Welsh Conservative Party

Welsh Conservative Party
Welsh Conservatives
Ceidwadwyr Cymru
Leader in the House of Commons David Cameron MP
Leader in the Welsh Assembly Andrew RT Davies[1]
Founded 1921
Headquarters 4 Penlline Road
Cardiff, Wales
CF14 2XS
Ideology Conservatism,
British unionism
Political position Centre-right
International affiliation International Democrat Union
European affiliation Movement for European Reform
European Parliament Group European Conservatives and Reformists
Official colours Blue
House of Commons
Welsh Assembly
European Parliament
Local government in Wales
Politics of Wales
Political parties

The Welsh Conservatives & Unionists (Welsh: Ceidwadwyr Cymru), informally the Welsh Conservatives or Welsh Tories, are the part of the Conservative Party which operates in Wales. In UK 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 Election since its formation in 1921 (and in every such election since 1931).[2] In Welsh Assembly elections the Welsh Conservatives are currently the second most supported party, having overtaken Plaid Cymru in the 2011 election.

The Welsh Conservatives have one of four Welsh seats in the European Parliament, eight of 40 Welsh seats in the UK Parliament and 14 of 60 seats in the National Assembly for Wales.



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 oppossed, 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 unoppossed. 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.

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 RT Davies (South Wales Central) against Nick Ramsay (Momouthshire). 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

European Parliament Elections

Year Percentage of vote in Wales Seats won
1979 36.6% 1 (of 4)
1984 25.4% 1 (of 4)
1989 23.5% 0 (of 4)
1994 14.6% 0 (of 5)
1999 22.8% 1 (of 5)
2004 19.4% 1 (of 4)
2009 21.2% 1 (of 4)

UK General Elections

Year Percentage of vote in Wales Seats won
1922 21.4% 6 (of 36)
1923 21% 4 (of 36)
1924 28.3% 9 (of 36)
1929 21.9% 1 (of 36)
1931 22.1% 6 (of 36)
1935 23.3% 6 (of 36)
1945 16.5% 3 (of 36)
1950 21% 3 (of 36)
1951 27.6% 5 (of 36)
1955 26.7% 5 (of 36)
1959 29.6% 6 (of 36)
1964 27.6% 6 (of 36)
1966 27% 3 (of 36)
1970 27.7% 7 (of 36)
1974 (Feb) 25.9% 8 (of 36)
1974 (Oct) 23.9% 8 (of 36)
1979 32.2% 11 (of 36)
1983 31% 14 (of 38)
1987 29.5% 8 (of 38)
1992 28.6% 6 (of 38)
1997 19.6% 0 (of 40)
2001 21% 0 (of 40)
2005 21.4% 3 (of 40)
2010 27.1% 8 (of 40)

Welsh Assembly Elections

Year Percentage of vote (constituency) Percentage of vote (regional) Seats won (constituency) Seats won (regional)
1999 15.8% 16.5% 1 (of 40) 8 (of 20)
2003 19.9% 19.2% 1 (of 40) 10 (of 20)
2007 22.4% 21.4% 5 (of 40) 7 (of 20)
2011 25.0% 22.5% 6 (of 40) 8 (of 20)


  1. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-14143317
  2. ^ Jones, B, Welsh Elections 1885 - 1997(1999), Lolfa
  3. ^ Melding, D, Have We Been Anti-Welsh? The Conservative Party and the Welsh Nation (2005), Cymdeithas Y Kymberiaid
  4. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/415784.stm
  5. ^ BBC News - Labour agrees historic coalition

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