Welsh Conservative Party

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Welsh Conservatives
Ceidwadwyr Cymreig
Leader in the Welsh Assembly Andrew RT Davies AM
Founded 1921
Headquarters Rhymney House
Cardiff Gate Business Park
Cardiff, Wales
CF23 8RB
Ideology Conservatism
Economic liberalism
British unionism
Euroscepticism
Political position Centre-right
National affiliation Conservative Party
European affiliation Movement for European Reform
International affiliation International Democrat Union
European Parliament group European Conservatives and Reformists
Colours Blue
House of Commons (Welsh seats)
11 / 40
Welsh Assembly
12 / 60
European Parliament (Welsh seats)
1 / 4
Local government in Wales
105 / 1,264
Website
www.welshconservatives.com

The Welsh Conservatives (Welsh: Ceidwadwyr Cymreig), also known as the Welsh Conservative Party (Plaid Geidwadol Cymru), are the part of the Conservative and Unionist Party that operates in Wales. In United Kingdom general elections it is the second most popular political party in Wales, having obtained the second largest share of the vote in Wales in a majority of UK general elections since its formation in 1921 (and in every such election since 1931).[1] In Welsh Assembly elections the Welsh Conservatives were the third most supported party, having been overtaken by Plaid Cymru in the 2016 election; although following a defection from Plaid Cymru to Labour, and a defection from UKIP to the Conservatives, they are now the second largest party in the Assembly.

The Welsh Conservatives have one of four Welsh seats in the European Parliament, eleven of forty Welsh seats in the UK Parliament and twelve of sixty seats in the National Assembly for Wales.

At the 2015 general election, the party saw its best election for thirty years. Amongst the constituencies gained was Gower, a seat held by Labour for over a century.[2]

History[edit]

The Welsh Conservatives were formed (as the Wales and Monmouthshire Conservative and Unionist Council) in 1921 by the merger of the three existing Welsh Provincial Associations of the Party's National Union.[3] For much of their history they were dominated by the party in England, even to the extent of supplying the Welsh Secretaries of State. It was after the Assembly came to be established in 1999, which their members opposed, that they adjusted to becoming more of a Welsh orientated party. Their first Welsh Assembly leader, the former Welsh Office Minister Rod Richards, showed a combative style of politics against the Labour Assembly government. Richards subsequently resigned shortly after the Assembly had become established in response to allegations of an assault, from which he was later cleared.[4] Nicholas Bourne, a law professor and former leader of the No campaign in the Welsh Assembly referendum then became the leader, in an election that was unopposed. From 1999-2007 the party remained firmly in opposition in Wales, opposed to forming an alliance with other political parties. This changed in 2007 when the Welsh Conservatives were briefly involved in coalition talks after the indecisive 2007 Welsh election on a "rainbow coalition" with the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru which collapsed after the Liberal Democrats backed out. Plaid Cymru ruled itself out of having a coalition with the Conservatives on an ideological basis. Plaid Cymru and Labour eventually formed the government under the terms of their One Wales agreement.[5] As a result of the agreement, the Conservatives, the largest opposition party, became the Official Opposition in the Welsh Assembly.

Previous logo for the party

In the otherwise mainly successful Welsh Assembly elections of 2011 the long serving Welsh Conservative Party leader, Nicholas Bourne (2000–2011) lost his regional list seat in Mid and West Wales. He had been the longest serving of the party political leaders in the Welsh Assembly. The Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Paul Davies then became the interim leader whilst an election took place. The contest then consisted of Andrew R.T. Davies (South Wales Central) against Nick Ramsay (Monmouthshire). Andrew RT Davies won with some 53.1 per cent of the vote on a 49 per cent turnout of the party's Welsh membership. Also in the post May 2011 Welsh Assembly elections period David Melding (South Wales Central) was elected as the Deputy Presiding Officer for the Welsh Assembly. The first time a Conservative had held this post.

Electoral performance[edit]

Local elections[edit]

Year Votes  % +/- Overall control of Councils +/- Seats +/-
1993 84,909 12.5% ? 0 ? 32 ??
1995 75,448 8.1% Decrease4.4% 0 Steady 42 Increase10
1999 99,565 10.1% Increase2.0% 0 Steady 75 Increase33
2004 99,991 11.0% Increase0.9% 1 Increase1 107 Increase32
2008 148,708 15.6% Increase4.6% 2 Increase 2 165 Increase19
2012* 108,365 12.8% Decrease2.8% 0 Decrease2 105 Decrease66
2017 tbc tbc Steady 0 Steady tbc Steady

*The 2012 figures excludes Anglesey which was elected in 2013 although the change in seats and votes shown is a direct comparison between the 2008 and 2012 figures in the 21 councils up for election. The 2017 figures are based on changes from the 2012 & 2013 elections.

European Parliament Elections[edit]

Year Share of votes Seats
1979 36.6%
1 / 4
1984 25.4%
1 / 4
1989 23.5%
0 / 4
1994 14.6%
0 / 5
1999 22.8%
1 / 5
2004 19.4%
1 / 4
2009 21.2%
1 / 4
2014 17.4%
1 / 4

UK General Elections[edit]

Year Share of votes Seats
1922 21.4%
6 / 36
1923 21%
4 / 36
1924 28.3%
9 / 36
1929 21.9%
1 / 36
1931 22.1%
6 / 36
1935 23.3%
6 / 36
1945 16.5%
3 / 36
1950 21%
3 / 36
1951 27.6%
5 / 36
1955 26.7%
5 / 36
1959 29.6%
6 / 36
1964 27.6%
6 / 36
1966 27%
3 / 36
1970 27.7%
7 / 36
1974 (Feb) 25.9%
8 / 36
1974 (Oct) 23.9%
8 / 36
1979 32.2%
11 / 36
1983 31%
14 / 38
1987 29.5%
8 / 38
1992 28.6%
6 / 38
1997 19.6%
0 / 40
2001 21%
0 / 40
2005 21.4%
3 / 40
2010 26.1%
8 / 40
2015 27.2%
11 / 40

Welsh Assembly Elections[edit]

Year Share of votes (constituency) Share of votes (regional) Seats (constituency) Seats (regional) Seats (total) Government
1999 15.8% 16.5%
1 / 40
8 / 20
9 / 60
Opposition
2003 19.9% 19.2%
1 / 40
10 / 20
11 / 60
Opposition
2007 22.4% 21.4%
5 / 40
7 / 20
12 / 60
Opposition
2011 25.0% 22.5%
6 / 40
8 / 20
14 / 60
Opposition
2016 21.1% 18.8%
6 / 40
5 / 20
11 / 60
Opposition

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, B, Welsh Elections 1885 - 1997(1999), Lolfa
  2. ^ Election 2015: Best Welsh Tory election for 30 years, 8 May 2015 BBC News
  3. ^ Melding, D, Have We Been Anti-Welsh? The Conservative Party and the Welsh Nation (2005), Cymdeithas Y Kymberiaid
  4. ^ "Welsh Tory leader resigns". BBC News. 1999-08-11. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  5. ^ "Labour agrees historic coalition". BBC News. 2007-07-06. Retrieved 2011-12-20.