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
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 Byron Davies (Conservative)
Number of members One
Created from Glamorganshire
Overlaps
Welsh Assembly South Wales West
European Parliament constituency Wales

Gower (Welsh: Gŵyr) is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom by one member of parliament (MP). Byron Davies is the current MP after winning, by only 27 votes, in the 2015 UK General Election.

Overview[edit]

The constituency was first created in 1885 and has existed in various forms ever since. Before 2015 it had elected only Labour MPs since 1906, at the time 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]

1885-1918: The Municipal Borough of Swansea, and the Sessional Divisions of Gower, Pontardawe, and Swansea.

1918-1950: The Urban District of Oystermouth, and the Rural Districts of Gower and Swansea.

1950-1983: The Urban District of Llwchwr, and the Rural Districts of Gower and Pontardawe.

1983-2010: The City of Swansea wards of Bishopston, Fairwood, Gower, Newton, Oystermouth, Penclawdd, Pennard, and West Cross, and the Borough of Lliw Valley wards of Clydach, Dulais East, Gorseinon Central, Gorseinon East, Gowerton East, Gowerton West, Graigfelin, Kingsbridge, Llangyfelach, Lower Loughor, Mawr, Penllergaer, Penyrheol, Pontardulais, Tal-y-bont, Upper Loughor, and Vardre.

2010-present: The Swansea County electoral divisions of Bishopston, Clydach, Fairwood, Gorseinon, Gower, Gowerton, Kingsbridge, Llangyfelach, Lower Loughor, Mawr, Newton, Oystermouth, Penclawdd, Penllergaer, Pennard, Penyrheol, Pontardulais, Upper Loughor, and West Cross.

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.

History[edit]

Liberals and Labour 1885-1918[edit]

The first years of the constituency 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 new MP was Frank Ash Yeo, a local colliery owner and clearly an upper-class figure.[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
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 candidate. Randell was a Methodist solicitor who specialised in trade union litigation and his victory, albeit with a reduced majority over John Dillwyn Llewellyn, formed the basis of later claims that Gower was a 'labour' seat.[2]

2015 General Election[edit]

The defeat of Labour's 2015 candidate, Liz Evans by Byron Davies, in the 2015 General Election, by only 27 votes, was the narrowest victory across the whole country, making it the most marginal Conservative gain. Subsequently, Davies' victory brought 105 consecutive years of Labour representation to an end.

Members of Parliament[edit]

David Randell
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 by-election David Grenfell Labour
1959 Ifor Davies Labour
1982 by-election Gareth Wardell Labour
1997 Martin Caton Labour
2015 Byron Davies Conservative

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2015: Gower [5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Byron Davies 15,862 37.1 +5.1
Labour Liz Evans 15,835 37.0 -1.4
UKIP Colin Beckett[7] 4,773 11.2 +9.6
Plaid Cymru Darren Thomas 3,051 7.1 +0.5
Liberal Democrats Mike Sheehan[8] 1,552 3.6 -15.4
Green Julia Marshall 1,161 2.7 n/a
Monster Raving Loony Baron Barnes Von Claptrap 253 0.6 n/a
Independent Steve Roberts 168 0.4 n/a
TUSC Mark Evans 103 0.2 n/a
Majority 27 0.1
Turnout 42,758 69.2 +1.7
Conservative gain from Labour Swing +3.2
General Election 2010: Gower[9][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Martin Caton 16,016 38.4 -4.0
Conservative Byron Davies 13,333 32.0 +6.5
Liberal Democrats 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 Democrats 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 Rhodri 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 Democrats 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 Democrats Howard W. Evans 5,624 13.0 +3.0
Plaid Cymru D. Elwyn Williams 2,226 5.1 +1.6
Referendum 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[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Gareth Wardell 23,485 50.1 +3.5
Conservative Anthony L. Donnelly 16,437 35.1 +0.6
Liberal Democrats 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 Gwynoro Glyndwr 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 Glyndwr 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 18.4
Turnout
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Gower
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 October 1974: Gower
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 February 1974: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ifor Davies 23,856 52.88
Conservative DFR George 8,780 19.46
Liberal Richard Clement Charles 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 1970: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ifor Davies 26,485 63.38
Conservative Michael J Carter 9,435 22.58
Plaid Cymru Clifford G Davies 5,869 14.04
Majority 17,050 40.80
Turnout 76.94
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ifor Davies 29,910 77.16
Conservative David RO Lewis 8,852 22.84
Majority 21,058 54.33
Turnout 77.94
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1964: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ifor Davies 27,895 71.02
Liberal National J Huw P Griffiths 8,822 22.46
Plaid Cymru John Gwyn Griffiths 2,562 6.52
Majority 19,073 48.56
Turnout 79.97
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ifor Davies 27,441 66.89
Conservative Michael Ray Dibdin Heseltine 9,837 23.98
Plaid Cymru John Gwyn Griffiths 3,744 9.13
Majority 17,604 42.91
Turnout 82.91
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1955: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour David Rhys Grenfell 26,304 68.25
National Liberal B Gwyther 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 1951: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour David Rhys Grenfell 32,661 75.93
National Liberal W. Rowe Harding 10,351 24.07
Majority 22,310 51.87
Turnout 84.31
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1950: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour David Rhys Grenfell 32,564 76.13
National Liberal W. Rowe Harding 10,208 23.87
Majority 22,356 52.27
Turnout 84.77
Labour hold Swing

Election in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Gower
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 1935: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour David Rhys 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 1931: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour David Rhys Grenfell 21,963 53.41
Liberal Sir Edgar Rees Jones 19,157 46.59
Majority 2,806 6.82
Turnout 83.52
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour David Rhys Grenfell 20,664 54.0 -3.2
Liberal Frederick William Davies 11,055 28.9 n/a
Unionist Alan Tindal Lennox-Boyd 6,554 17.1 -25.7
Majority 9,609 25.1 +10.7
Turnout 79.6 +4.1
Labour hold Swing n/a
General Election 1924: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour David Rhys Grenfell 15,374 57.2 -1.9
Unionist Ernest Thomas Nethercoat 11,516 42.8 n/a
Majority 3,858 14.4 -3.8
Turnout 75.5 +2.5
Labour hold Swing n/a
General Election 1923: Gower [12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour David Rhys Grenfell 14, 771 59.1 +4.9
Liberal Mrs Lily Folland 10,219 40.9 -4.9
Majority 4,552 18.2 +9.8
Turnout 73.0 -1.6
Labour hold Swing +4.9
General Election 1922: Gower [13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour David Rhys Grenfell 13,388 54.2 -3.3
Liberal Frederick William Davies 11,302 45.8 +3.3
Majority 2,086 8.4 -6.6
Turnout 74.6 +1.6
Labour hold Swing -3.3
Gower by-election, 1922 [13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour David Rhys Grenfell 13,296 57.5 +2.7
Coalition Liberal D.H. Williams 9,841 42.5 -2.7
Majority 3,455 15.0 +5.4
Turnout 73.0 +10.8
Labour hold Swing +2.7

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

John Williams
General Election 1918: Gower
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour John Williams 10,109 54.8
Liberal D H Williams 8,353 45.2
Majority 1,756 9.6
Turnout 62.2
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

John Hodge
General Election 1900 Gower [14]
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.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Rees (2004). Gwent Local History: 60–1.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "G" (part 2)[self-published source][better source needed]
  5. ^ "Swansea results". Results - UK Parliamentary general election 2015. City and County of Swansea. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  6. ^ total electorate 61,820 email from City and County of Swansea 8Jun15
  7. ^ http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide/gower/
  8. ^ http://www.libdems.org.uk/general_election_candidates#South West
  9. ^ Gower, City and County of Swansea - candidates Gower
  10. ^ Gower BBC Election - Gower
  11. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  12. ^ Etholiadau'r ganrif 1885-1997, Beti Jones
  13. ^ a b British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
  14. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)

Sources[edit]

Books and Journals[edit]


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