Gower (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
|Preserved county||West Glamorgan|
|Electorate||62,389 (December 2010)|
|Major settlements||Mumbles, Clydach, Gorseinon, Pontarddulais, Penllergaer|
|Member of Parliament||Tonia Antoniazzi (Labour)|
|Number of members||One|
|Senedd||Gower, South Wales West|
Gower (Welsh: Gŵyr) is a constituency[n 1] created in 1885 and represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament by one Member of Parliament (MP).[n 2] Tonia Antoniazzi of the Labour Party became its MP after winning it from a Conservative in the 2017 UK general election. Her party had previously represented the seat from 1909 until 2015.
The constituency was created in 1885 and has had relatively widely varied boundaries. Before 2015 it had elected Labour MPs since 1906, sharing the longest single-party representation with Normanton and Makerfield. It holds approximately a third of the electorate of the city and county of Swansea, the rest of which is Swansea West and Swansea East.
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.
Liberals and Labour 1885–1918
The first years, seeing more heavy industrial make-up than today, represented 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. In 1885 he comfortably defeated Henry Nathaniel Miers of Ynyspenllwch in the Swansea Valley, a coal owner, tinplate manufacturer and landowner.: 60–61
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.
Since 1945, Gower has been a mostly reliable seat for the Labour Party, returning Labour's candidate except in two elections; in the 1983 Conservative landslide, in which it was won by just 1,205 votes, and in 2010, where it was held by 2,683 votes. However, unlike many Welsh valley seats, which have given commanding majorities to Labour, Gower has not seen a majority of over 10,000 votes or 20% of the vote for the Labour candidate in any election (with the exception of 1997) since 1979. In 2015, incumbent MP Martin Caton stood down, and the new Labour candidate Liz Evans was defeated by the Conservative Byron Davies by 27 votes, less than 0.1% of votes cast, which made it the most marginal Conservative seat going into the next election. Davies' victory brought 105 consecutive years of Labour representation to an end, but Labour won the seat back in the 2017 general election with a majority of 3,269, slightly larger than Caton's final majority in 2010.
Members of Parliament
Elections in the 19th Century
Elections in the 1880s
|Liberal||Frank Ash Yeo||5,560||72.6||N/A|
|Conservative||Henry Nathaniel Miers||2,103||27.4||N/A|
|Liberal win (new seat)|
|Liberal||Frank Ash Yeo||Unopposed|
Elections in the 1890s
|Conservative||Charles Henry Glascodyne||2,256||27.1||N/A|
Elections in the 20th Century
Elections in the 1900s
|Labour Repr. Cmte.||John Hodge||3,853||47.4||N/A|
|Lib-Lab gain from Liberal||Swing|
Elections in the 1910s
|Conservative||Percy Reginald Owen Abel Simner||2,532||21.4||+4.2|
|Labour gain from Lib-Lab||Swing||+15.8|
|Liberal||W F Phillips||4,527||45.2||N/A|
General Election 1914–15: A General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place, and by July 1914, the following candidates had been selected:
|Liberal||D H Williams||8,353||45.2||±0.0|
Elections in the 1920s
|National Liberal||D H Williams||9,841||42.5||―2.7|
|Liberal||Frederick William Davies||11,302||45.8||+0.6|
|Liberal||Leah Norah Folland||10,219||40.9||―4.9|
|Unionist||Ernest Thomas Nethercoat||11,516||42.8||N/A|
|Liberal||Frederick William Davies||11,055||28.9||N/A|
Elections in the 1930s
|National||G C Hutchinson||13,239||33.2||N/A|
Election in the 1940s
|National Liberal||John Aeron-Thomas||14,115||31.5||N/A|
Elections in the 1950s
|National Liberal||Rowe Harding||10,208||23.9||―7.6|
|National Liberal||Rowe Harding||10,351||24.1||+0.2|
|National Liberal||B Gwyther Jones||8,135||21.1||―3.0|
|Plaid Cymru||Chris Rees||4,101||10.6||N/A|
|National Liberal||Michael Heseltine||9,837||24.0||+2.9|
|Plaid Cymru||John Gwyn Griffiths||3,744||9.1||―1.5|
Elections in the 1960s
|National Liberal||J Huw P. Griffiths||8,822||22.5||―1.5|
|Plaid Cymru||John Gwyn Griffiths||2,562||6.5||―2.6|
|Conservative||David R. O. Lewis||8,852||22.8||+0.3|
Elections in the 1970s
|Conservative||Michael J. Carter||9,435||22.6||―0.2|
|Plaid Cymru||Clifford G. Davies||5,869||14.0||N/A|
|Conservative||D F R George||8,780||19.4||―3.2|
|Plaid Cymru||J N Harris||3,741||8.3||―5.7|
|Conservative||D F R George||8,863||20.3||+0.9|
|Plaid Cymru||M Powell||4,369||10.0||+1.7|
|Plaid Cymru||E Thomas||3,357||7.2||―2.8|
Elections in the 1980s
|Plaid Cymru||Ieuan Owen||3,431||8.7||+1.5|
|Computer Democrat||John Donovan||125||0.3||N/A|
|Civil Rights/Welsh Political Prisoner||David Burns||103||0.3||N/A|
|Conservative||A R T Kenyon||15,767||35.3||+4.7|
|Plaid Cymru||N Williams||1,444||3.2||―4.0|
|Plaid Cymru||Jonathan Edwards||1,341||2.8||―0.4|
Elections in the 1990s
|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|
|Raving Loony Green Giant Party||Gerry P. Egan||114||0.2||N/A|
|Natural Law||Michael S. Beresford||74||0.2||N/A|
|Liberal Democrats||Howard W. Evans||5,624||13.0||+3.1|
|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|
Elections in the 21st Century
Elections in the 2000s
|Liberal Democrats||Sheila Waye||4,507||12.1||―0.9|
|Plaid Cymru||Siân Caiach||3,865||10.3||+5.2|
|Socialist Labour||Darran Hickery||417||1.1||N/A|
|Liberal Democrats||Nick Tregoning||7,291||18.4||+6.3|
|Plaid Cymru||Sian Caiach||3,089||7.8||―2.5|
Elections in the 2010s
|Liberal Democrats||Mike Day||7,947||19.1||+0.6|
|Plaid Cymru||Darren Price||2,760||6.6||―1.2|
|Plaid Cymru||Darren Thomas||3,051||7.1||+0.5|
|Liberal Democrats||Mike Sheehan||1,552||3.6||―15.5|
|Monster Raving Loony||Baron Barnes Von Claptrap||253||0.6||N/A|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing||+3.3|
Of the 57 rejected ballots:
- 40 were either unmarked or it was uncertain who the vote was for.
- 17 voted for more than one candidate.
|Plaid Cymru||Harri Roberts||1,669||3.7||―3.4|
|Liberal Democrats||Howard W. Evans||931||2.0||―1.6|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||+3.6|
|Plaid Cymru||John Davies||2,288||5.1||+1.4|
|Liberal Democrats||Sam Bennett||2,236||5.0||+3.0|
|Brexit Party||Rob Ross||1,379||3.1||New|
Of the 122 rejected ballots:
- 90 were either unmarked or it was uncertain who the vote was for.
- 32 voted for more than one candidate.
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