Carmarthen (UK Parliament constituency)

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Carmarthen
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Preserved county Dyfed
Major settlements Carmarthen, Ammanford, Llandeilo
19181997
Number of members One
Replaced by Carmarthen East & Dinefwr and Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire
1542–1918
Number of members One
Type of constituency Borough constituency

Carmarthen (Welsh: Caerfyrddin) was the name of a parliamentary constituency in Wales which returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom between 1542 and 1997. At its abolition in 1997 it was replaced, partly by the new Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency and partly by Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.

History[edit]

Because the seat contained mining areas in the valley of the River Gwendraeth (until the 1980s), much countryside and a high proportion of Welsh speakers, it was fertile territory for the Labour Party, the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru alike. Although the Conservatives never won the seat, they came within 1200 votes of doing so in 1983.

Carmarthen is notable as the first constituency to elect a Plaid Cymru MP, Gwynfor Evans, at a 1966 by-election. Evans was later involved in one of the closest General Election results ever in February 1974, when he lost to the Labour candidate by only three votes.[1][2] The constituency also shot to fame in the following election in October 1974 as the only seat in the country to see its turnout rise on that of February 1974.

Boundaries[edit]

Carmathenshire showing boundaries for 1885–1918

Until 1832, it was a borough constituency consisting of the town of Carmarthen. Between 1832 and 1918 it was a district of boroughs constituency, consisting of Carmarthen itself and Llanelli, and was sometimes called "The Carmarthen Boroughs".

In 1918, the borough was abolished, but the name was transferred to one of the divisions of the county of Carmarthenshire. The constituency was made up of the whole of the county of Carmarthenshire except for the urban area around Llanelli. Notable towns were Carmarthen itself, Ammanford and Llandeilo.

In 1997, the Boundary Commission for Wales recommended an extra seat for Dyfed.[3] This led to the seat being split two to one between Carmarthen East & Dinefwr and Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire.[4]

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1542–1640[edit]

Parliament Member
1542 Gruffydd Williams[5]
1545 Gruffydd Williams[5]
1547 Thomas Phaer[5]
1553 (Mar) William Parry[5]
1553 (Oct) Gruffydd Hygons[5]
1554 (Apr) William Aubrey[5][6]
1554 (Nov) John Parry[5]
1555 William Wightman[5]
1558 John Vaughan[5]
1559 John Parry[7]
1563 John Morgan[7]
1571 ?John Vaughan[7]
1572 Thomas Wigmore[7]
1584 John Puckering, sat for Bedford
replaced 1584 by
Edward Donne Lee[7]
1586 Edward Donne Lee[7]
1588 Gelly Meyrick[7]
1593 Sir Thomas Baskerville[7]
1597 Henry Vaughan[7]
1601 Walter Rice[7]
1604–1611 Sir Walter Rice
1614 William Thomas
1621 Henry Vaughan
1624 Henry Vaughan
1626 Henry Vaughan
1628 Henry Vaughan
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned

1640–1832[edit]

Election Member[8] Party
1640 (Apr) Francis Lloyd Royalist
1640 (Nov) Francis Lloyd Royalist
February 1644 Lloyd disabled from sitting – seat vacant
1646 William Davies
December 1648 Davies not recorded as sitting after Pride's Purge
1653 Carmarthen was not represented in the Barebones Parliament
or the First or Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
January 1659 David Morgan
May 1659 Not represented in the restored Rump
April 1660 Arthur Annesley
1661 Hon. John Vaughan
1679 Altham Vaughan
1685 Richard Vaughan
1725 James Phillips
1727 Arthur Bevan
1741 Sir John Philipps
1747 Thomas Mathews
1751 Griffith Philipps
1761 The Earl Verney
1768 Griffith Philipps
1774 John Adams
1780 George Philipps
1784 John George Philipps
May 1796 Magens Dorrien Magens[9]
November 1796 John George Philipps
1803 Sir William Paxton
1806 Vice-Admiral George Campbell
1813 John Frederick Campbell
1821 John Jones

1832–1918: Carmarthen Boroughs[edit]

Election Member[8] Party
1832 Hon. William Yelverton Whig
1835 David Lewis Conservative
1837 David Morris Whig
1859 Liberal
1864 William Morris Liberal
1868 (Sir) John Cowell-Stepney[10] Liberal
1874 Charles William Nevill Conservative
1876 (Sir) Arthur Cowell-Stepney[11] Liberal
1878 by-election Benjamin Thomas Williams Liberal
1882 by-election John Jones Jenkins Liberal
1886 Sir Arthur Cowell-Stepney Liberal
1892 Evan Rowland Jones Liberal
1895 Sir John Jones Jenkins Liberal Unionist
1900 Alfred Davies Liberal
1906 William Llewelyn Williams Liberal

1918–1997: county constituency[edit]

Election Member[8] Party
1918 John Hinds Coalition Liberal
1923 Sir Ellis Ellis-Griffith Liberal
1924 by-election Alfred Mond Liberal
1926 Conservative
1928 by-election William Nathaniel Jones Liberal
1929 Daniel Hopkin Labour
1931 Richard Thomas Evans Liberal
1935 Daniel Hopkin Labour
1941 by-election Ronw Moelwyn Hughes Labour
1945 Rhys Hopkin Morris Liberal
1957 by-election Megan Lloyd-George Labour
1966 by-election Gwynfor Evans Plaid Cymru
1970 Gwynoro Jones Labour
Oct. 1974 Gwynfor Evans Plaid Cymru
1979 Roger Thomas Labour
1987 Alan Wynne Williams Labour
1997 constituency abolished: see Carmarthen East & Dinefwr and
Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1885 Carmarthen Boroughs[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Sir John Jones Jenkins 2,884 69.2
Conservative John Simmons Tregoning 1,281 30.8
Majority 1,603 38.4
Turnout 77.1
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1886 Carmarthen Boroughs[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Sir Arthur Cowell-Stepney 2,120 52.8
Liberal Unionist Sir John Jones Jenkins 1,898 47.2
Majority 222 5.6
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1892 Carmarthen Boroughs[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Evan Rowland Jones 2,412 52.4
Liberal Unionist Sir John Jones Jenkins 2,187 47.6
Majority 225 4.8
Turnout 87.0
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1895 Carmarthen Boroughs[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Unionist Sir John Jones Jenkins 2,443 50.5
Liberal Evan Rowland Jones 2,391 49.5
Majority 52 1.0
Turnout
Liberal Unionist gain from Liberal Swing

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1900 Carmarthen Boroughs[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Alfred Davies 2,837 58.1
Liberal Unionist Sir John Jones Jenkins 2,047 41.9
Majority 790 16.2
Turnout 87.9
Liberal gain from Liberal Unionist Swing
W.L. Williams
General Election 1906 Carmarthen Boroughs[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Llewelyn Williams 3,902 68.3
Liberal Unionist Hon. Vere Brabazon Ponsonby 1,808 31.7
Majority 2,094 36.6
Turnout 91.2
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election January 1910: Carmarthen Boroughs[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Llewelyn Williams 4,197 68.1
Liberal Unionist Viscount Tiverton 1,965 31.9
Majority 2,232 36.2
Turnout 91.0
Liberal hold Swing

General Election December 1910 Liberal: William Llewelyn Williams elected unopposed.

Carmarthen District by-election, 1912[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Llewelyn Williams 3,836 58.6 -9.5
Conservative Henry Coulson Bond 2,555 39.1 +7.2
Independent Labour F G Vivian 149 2.3 n/a
Majority 1,281 19.5 16.7
Turnout 89.8
Liberal hold Swing -8.3

General Election 1918 Liberal: John Hinds elected unopposed.

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1922: Carmarthen
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Liberal John Hinds 12,530 41.8 n/a
Unionist Hon. George William Reginald Victor Coventry 8,805 29.4 n/a
National Farmers' Union Daniel Johns 4,775 15.9 n/a
Liberal H. Llewelyn-Williams 3,847 12.8 n/a
Majority 3,725 12.4 n/a
Turnout 29,957 82.7 n/a
National Liberal hold Swing n/a
General Election 1923: Carmarthen [15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Rt Hon Sir Ellis Jones Ellis-Griffith 12,988 45.1 +32.3
Unionist Sir Alfred Stephens 8,677 30.1 +0.7
Labour Rowland Williams 7,132 24.8 n/a
Majority 4,311 15.0 27.4
Turnout 78.3 -4.4
Liberal gain from National Liberal Swing n/a
Sir Alfred Mond
Carmarthen by-election, 1924[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Rt Hon. Sir Alfred Moritz Mond 12,760 44.0 -1.1
Labour Rev. Edward Teilo Owen 8,351 28.8 +4.0
Unionist Sir Alfred Stephens 7,896 27.2 -2.9
Majority 4,409 15.2
Turnout 78.9
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1924: Carmarthen
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Rt Hon. Sir Alfred Moritz Mond 17,281 68.5
Labour Rev. Edward Teilo Owen 7,953 31.5
Majority 9,328 37.0
Turnout 67.9
Liberal hold Swing
Carmarthen by-election, 1928
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Nathaniel Jones 10,201 35.5
Labour Daniel Hopkin 10,154 35.4
Unionist Sir Courtenay Cecil Mansel 8,361 29.1
Majority 47 0.1
Turnout 30,316 76.6
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1929: Carmarthen
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Daniel Hopkin 15,130 38.2
Liberal William Nathaniel Jones 14,477 36.6
Unionist Hon. John Bonynge Coventry 9,961 25.2
Majority 653 1.6
Turnout
Labour gain from Liberal Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1931
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Richard Thomas Evans 15,532 39.5
Labour Daniel Hopkin 14,318 36.5
Conservative D W C Davies-Evans 9,434 24.0
Majority 1,214 3.1
Turnout 39,284 84.5
Liberal gain from Labour Swing
General Election 1935
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Daniel Hopkin 18,146 47.5
Liberal Richard Thomas Evans 12,911 33.8
Conservative Edward Orlando Kellett 7,177 18.8
Majority 5,235 13.7
Turnout 38,234 79.3
Labour gain from Liberal Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

Carmarthen by-election, 1941 Labour: Moelwyn Hughes elected unopposed.

General Election 1945: Carmarthen[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris 19,783 51.7
Labour R. Moelwyn Hughes 18,504 48.3
Majority 1,279 3.3
Turnout 38,286 76.1
Liberal gain from Labour Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1950: Carmarthen:[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris 24,472 50.2 -1.48
Labour Arwyn Lynn Ungoed-Thomas 24,285 49.8 +1.48
Majority 187 0.4 -2.96
Turnout 48,759 83.4 +7.3
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1951: Carmarthen[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris 25,632 50.46 +0.27
Labour David Owen 25,165 49.54 -0.65
Majority 467 0.92 +0.54
Turnout 5,0795 86.52 +3.09
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1955: Carmarthen[20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris 24,410 49.49 -0.97
Labour Jack Evans 21,077 42.73 -6.81
Plaid Cymru Jennie Eirian Davies 3,835 7.78
Majority 3,333 6.76 +5.84
Turnout 49,320 85.10 -1.42
Liberal hold Swing
Carmarthen by-election, 1957
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Lady Megan Arfon Lloyd George 23,679 47.3
Liberal John Morgan Davies 20,610 41.2
Plaid Cymru Jennie Eirian Davies 5,741 11.5
Majority 3,069 6.1
Turnout 43,726 87.4
Labour gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1959: Carmarthen[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Lady Megan Arfon Lloyd George 23,399 47.89 +5.16
Liberal Alun Talfan Davies 16,766 34.32 -15.17
Conservative JB Evans 6,147 12.58
Plaid Cymru Hywel Heulyn Roberts 2,545 5.21
Majority 6,633 13.58 +6.82
Turnout 48,855 85.42 +0.32
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1964: Caerfyrddin[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Lady Megan Arfon Lloyd George 21,424 45.5 -2.4
Liberal Alun Talfan Davies 15,210 32.3 -2.0
Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Richard Evans 5,495 11.7 +6.4
Conservative Mrs. HE Protheroe-Beynon 4,996 10.6 -2.0
Majority 6,214 13.2 -0.4
Turnout 47,122 84.4 -0.9
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1966: Caerfyrddin[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Lady Megan Arfon Lloyd George 21,221 46.17 +0.7
Liberal D Hywel Davies 11,988 26.08 -6.2
Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Richard Evans 7,416 16.14 +4.5
Conservative Simon J Day 5,338 11.61 +1.0
Majority 9,233 20.09 +6.9
Turnout 45,960 82.6 -1.9
Labour hold Swing
Carmarthen by-election, 1966:Caerfyrddin
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Evans 16,179 39.0
Labour Gwilym Prys Prys-Davies 13,743 33.1
Liberal D Hywel Davies 8,650 20.8
Conservative Simon J Day 2,934 7.1
Majority 2,436 5.9
Turnout
Plaid Cymru gain from Labour Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1970: Caerfyrddin[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Gwynoro Glyndwr Jones 18,719 38.0
Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Richard Evans 14,812 30.1
Liberal Hywel Gruffydd E Thomas 10,707 21.7
Conservative Lloyd Harvard Davies 4,975 10.1
Majority 3,907 7.9
Turnout 49,214 83.5
Labour gain from Plaid Cymru Swing
General Election, (February) 1974: Caerfyrddin[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Gwynoro Glyndwr Jones 17,165 34.3
Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Richard Evans 17,162 34.3
Liberal DO Jones 9,698 19.4
Conservative WJN Dunn 6,037 12.1
Majority 3 0.01%
Turnout 83.5
Labour hold Swing
General Election, (October) 1974: Caerfyrddin[26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Richard Evans 23,325 45.1
Labour Gwynoro Glyndwr Jones 19,685 38.1
Liberal David Roderick Owen-Jones 5,393 10.4
Conservative Robert Antony Hayward 2,962 5.7
British Candidate Edward .B Jones 342 0.7
Majority 3,640 7.0
Turnout 51,704 85.6
Plaid Cymru gain from Labour Swing
General Election, 1979: Caerfyrddin[27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Roger Thomas 18,667 35.9
Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Richard Evans 16,689 32.0
Conservative Nigel M. Thomas 12,272 23.6
Liberal Richard Clement Charles Thomas 4,186 8.0
National Front Charlie Grice 149 0.3
New Britain EJ Clarke 126 0.2
Majority 1,978 3.8
Turnout 52,086 84.4
Labour gain from Plaid Cymru Swing

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election, 1983: Carmarthen[28]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Roger Thomas 16,459 31.57%
Conservative NM Thomas 15,305 29.36%
Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Evans 14,099 27.05%
SDP–Liberal Alliance J Colin 5,737 11.01%
Ecology B Kingzett 374 0.72%
BNP Charlie Grice 154 0.3%
Majority 1,154 2.21%
Turnout 52,126 82.13%
Labour hold Swing
General Election, 1987: Carmarthen[29]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Alan Wynne Williams 19,128 35.37
Conservative Rod Richards 14,811 27.39
Plaid Cymru Hywel Teifi Edwards 12,457 23.03
SDP–Liberal Alliance Gwynoro Glyndwr Jones 7,203 13.32
Green GE Oubridge 481 0.89
Majority 4,317 7.98
Turnout 54,080 82.88
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1992: Carmarthen[30]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Alan Wynne Williams 20,879 36.6 +1.3
Plaid Cymru H. Rhodri Glyn Thomas 17,957 31.5 +8.5
Conservative Stephen J. Cavenagh 12,782 22.4 −5.0
Liberal Democrat Mrs Juliana M.J. Hughes 5,353 9.4 −3.9
Majority 2,922 5.1 −2.9
Turnout 56,971 82.7 −0.1
Labour hold Swing −3.6

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/vote2001/results_constituencies/constituencies/128.stm.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ The BBC article quoted above says that it was the second closest General Election result since the Second World War. But the Winchester general election result of 1997 was closer.
  3. ^ C. Rallings & M. Thrasher, The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, p.12 (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 1995)
  4. ^ C. Rallings & M. Thrasher, The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies, p.202 (Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre, 1995)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  6. ^ Watkin, Thomas Glyn (January 2008). "Aubrey, William (c.1529–1595)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online edition, subscription required). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  8. ^ a b c Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "C" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]
  9. ^ On petition, Magens was found not to have been duly elected, and his opponent Phillips was seated in his place
  10. ^ Created a baronet, 1871
  11. ^ Succeeded to baronetcy, 1877
  12. ^ a b c d e f British parliamentary election results, 1885–1918 (Craig)
  13. ^ ‘MORRIS, Sir Lewis’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2015; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 23 April 2015
  14. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1974). British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (1 ed.). London: Macmillan.
  15. ^ Etholiadau'r ganrif 18885-1997, Beti Jones
  16. ^ F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow 1949, p551
  17. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge45/i05.htm
  18. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge50/i05.htm
  19. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge51/i05.htm
  20. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge55/i05.htm
  21. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge59/i05.htm
  22. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge64/i05.htm
  23. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge66/i05.htm
  24. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge70/i05.htm
  25. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge74a/i05.htm
  26. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge74b/i05.htm
  27. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge79/i05.htm
  28. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge83/i05.htm
  29. ^ http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge87/i05.htm
  30. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 Dec 2010. 

Sources[edit]

  • Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) [1]
  • D Brunton & D H Pennington, Members of the Long Parliament (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954)
  • Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) [2]
  • The Constitutional Year Book for 1913 (London: National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations, 1913)
  • F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832–1885 (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
  • J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 – England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)