Ceredigion (UK Parliament constituency)

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County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Ceredigion in Wales.
Preserved county Dyfed
Population 75,922 (2011 census)[1]
Electorate 57,556 (March 2014)[2]
Current constituency
Created 1536
Member of parliament Ben Lake (Plaid Cymru)
Number of members One
Welsh Assembly Mid and West Wales
European Parliament constituency Wales

Ceredigion, formerly Cardiganshire, is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Created in 1536, the boundaries have remained unchanged for nearly five centuries. From 1536 until 1885 there were two single-member constituencies, one being a county constituency (Cardiganshire) comprising the rural areas, and the other being a borough constituency (Cardigan District of Boroughs) comprising a number of separate towns; in 1885 the borough constituency was abolished, and its towns and electors incorporated into the county constituency. The towns which comprised Cardigan Boroughs varied slightly over this long period, but primarily consisted of Cardigan, Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Adpar, the latter now a suburb of Newcastle Emlyn across the River Teifi, in Carmarthenshire.

The county constituency was enlarged in 1983 with the addition of part of Pembrokeshire, being renamed Ceredigion and Pembroke North. In 1997 it reverted to its former boundaries, being renamed Ceredigion.

The Ceredigion Welsh Assembly constituency was created with the same boundaries in 1999.


The boundaries of this constituency mirror almost exactly those of the county of Ceredigion.

Proposed constituency changes[edit]

Under proposed constituency boundary changes announced in September 2016, ahead of the next general election, the seat's boundaries will be extended. The seat, which has the proposed name of Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire, includes all of the current Ceredigion constituency, the northern part of the current Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency, a small part of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire around the village of Dre-fach Felindre, as well the south-western part of Montgomeryshire around Llanidloes.[3][4]


Ceredigion, formerly known by the anglicised version of its name as Cardiganshire, was first enfranchised in 1536 when King Henry VIII incorporated Wales within England. The county was given one member, who was to be elected by each person who owned property of a sufficient value. In addition the inhabitants of Cardigan, Aberystwyth, Adpar and Lampeter were given the right to elect one MP between them, with the vote restricted to the Freemen. The general election of 1715 saw the return of Lewis Pryse, who was expelled from the House of Commons in the following year for refusing to attend the House to take oaths of loyalty to King George I after the Jacobite rising, with which he sympathised.[5]

Reformed elections[edit]

From 1832 the Reform Act changed the electoral system so that householders of homes worth over £10 were enfranchised in the boroughs. The Borough constituency was still dominated by the Loveden-Pryse family based in Gogerddan who were supporters of the Liberals; Pryse Pryse held the seat from 1818 until his death in 1849, except for the 1841 election (see below). The county saw more influence of the Powell family of Nanteos who were Conservatives; William Edward Powell held the seat from 1816 until he resigned in 1854. By agreement between the two, neither challenged the others' domination and so elections were almost always unopposed.

In the 1841 election there was a great deal of confusion in the borough constituency, which was being opposed. The poll books for Aberystwyth were either lost or stolen and never reached the returning officer, who decided that he should return both candidates due to the uncertainty (the Conservative was slightly ahead in the polls from the other three parts). Neither of the two candidates could actually speak in the House of Commons until a committee determined the election, and it accepted the evidence that the Liberal candidate (Pryse) had outpolled the Conservative (Harford) by 305 to 285, enough to make his election secure, so he was given the seat. Other than an 1855 byelection victory by 12 votes, the Conservatives never won the borough.

The county saw its first contest in the 1859 general election when two Conservatives fought for the seat. In 1865 the sitting MP stood down and there was a contest between two Liberals, won by Sir Thomas Lloyd, Bt. who defeated a Gladstonian opponent, David Davies, Llandinam. Lloyd transferred to the borough in the 1868 election when the seat was captured by Swansea industrialist, E.M. Richards. This election is often regarded as a landmark when tenant farmers apparently refused to follow patterns of age-old deference and vote in line with the wishes of their landlords. Following this election there were allegations of intimidation by Conservative landlords and a national fund was set up to support those allegedly evicted from their farms. In reality, however, Richards' victory owed much to the support of the powerful Pryse family of Gogerddan. There were close contests for the county thereafter, on a slightly widened franchise.

Single constituency[edit]

In a redistribution of seats for the 1885 general election, the borough constituency was abolished and absorbed into the county. This brought into the county seat the more radical politics of urban voters in the boroughs of Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Lampeter and Adpar. More significantly, the further widening of the franchise in 1884 added between five and six thousand new voters to the register by extending the pattern of household suffrage to the counties. The majority of these voters would have been tenant farmers, the more prosperous agricultural labourers, and householders in small towns or large villages such as Tregaron, Aberaeron, New Quay, Aberporth, Tal-y-bont and Borth, which had not been part of the old Cardigan Boroughs constituency. The impact of the widening of the franchise and boundary changes was to increase the electorate from 5,026 in 1883 to 12,308 by 1886.[6] It was assumed that these changes would make the county a reasonably safe bet for the Liberal Party and that supporters of Gladstone would be comfortably returned at every election. These structural changes to the political arrangements of the county were also taking place against wider social and economic developments which affected all aspects of Cardiganshire life. Traditional industries were in decline, agriculture was increasingly in crisis and it was becoming increasingly difficult for a still-increasing population to earn a living within their native parishes and communities. As a result, there were two major consequences. Firstly there was a significant population shift as a result of emigration, in the majority of cases to the south Wales valleys. Secondly, the great landed estates of the county, which and for so long dominated the politics of the county, were in many cases heavily in debt. This second factor contributed to the loss of landowner influence in the politics of the county, a trend that became very apparent at the first elections to the Cardiganshire County Council.[7]

Initially, the predictions that Gladstonian Liberals would dominate county politucs were realised, in 1885, David Davies was elected to represent the constituency with a majority of 2,323 (24.2%) on a turnout of 78%, heavily defeating the Conservative, Matthew Vaughan Davies. Although David Davies was no public speaker, he drew substantial support in Cardiganshire as a generous benefactor of the new university college at Aberystwyth and also through his links with Calvinistic Methodism, which had over 13,000 members in the county. Allied to this was a particularly effective Liberal association which paid close attention to the registration of voters.[8]

In 1886, however, Davies broke with Gladstone over home rule for Ireland in 1886 and a number of his associates such as Robert J. Davies, Cwrtmawr followed him into the Liberal Unionist camp.[9] He sought re-election as a Liberal Unionist but lost by 9 votes to William Bowen Rowlands, who was the Gladstonian candidate. This election split the Liberal Party in Cardiganshire and the election was hotly contested with almost all the landowenrs, including those previously regarded as having Liberal sympathies, supporting Davies. He also received the support of several prominent Liberals, especially from his own Methodist denomination.[10] The result of the election was largely attributed to the influence of nonconformist ministers over their congregations, although the more effective canvassing of supporters by the Liberal Association was also identified as an important factor.[11]

Even though Bowen Rowlands's victory was by the closest of margins it was a decisive moment in the political history of Cardiganshire. It proved that a Gladstonian Liberal candidate, even an Anglican with strong Irish Nationalist sympathies, could triump in Cardiganshire even against the resources and religious connections of a candidate such as David Davies. Although Liberal Unionism continued to be championed by a relatively small group, led by the journalist Henry Tobit Evans, who published a newspaper, Y Brython, at Lampeter. most of the leading Liberals who had defected to Davies eventually rrteunred to the fold, in some cases to contest the 1889 County Council elections. The demise of Liberal Unionism was confirmed at the 1892 General Election when, William Jones, a self-made Birmingham draper who had a small estate in Cardiganshire and was a member of the Cardiganshire County Council ran with the support of Joseph Chamberlain. Chamberlain had sponsored a number of Nonconformist unionist candidates in Wales in the hope of capitaliising upon perceived antipathy towards Irish Nationalism. Despite spending heavily and producing a farnmer evicted at the 1868 Election on his platform, Jones was heavily defeated by Bowen Rowlands.[12] Rowlands served until 1895.

Once Rowlands's intention not to stand again was known, Matthew Vaughan Davies of Tan-y-Bwlch, who had been the Conservative candidate in the seat in 1885, but who had subsequently joined the Liberal Party, emerged as a contender for the nomination and was eventually chosen by a delegate conference, defeating Wynford Phillips by 160 votes to 111.[13] The choice of Vaughan Davies was controversial and was strongly opposed by the Aberystwyth-based Cambrian News on the basis of his former association with the Conservative Party. Indeed, the paper went as far as to equate the division with that of 1886.[14] There is no doubt that the choice of Vaughan Davies created deep divisions in the Liberal ranks.[15] However, despite these divisions he saw off a strong Conservative candidate by a comfortable if reduced majority.

Members of Parliament[edit]

MPs 1541–1640[edit]

Parliament Member
1541–1543 Rice ap Philip
1543–1544 Thomas Gynns
1545–1547 David ap Llewellin Lloid of Llan Dissill
1547 William Devereux
1553 (Mar) James Williams
1553 (Oct) John Pryse II
1554 (Apr) John Pryse II
1554 (Nov) James Williams
1555 Sir Henry Jones of Abermarlais
1558 Sir Henry Jones of Abermarlais
1563 John Pryse
1571 John Pryse
1572 John Pryse
1584 Richard Pryse
1586 Griffith Lloyd
1588 Richard Pryse
1593 Richard Pryse
1597 Thomas Pryse
1601 Richard Pryse
1604–1611 Sir John Lewis
1614–1622 Sir Richard Pryse
1625–1629 James Lewis
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned

MPs after 1640[edit]

Short Parliament

Long Parliament

Cardiganshire was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament

First Protectorate Parliament

Second Protectorate Parliament

Third Protectorate Parliament

Year Member[16][17] Party Notes
April 1660 Sir Richard Pryse, 2nd Baronet
1661 Sir John Vaughan
1669 Edward Vaughan
1685 John Lewis
1690 Sir Carbery Pryse, 4th Baronet (died 1694)
1694 John Vaughan, 1st Viscount Lisburne
1698 John Lewis
February 1701 Sir Humphrey Mackworth
December 1701 Lewis Pryse
1702 Sir Humphrey Mackworth
1705 John Pugh
1708 Lewis Pryse
1710 Sir Humphrey Mackworth
1713 Thomas Johnes
1715 Lewis Pryse[18]
1718 Owen Brigstocke
1722 Francis Cornwallis
1727 John Vaughan, 2nd Viscount Lisburne
1734 Walter Lloyd (1678-1747)
1742 Thomas Powell
1747 John Lloyd
1755 Hon. Wilmot Vaughan
1761 John Pugh Pryse
1768 Wilmot Vaughan, 1st Earl of Lisburne
1796 Thomas Johnes
1816 William Edward Powell Tory
1834 Conservative
1854 Ernest Vaughan, 4th Earl of Lisburne Conservative
1859 William Thomas Rowland Powell Conservative
1865 Sir Thomas Lloyd, 1st Baronet Liberal
1868 Evan Matthew Richards Liberal
1874 Thomas Edward Lloyd Conservative
1880 Lewis Pugh Pugh Liberal
1885 David Davies Liberal
1886 William Bowen Rowlands Liberal
1895 Matthew Vaughan-Davies Liberal
1921 Ernest Evans Coalition Liberal
1923 Rhys Hopkin Morris Independent Liberal
1932 Owen Evans Liberal
1945 Roderic Bowen Liberal
1966 Elystan Morgan Labour
1974 Geraint Howells Liberal In 1983 the name changed to Ceredigion and Pembroke North (with boundaries extended)
1988 Liberal Democrat
1992 Cynog Dafis Plaid Cymru In 1997 the name reverted to Ceredigion (with pre-1983 boundaries restored)
2000 Simon Thomas Plaid Cymru
2005 Mark Williams Liberal Democrat
2017 Ben Lake Plaid Cymru


General Election 1895 Cardiganshire[19] Electorate 12,994
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Matthew Vaughan-Davies 4,927 56.8
Conservative John Harford 3,748 43.2
Majority 1,179 13.6
Turnout 66.8
Liberal hold Swing

He went on to become the longest serving MP for the constituency, holding it until 1921. His closest electoral call came in the 'Khaki election' of 1900 when he had a majority of 781 (9.4%) over J.C. Harford of Falcondale. The Cambrian News had tempered its opposition and grudgingly admitted that Vaughan Davies and won friends by his adherence to Liberal policies.[20]

General Election 1900 Cardiganshire[19] Electorate 13,299
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Matthew Vaughan-Davies 4,568 54.7
Conservative John Harford 3,787 45.3
Majority 781 9.4
Turnout 62.8
Liberal hold Swing

Thereafter, Vaughan Davies was comfortably returned at each election but the vitality of the Liberal Association was in serious decline.

General Election 1906 Cardiganshire[19] Electorate 13,215
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Matthew Vaughan-Davies 5,829 66.3
Liberal Unionist C E D M Richardson 2,960 33.7
Majority 2,869 32.6
Turnout 66.5
Liberal hold Swing
General Election January 1910 Cardiganshire[19] Electorate 13,333
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Matthew Vaughan-Davies 6,348 68.3
Conservative George Fossett Roberts 2,943 31.7
Majority 3,405 36.6
Turnout 69.7
Liberal hold Swing

By 1914 the Association was heavily dependent on Vaughan Davies's role as treasurer to keep it going. In the meantime, Vaughan Davies remained on poor terms with prominent Liberals, including John Gibson, editor of the Cambrian News until his death in 1915.[21]

Like most Welsh Liberals, he supported David Lloyd George in the split in the Liberal Party, and not H. H. Asquith, and was therefore returned unopposed as a Coalition Liberal in 1918.

General Election 1918 Electorate 30,368
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal *Matthew Vaughan-Davies unopposed n/a n/a
Liberal hold Swing n/a

* denotes candidate who was endorsed by the Coalition Government.

Liberal infighting (1921–1950)[edit]

In many ways the Liberals had become the new elite in Cardiganshire by the time of the First World War. This was demonstrated in 1919 when John Humphreys Davies, the nonconformist squire of Cwrtmawr, was appointed Principal of the University College, Aberystwyth, at the expense of Thomas Jones, who was championed by Lord Davies of Llandinam, grandson of David Davies.[22]

With Vaughan Davies known to be a supporter of Lloyd George, it was natural that Lloyd George looked to him to boost his support in the House of Lords and awarded him a peerage in the New Years' Honours list in 1921. Although he would have preferred to be called 'Lord Ceredigion', the Garter King of Arms refused this as an inappropriate title for a Baron, and so Vaughan Davies took his title from the River Ystwyth which ran past his home. The peerage created a vacancy in a historically Liberal seat and the Asquithites decided to take the Lloyd Georgeites on in their 'backyard' in what became a memorable by-election.

Ernest Evans, who asserted on his election posters that he was 'THE Liberal candidate', was a Barrister from Aberystwyth and had been Private Secretary to Lloyd George himself, and therefore had the blessing of the Coalition and official support from the Conservatives. A number of possible Asquithian Liberal candidates were approached to contest the seat against Evans and eventually the choice fell upon W. Llewelyn Williams who was sponsored by the Asquithite 'Welsh Liberal Federation'. No other candidate stood and in the straight fight, Evans won with a majority of 3,590 (14.6%).[23]

Ernest Evans
Cardiganshire by-election, 1921
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Coalition Liberal Ernest Evans 14,111 57.3 n/a
Liberal W. Llewelyn Williams 10,521 42.7 n/a
Majority 3,590 14.6 n/a
Coalition Liberal hold Swing n/a

Evans held on as a 'National Liberal' (as Lloyd George's supporters called themselves) in the 1922 general election but with a slim majority of 515 votes (2.0%) over Rhys Hopkin Morris.

General Election 1922: Cardiganshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Liberal Ernest Evans 12,825 51.0 -6.3
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris 12,310 49.0 +6.3
Majority 515 2.0 -12.6
Turnout 76.9
National Liberal hold Swing -6.3

The sudden shotgun merger of the two factions in the Liberal Party led to Evans getting the official approval of the unified party for the 1923 election. However, the Conservatives decided to fight and this deprived him of their votes. Hopkin Morris decided to fight again as an unofficial Liberal and won with a 5,078 vote majority.

Hopkin Morris
General Election 1923: Cardiganshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Liberal *Rhys Hopkin Morris 12,469 46.9 -2.1
Liberal Ernest Evans 7,391 27.7 -23.3
Unionist Ernest Vaughan 6,776 25.4 n/a
Majority 19.2 21.2
Turnout 81.0 +4.1
Independent Liberal gain from National Liberal Swing +10.6

* Denotes that the candidate was pledged to take the Liberal Party Whip.

Hopkin Morris was lucky to survive the 1924 election, a disaster for the Liberals, by being returned unopposed.

General Election 1924 Electorate
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris* unopposed n/a n/a
Liberal hold Swing n/a

He held the seat again in 1929.

General Election 1929: Cardiganshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris 17,127 60.6 n/a
Unionist E C L Fitzwilliams 11,158 39.4 n/a
Majority 5,969 21.1 n/a
Turnout 28,285 73.1 n/a
Liberal hold Swing n/a

The first Labour Party candidate stood against him at the 1931 general election and polled 24% of the vote in a straight fight against Morris, who had a 13,752 (52.0%) majority.

General Election 1931: Cardiganshire[24] Electorate 39,206
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris 20,113 76.0 +15.5
Labour J. Lloyd Jones 6,361 24.0 N/A
Majority 26,474 52.0 +31.0
Turnout 26,474 67.5 -5.7
Liberal hold Swing N/A

In 1932, Morris left Parliament temporarily (he was later to return as MP for Carmarthen) when he was appointed as a Metropolitan Police magistrate. The byelection on 22 September 1932 saw the first three-way fight between the parties, but was won by Owen Evans for the Liberals.

Cardiganshire by-election 1932: Cardiganshire[24] Electorate 39,206
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Owen Evans 13,437 48.7 -27.3
Conservative E.C.L. Fitzwilliams 8,866 32.1 N/A
Labour D.M. Jones 5,295 19.2 -4.8
Majority 4,571 16.6 -35.4
Turnout 27,598 70.4 +2.9
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General Election 1935: Cardiganshire[24] Electorate 39,851
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Owen Evans 15,846 61.1 +12.4
Labour Moelwyn Hughes 10,085 38.9 +19.7
Majority 5,761 22.2 +5.6
Turnout 25,931 65.1 -5.3
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Like many of the Liberal MPs he had been a barrister. Evans died shortly before the 1945 general election, but the seat was easily held by his successor Roderic Bowen; unusually the Labour vote actually fell in percentage terms compared with the previous election despite the Labour landslide in the country at large.

General Election 1945: Cardiganshire Electorate 41,597
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Roderic Bowen 18,912 63.8 +2.7
Labour Iwan J. Morgan 10,718 36.2 -2.7
Majority 8,194 27.6 +5.4
Turnout 29,630 71.2 +6.1
Liberal hold Swing +2.7

Labour challenge (1950–1972)[edit]

Labour established itself as the main challenger to the Liberals at the 1950 general election in a three-way contest, and the Conservatives opted out of the contest thereafter until 1964. This was partly a move to keep the seat from going Labour. Plaid Cymru first fought the seat in 1959 and kept their deposit (just, with 12.8% of the vote).

General Election 1950: Cardigan
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Roderic Bowen 17,093 52.17
Labour Iwan J. Morgan 9,055 27.64
Conservative G.S.R. Little 6,618 20.20
Majority 8,038 24.53
Turnout 32,766 73.42
Registered electors 44,627
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1951: Cardigan
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Roderic Bowen 19,959 67.30
Labour Brynmor Williams 9,697 32.70
Majority 10,262 34.60
Turnout 29,656 70.65
Registered electors 41,977
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1955: Cardigan
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Roderic Bowen 18,907 65.20
Labour David Jones-Davies 10,090 34.80
Majority 8,817 30.41
Turnout 28,997 72.67
Registered electors 39,902
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1959: Cardigan
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Roderic Bowen 17,868 58.96
Labour Loti Rees Hughes 8,559 28.24
Plaid Cymru Gareth W. Evans 3,880 12.80
Majority 9,309 30.72
Turnout 30,307 77.95
Registered electors 38,878
Liberal hold Swing

With a four-way contest involving the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru at the 1964 general election, and a national swing to Labour, Roderic Bowen suffered a precipitate decline in his share of the vote to only 38.4%; he was re-elected with a majority of 2,219 (7.4%) over Labour.

General Election 1964: Cardigan
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Roderic Bowen 11,500 38.41
Labour D. L. Davies 9,281 31.00
Conservative Arthur J. Ryder 5,897 19.70
Plaid Cymru Gareth W. Evans 3,262 10.90
Majority 2,219 7.41
Turnout 29,940 78.86
Registered electors 37,964
Liberal hold Swing

After the death of the Speaker in 1965, Bowen accepted the offer to become a Deputy Speaker, which prevented him from speaking on behalf of his constituency. For the 1966 election, Labour selected Elystan Morgan who had been a member of Plaid Cymru until 1964; with a further national swing and Morgan making a credible bid for the Welsh-speaking vote, Labour won the seat by 523 votes.

General Election 1966: Cardigan
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Elystan Morgan 11,302 37.13
Liberal Roderic Bowen 10,779 35.41
Conservative John Stradling Thomas 5,893 19.36
Plaid Cymru Edward Millward 2,469 8.11
Majority 523 1.72
Turnout 30,443 81.07
Registered electors 37,553
Labour gain from Liberal Swing

Liberal resurgence (1970–1992)[edit]

Morgan managed to hold on to the seat with an increased majority in the 1970 election. The Liberal vote had collapsed nationwide, with Plaid Cymru taking third place.

General Election 1970: Cardigan
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Elystan Morgan 11,063 33.4
Liberal Huw Lloyd Williams 9,800 29.6
Plaid Cymru Hywel ap Robert 6,498 19.6
Conservative David George 5,715 17.3
Majority 1,263 3.8
Turnout 40,226 82.2
Labour hold Swing

However, the Liberal resurgence in the early 1970s led to the party regaining the seat in the February 1974 general election with Geraint Howells.

General Election February 1974: Cardigan
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Geraint Howells 14,371 40.2
Labour Elystan Morgan 11,895 33.2
Conservative Trefor W Llewellyn 4,758 13.3
Plaid Cymru Clifford Gregory Davies 4,754 13.3
Majority 2,476 7.0
Turnout 35,778 83.7
Liberal gain from Labour Swing

The October 1974 general election saw almost the same result.

General Election October 1974: Cardigan
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Geraint Howells 14,612 42.2
Labour Elystan Morgan 12,202 35.2
Plaid Cymru Clifford G Davies 4,583 13.2
Conservative Delwyn Williams 3,257 9.4
Majority 2,410 9.4
Turnout 34,654 80.5 -3.2
Liberal hold Swing

In 1979, Howells increased his majority with Labour falling to third place and the Conservatives increasing their vote by more than 20%; this was one of the highest swings in the whole country.

General Election 1979: Cardigan
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Geraint Howells 13,227 35.6 -6.6
Conservative I. Emlyn Thomas 11,033 29.7 +20.3
Labour L. John Powell 7,488 20.2 -15.3
Plaid Cymru Dafydd J. L. Hughes 5,382 14.5 +1.3
Majority 2,194 5.9 -1.1
Turnout 37,130 81.5 +1.0
Liberal hold Swing

In boundary changes in 1983, the constituency gained a small part of Pembrokeshire and also took a Welsh version of its name, becoming known as Ceredigion and Pembroke North. Geraint Howells was re-elected with the Conservatives second, Labour third and Plaid Cymru fourth in both the 1983.

General Election 1983: Ceredigion & Pembroke North[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Geraint Howells 19,677 41.8
Conservative William Thomas Kinsey Raw-Rees 14,038 29.8
Labour Griffith Eric Hughes 6,840 14.5
Plaid Cymru Cynog Dafis 6,072 12.9
Ecology Marylin Smith 431 0.9
Majority 5,639 12.0
Turnout 47,058 77.8
Liberal hold Swing

There was a similar result at the 1987 general election.

General Election 1987: Ceredigion & Pembroke North[26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Geraint Howells 17,683 36.6 -5.2
Conservative Owen John Williams 12,983 26.9 -3.0
Labour John Robert Davies 8,965 18.6 +4.0
Plaid Cymru Cynog Dafis 7,848 16.2 +3.3
Green Marylin Wakefield 821 1.7 +0.8
Majority 4,700 9.7 -2.3
Turnout 48,300 76.5 -1.3
Liberal hold Swing

Surprise gain (1992–2001)[edit]

The result of the 1992 general election in Ceredigion and Pembroke North was one of the least expected in the country.[27] Cynog Dafis, a teacher at Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi, Llandysul, standing as a Plaid Cymru candidate with support from the local branch of the Green Party, gained the seat with a majority of 3,193.

General Election 1992: Ceredigion & Pembroke North[28]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Plaid Cymru Cynog Dafis 16,020 30.3 +15.0
Liberal Democrat Geraint Howells 12,827 25.1 -11.6
Conservative Owen John Williams 12,718 24.8 -2.0
Labour John Robert Davies 9,637 18.8 +0.3
Majority 3,193 6.2
Turnout 51,202 77.4 +0.9
Plaid Cymru gain from Liberal Democrat Swing

Dafis more than doubled his majority in 1997 with Labour coming in second and the Liberal Democrat vote dropping by 10% to 16.5%. The constituency name was shortened to Ceredigion at this election as it reverted to its former borders, having lost the part of North Pembrokeshire in boundary changes.

General Election 1997: Ceredigion[29]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Plaid Cymru Cynog Dafis 16,728 41.6 +10.7
Labour Robert George (Hag) Harris 9,767 24.3 +5.7
Liberal Democrat Dai Davies 6,616 16.5 -10.0
Conservative Felix Aubel 5,983 14.9 -9.1
Referendum John Leaney 1,092 2.7
Majority 6,961 17.3 +4.9
Turnout 40,186 73.9 -4.1
Plaid Cymru win

Cynog Dafis was elected to the National Assembly for Wales in 1999, and unlike the other 'dual mandate' MPs, chose to resign his seat at Westminster, causing a by-election which saw Simon Thomas retain the seat for Plaid Cymru. The by-election saw Labour fall from second to fourth place and the Liberal Democrats vote rise.

Ceredigion by-election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas 10,716 42.8 +1.1
Liberal Democrat Mark Williams 5,768 23.0 +6.5
Conservative Paul Davies 4,138 16.5 +1.6
Labour Maria Battle 3,612 14.4 -9.9
UKIP John Bufton 487 1.9
Independent Green – Save the World Climate John Davies 289 1.2
Wales on Sunday – Match Funding Now Martin Shipton 55 0.2
Majority 4,948 19.8 +2.5
Turnout 25,143 46.0 -27.9
Plaid Cymru hold Swing -2.7

At the 2001 general election, Thomas retained the seat, although the Liberal Democrat vote again rose to 26.9%.

General Election 2001: Ceredigion[30]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas 13,241 38.3 -3.4
Liberal Democrat Mark Williams 9,297 26.9 +10.4
Conservative Paul Davies 6,730 19.4 +4.6
Labour David Grace 5,338 15.4 -8.9
Majority 3,944 11.4 -8.4
Turnout 34,606 61.7 -12.2
Plaid Cymru hold Swing -6.9

Second Liberal resurgence (2005–2017)[edit]

At the 2005 general election, the Liberal Democrats regained the seat. Mark Williams, who had fought the seat in the 2000 by-election and in 2001, had a majority of 219 (0.6%) following a swing of 6% over Simon Thomas. Mark Williams was the first non-Welsh speaking Member of Parliament elected to represent the constituency since Bowen Rowlands (MP from 1886 until 1892, who declared at a meeting in Aberystwyth when adopted as candidate that he could not speak Welsh).[31]

General Election 2005: Ceredigion[32]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Mark Williams 13,130 36.53 Increase 9.7
Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas 12,911 35.92 Decrease 2.4
Conservative John Harrison 4,455 12.39 Decrease 7.1
Labour Alun Davies 4,337 12.06 Decrease 3.4
Green Dave Bradney 846 2.35
Veritas Iain Sheldon 268 0.75
Majority 219 0.61 Decrease 12.0
Turnout 35,947 67.2 Increase 5.53
Liberal Democrat gain from Plaid Cymru Swing Increase 6.0

At the 2010 general election, he received a massive increase in his vote, polling over 50% of the votes cast and raising his majority from 219 to 8,324 over the Plaid Cymru candidate, Penri James.

General Election 2010: Ceredigion[33][34][35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Mark Williams 19,139 50.0 Increase 13.5
Plaid Cymru Penri James 10,815 28.3 Decrease 7.6
Conservative Luke Evetts 4,421 11.6 Decrease 0.8
Labour Richard Boudier 2,210 5.8 Decrease 6.3
UKIP Elwyn Williams 977 2.6 N/A
Green Leila Kiersch 696 1.8 Decrease 0.5
Majority 8,324 21.8
Turnout 38,258 64.8 Decrease 3.2
Liberal Democrat hold Swing Increase 10.6

In 2015, Williams suffered a decline of over 14% in his vote share, in common with other Liberal Democrat incumbents across the UK. However, after a campaign which made national headlines due to prior controversial comments by both the Plaid Cymru[36] and Labour[37] candidates, Plaid Cymru were unable to capitalise as their vote share went down slightly. The Conservative vote also declined, while UKIP, Labour and the Greens all improved on their 2010 performance. Williams retained the seat to become the only Liberal Democrat MP in Wales, and one of only eight across the UK.

General Election 2015: Ceredigion[38][39][40]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Mark Williams 13,414 35.9 Decrease 14.2
Plaid Cymru Mike Parker 10,347 27.7 Decrease 0.6
Conservative Henrietta Hensher 4,123 11.0 Decrease 0.5
UKIP Gethin James 3,829 10.2 Increase 7.7
Labour Huw Thomas 3,615 9.7 Increase 3.9
Green Daniel Thompson 2,088 5.6 Increase 3.8
Majority 3,067 8.2 Decrease 13.6
Turnout 37,416 69.0 Increase 4.2
Liberal Democrat hold Swing Decrease 6.8

Plaid Cymru comeback and Labour resurgence (2017–)[edit]

In 2017, Williams lost his seat to Ben Lake by 104 votes (0.2%). Labour moved from fifth to third in the seat and were roughly 3,000 votes behind Williams and Lake, their best result in Ceredigion since 1997, and the Tories fell to fourth but increased their vote by more than 3,000.

General Election 2017: Ceredigion[41][42][43]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Plaid Cymru Ben Lake[44] 11,623 29.2 Increase 1.6
Liberal Democrat Mark Williams[45] 11,519 29.0 Decrease 6.9
Labour Dinah Mulholland[46] 8,017 20.2 Increase 10.5
Conservative Ruth Davis 7,307 18.4 Increase 7.4
UKIP Tom Harrison 602 1.5 Decrease 8.7
Green Grenville Ham 542 1.4 Decrease 4.2
Monster Raving Loony Sir Dudley the Crazed[47] 157 0.4 Increase 0.4
Majority 104 0.2 Decrease 8.0
Turnout 39,767 75.2 Increase 6.2
Plaid Cymru gain from Liberal Democrat Swing Increase 4.3

Graphical representation[edit]

Coalition Liberal
1921 by-election
42.7% 57.3%
Liberal Coalition Liberal
49.0% 51.0%
Liberal National Liberal
46.9% 27.7% 25.4%
Independent Liberal Liberal Conservative
60.6% 39.4%
Liberal Conservative
24.0% 76.0%
Labour Liberal
1932 by-election
19.2% 48.7% 32.1%
Labour Liberal Conservative
38.9% 61.1%
Labour Liberal
36.2% 63.8%
Labour Liberal
27.6% 52.2% 20.2%
Labour Liberal Conservative
32.7% 67.3%
Labour Liberal
34.8% 65.2%
Labour Liberal
12.8% 28.2% 59.0%
Plaid Labour Liberal
10.9% 31.0% 38.4% 19.7%
Plaid Labour Liberal Conservative
8.1% 37.1% 35.4% 19.4%
Plaid Labour Liberal Conservative
19.6% 33.4% 29.6% 17.3%
Plaid Labour Liberal Conservative
Feb 1974
13.3% 33.2% 40.2% 13.3%
Plaid Labour Liberal Conservative
Oct 1974
13.2% 35.2% 42.2% 9.4%
Plaid Labour Liberal Conservative
14.5% 20.2% 35.6% 29.7%
Plaid Labour Liberal Conservative
12.9% 14.5% 41.8% 29.8%
Plaid Labour Liberal Conservative
1.7 16.2% 18.6% 36.6% 26.9%
Gn Plaid Labour Liberal Conservative
30.3% 18.8% 25.1% 24.8%
Plaid Labour Lib Dems Conservative
41.6% 24.3% 16.5% 14.9% 2.7
Plaid Labour Lib Dems Conservative Ref
2000 by-election
42.8% 14.4% 23.0% 1.2 16.5% 1.9
Plaid Labour Lib Dems In Conservative UK
38.3% 15.4% 26.9% 19.4%
Plaid Labour Lib Dems Conservative
2.4 35.9% 12.1% 36.5% 12.4%
Gn Plaid Labour Lib Dems Conservative
1.8 28.3% 5.8% 50.0% 11.6% 2.6
Gn Plaid Labour Lib Dems Conservative UK
5.6% 27.7% 9.7% 35.9% 11.0% 10.2%
Green Plaid Labour Lib Dems Conservative UKIP
1.4% 29.2% 20.2% 29.0% 18.4% 1.5%
Green Plaid Labour Lib Dems Conservative UKIP

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Ceredigion: Usual Resident Population, 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Electoral roll: Electors and attainers, by National Assembly for Wales constituency". 2014 Electoral Register. StatsWales. Retrieved 21 February 2015. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Ceredigion could return to south constituency boundary". Cambrian News. 19 September 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Ceredigion a Gogledd Sir Benfro (Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire)". 2018 Review of Parliamentary Constituencies — Initial Proposals Report (Report). Boundary Commission for Wales. September 2016. p. 80. 
  5. ^ "Members expelled from the House of Commons since the Restoration". demon.co.uk. 
  6. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 313. 
  7. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 314–18; 319–20. 
  8. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 322–3. 
  9. ^ "Meeting in support of Mr D. Davies". Aberystwyth Observer. 26 June 1886. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 323–4. 
  11. ^ "Cardiganshire Election and its lessons (editorial)". Aberystwyth Observer. 17 July 1886. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 324–5. 
  13. ^ "Representation of Cardiganshire. Selection of Liberal Candidate". Aberystwyth Observer. 4 July 1895. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "The Contest in Cardiganshire (editorial)". Cambrian News. 5 July 1895. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "The Liberal Split (editorial)". Aberystwyth Observer. 4 July 1895. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Ceredigion 1997–". Hansard 1803–2005. UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  17. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "C" (part 2)
  18. ^ Expelled the House 23 March 1716 for failing to attend to take an oath of loyalty.
  19. ^ a b c d British parliamentary election results, 1885–1918 (Craig)
  20. ^ "The Two Cardiganshire Candidates (editorial)". Cambrian News. 5 October 1900. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  21. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 328–9. 
  22. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 330. 
  23. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 332–5. 
  24. ^ a b c British parliamentary election results, 1918–1949, Craig
  25. ^ "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  26. ^ "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  27. ^ Alamanac of British Politics, 5th ed, Robert Waller & Byron Criddle
  28. ^ "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  29. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  30. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  31. ^ "The County Election". Aberystwyth Observer. 3 July 1886. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  32. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015. 
  33. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  34. ^ Ceredigion Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Cyngor Sir Ceredigion County Council – candidates Ceredigion
  35. ^ Ceredigion BBC Election – Ceredigion
  36. ^ "Election 2015: 'Baptism of fire' for Plaid candidate". 9 April 2015 – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  37. ^ "Election 2015: Candidate suggested cars be damaged". 10 April 2015 – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  38. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  39. ^ "Ceredigion result". UK Parliamentary General Election 2015. Ceredigion County Council. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  40. ^ "Ceredigion parliamentary constituency - Election 2017" – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  41. ^ Cite error: The named reference electoralcalculus2017 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  42. ^ "Ceredigion Constituency Election Candidates" (PDF). Ceredigion County Council. Retrieved 11 May 2017. 
  43. ^ "Results of the 2017 General Election". BBC News. 
  44. ^ Ceredigion, Plaid- (26 April 2017). "Very pleased to announce that Ben Lake is the Plaid Cymru #Ceredigion candidate for the general election. #Plaid17 #ProtectWales #GE17pic.twitter.com/80jBsT3JIi". 
  45. ^ "Ceredigion’s MP reacts to surprise news of snap General Election". 
  46. ^ Society, People’s Printing Press. "Dinah Mulholland". 
  47. ^ "Loony Party Candidates". Retrieved 7 May 2017. 


External links[edit]