:

constituency of Gower
Composed of the wards of Urban District of Oystermouth and Rural Districts of Gower and Swansea
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Grenfell 25,632 66.80
Liberal National GC Hutchinson 13,239 33.20
Majority 13,393 33.59
Turnout 76.12
Labour hold Swing
General Election 27 October 1931:

constituency of Gower
Composed of the wards of Urban District of Oystermouth and Rural Districts of Gower and Swansea
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Grenfell 21,963 53.41
Liberal Sir ER Jones 19,157 46.59
Majority 2,806 6.82
Turnout 83.52
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 30 May 1929:

constituency of Gower
Composed of the wards of Urban District of Oystermouth and Rural Districts of Gower and Swansea
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Grenfell
Conservative
Liberal
Majority
Turnout
Labour hold Swing
General Election 29 October 1924: Gower

Composed of the wards of Urban District of Oystermouth and Rural Districts of Gower and Swansea
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Grenfell
Conservative
Liberal
Majority
Turnout
Labour hold Swing
General Election 6 December 1923:

constituency of Gower
Composed of the wards of Urban District of Oystermouth and Rural Districts of Gower and Swansea
Electorate , Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Grenfell
Conservative
Liberal
Majority
Turnout
Labour hold Swing
General Election 15 November 1922:

constituency of Gower
Composed of the wards of Urban District of Oystermouth and Rural Districts of Gower and Swansea
Electorate 33,084 Turnout %,

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour David Grenfell 13,388
Liberal Frederick William Davies 11,302
Majority
Turnout
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

John Williams
General Election 14 December 1918:

constituency of Gower
Composed of the wards of Urban District of Oystermouth and Rural Districts of Gower and Swansea
Electorate 29,667

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour John Williams 10,109
Liberal D H Williams 8,353
Majority 1,756
Turnout
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

John Hodge
General Election 1900 Gower District of Boroughs[8]

Electorate 12,267

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Aeron Thomas 4,276 52.6
Independent Labour John Hodge 3,853 47.4
Majority 423 5.2
Turnout 66.3
Liberal hold Swing

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Beyond 20/20 WDS - Table view". 2011 Electorate Figures. StatsWales. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Morgan (1960). Morgannwg: 9. 
  3. ^ Rees (2004). Gwent Local History: 60–1. 
  4. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "G" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]
  5. ^ Gower, City and County of Swansea - candidates Gower
  6. ^ Gower BBC Election - Gower
  7. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  8. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)

Bibliography[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
North Antrim
Constituency represented by the Father of the House
1952–1959
Succeeded by
Woodford