Caernarfon (UK Parliament constituency)


Caernarfon (UK Parliament constituency)

UK constituency infobox alt
Name = Caernarfon


Type = County
Entity = Wales
DivisionType = Preserved county
Division = Gwynedd
Year = 1536
MP = Hywel Williams
Party = Plaid Cymru
EP = Wales

Caernarfon is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Known as Carnarvon until 1832, and then as the Carnarvon Boroughs or Carnarvon District of Boroughs from 1832 to 1950 and as Caernarvon from 1950 to 1983, it is named after Caernarfon, the main town within the constituency. Its most famous member was David Lloyd George, who was MP for 55 years. When Lloyd George became prime minister in 1916 it became the first Welsh constituency to be represented by a serving prime minister.
Plaid Cymru have held the seat continuously since 1974, longer than they have held any other seat.

Boundaries

The constituency names, in this section, follow the format and the spelling used by F.W.S. Craig in his "British Parliamentary Election Results" series. Variations may be found in other sources.

Caernarvon 1536-1832

On the basis of information from several volumes of the "History of Parliament", it is apparent that the history of the borough representation from Wales and Monmouthshire is more complicated than that of the English boroughs.

The Laws in Wales Act 1535 (26 Hen. VIII, c. 26) provided for a single borough seat for each of 11 of the 12 Welsh counties and Monmouthshire. The legislation, which was passed in 1536 using the modern civil year starting on 1 January, was ambiguous as to which communities were enfranchised. The county towns were awarded a seat, but this in some fashion represented all the ancient boroughs of the county as the others were required to contribute to the members wages. It was not clear if the burgesses of the contributing boroughs could take part in the election. The only election under the original scheme was for the 1542 Parliament. It seems that only burgesses from the county towns actually took part. An Act of 1544 (35 Hen. VIII, c. 11) confirmed that the contributing boroughs could send representatives to take part in the election at the county town. As far as can be told from surviving indentures of returns, the degree to which the out boroughs participated varied, but by the end of the sixteenth century all the seats had some participation from them at some elections at least.

The original scheme was modified by later legislation and decisions of the House of Commons (which were sometimes made with no regard to precedent or evidence: for example in 1728 it was decided that only the freemen of the borough of Montgomery could participate in the election for that seat, thus disenfranchising the freemen of Llanidloes, Welshpool and Llanfyllin).

In the case of Caernarvonshire (now Caernafonshire), the county town was Caernarvon (now known as Caernarfon). The out boroughs were Conway (now Conwy), Criccieth (or Cricieth), Nevin (now known as Nefyn), and Pwllheli. The freemen of the five boroughs were entitled to vote. In the 1715-1754 period there were estimated to be about 1,600 freemen, of whom about 1,200 were non resident. Later in the eighteenth century the estimated electorate was about 1,000 freemen.

Caernarvon Boroughs 1832-1950

The Caernarvon Boroughs, was a district of boroughs constituency, which grouped a number of parliamentary boroughs in Caernarvonshire into one single member constituency. The voters in each participating borough cast ballots, which were added together over the whole district to decide the result of the poll. The enfranchised communities in this district, from 1832, were the six boroughs of Caernarvon, Bangor, Conway, Criccieth, Nevin, and Pwllheli.

The exact boundaries of the parliamentary boroughs in the district were altered by the Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1868, but the general nature of the constituency was unchanged. There were no further boundary changes in the 1885 redistribution of parliamentary seats.

In 1918 the constituency was re-defined, so that it included the then local government areas of the Municipal Boroughs of Bangor, Caernarvon, Conway, and Pwllheli; the Urban Districts of Criccieth, Llandudno, Llanfairfechan, and Penmaenmawr as well as the Lleyn Rural District.

In 1918-1950 the administrative county of Caernarvonshire had been divided into two seats - Caernarvon Boroughs and a Caernarvonshire county constituency. The territory of the borough seat was enclaved within the county constituency. Different local authorities, included in the borough constituency, were not necessarily adjoining.

Caernarvon 1950-1983

The redistribution, which took effect in 1950, created two Caernarvonshire county divisions - Caernarvon in the south-western two thirds of the county and Conway (later spelt Conwy) in the north-eastern third. The new divisions included territory which had come from both of the two old seats.

The local authorities, whose territories were combined to form the constituency in 1950, were the Municipal Boroughs of Caernarvon, and Pwllheli; the Urban Districts of Criccieth, and Portmadoc; as well as the Rural Districts of Gwyrfai and Lleyn. This arrangement was not altered by the redistribution which took effect in February 1974, which was based on the pre-1974 local government boundaries.

From 1 April 1974, a new pattern of counties was created in Wales. This constituency became part of the county of Gwynedd.

Caernarfon from 1983

In the redistribution of 1983, the spelling of the official name of the constituency was changed. The constituency boundary was unchanged, but it was redefined in terms of the local authorities created in 1974. It comprised the Borough of Arfon wards numbered 8 to 12 and 16 to 29, together with the District of Dwyfor.

In 1996 Welsh local government was again reorganised. Arfon and Dwyfor became part of a Gwynedd unitary authority.

The Parliamentary Constituencies (Wales) Order 1995, based on the pre-1996 local authority areas, came into effect in 1997. It defined this constituency as:-

(i) The following wards of the Borough of Arfon, namely, Bethel, Bontnewydd, Cadnant, Deiniolen, Llanberis, Llandwrog, Llanllyfni, Llanrug, Llanwnda, Menai (Caernarfon), Peb-lig, Penisarwaun, Penygroes, Seiont, Talysarn, Waunfawr and Y Felinheli; and

(ii) the District of Dwyfor.

Following radical boundary changed undertaken by the Boundary Commission for Wales, this seat is to be abolished in time for the next United Kingdom election in 2009 or 2010. The Caernarfon seat is replaced by Arfon.

Members of Parliament

* - 1625 Edward Littleton Christopher W. Brooks, ‘Littleton, Edward, Baron Littleton (1589–1645)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 ]
*1625 - Robert Jones (brother-in-law of Edward Littleton)Christopher W. Brooks, ‘Littleton, Edward, Baron Littleton (1589–1645)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 ]

Elections

Elections in the 2000s

Election box begin
title=General Election 2005: Caernarfon
Election box candidate with party link
party = Plaid Cymru
candidate = Hywel Williams
votes = 12,747
percentage = 45.5
change = +1.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = Martin Eaglestone
votes = 7,538
percentage = 26.9
change = -5.4
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Democrats (UK)
candidate = Mel Ab-Owain
votes = 3,508
percentage = 12.5
change = +6.2
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Guy Opperman
votes = 3,483
percentage = 12.4
change = -2.8
Election box candidate with party link
party = United Kingdom Independence Party
candidate = Elwyn Williams
votes = 723
percentage = 2.6
change = +0.7
Election box majority
votes = 5,209
percentage = 18.6
change =
Election box turnout
votes = 27,999
percentage = 60.4
change = -1.6
Election box hold with party link
winner = Plaid Cymru
swing = +3.3

Election box begin
title=General Election 2001: Caernarfon
Election box candidate with party link
party = Plaid Cymru
candidate = Hywel Williams
votes = 12,894
percentage = 44.4
change = -6.7
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = Martin Eaglestone
votes = 9,383
percentage = 32.3
change = +2.8
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Bronwen Naish
votes = 4,403
percentage = 15.2
change = +2.9
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Democrats (UK)
candidate = Mel Ab-Owain
votes = 1,823
percentage = 6.3
change = +1.4
Election box candidate with party link
party = United Kingdom Independence Party
candidate = Ifor Lloyd
votes = 550
percentage = 1.9
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 3,511
percentage = 12.1
change =
Election box turnout
votes = 29,053
percentage = 62.0
change = -11.7
Election box hold with party link
winner = Plaid Cymru
swing =

Elections in the 1940s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = David Price-White
votes = 11,432
percentage = 32.9
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Seaborne Davies
votes = 11,096
percentage = 32.0
change = -43.2
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = W E E Jones
votes = 10,625
percentage = 30.6
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Plaid Cymru
candidate = J E Daniel
votes = 1,560
percentage = 4.5
change = -20.3
Election box majority
votes = 336
percentage = 0.9
change =
Election box turnout
votes = 34,713
percentage = 73.8
change = +15.0
Election box gain with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
loser = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Seaborne Davies
votes = 20,754
percentage = 75.2
change = +8.6
Election box candidate with party link
party = Plaid Cymru
candidate = J E Daniel
votes = 6,844
percentage = 24.8
change =
Election box majority
votes = 13,910
percentage = 50.4
change = +17.2
Election box turnout
votes = 27,598
percentage = 58.8
change = -18.6
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Elections in the 1930s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 19,242
percentage = 66.6
change = +7.3
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = A R P Du Cros
votes = 9,633
percentage = 33.4
change = -7.3
Election box majority
votes = 9,609
percentage = 33.2
change = +14.6
Election box turnout
votes = 28,873
percentage = 77.4
change = -2.9
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 17,101
percentage = 59.3
change = +1.3
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = F P Gourlay
votes = 11,714
percentage = 40.7
change = +14.5
Election box majority
votes = 5,387
percentage = 18.6
change = -13.2
Election box turnout
votes = 28,815
percentage = 80.3
change = -1.5
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Elections in the 1920s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 16,647
percentage = 58.0
change = -24.4
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = J B Davies
votes = 7,514
percentage = 26.2
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = T A Rhys
votes = 4,536
percentage = 15.8
change = -1.7
Election box majority
votes = 9,133
percentage = 31.8
change = -33.2
Election box turnout
votes = 28,697
percentage = 81.8
change = +4.8
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 16,058
percentage = 82.5
change = +19.4
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = Alfred Zimmern
votes = 3,401
percentage = 17.5
change =
Election box majority
votes = 12,657
percentage = 65.0
change = +38.8
Election box turnout
votes = 19,459
percentage = 77.0
change = -3.9
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 12,499
percentage = 63.1
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = A L Jones
votes = 7,323
percentage = 36.9
change =
Election box majority
votes = 5,176
percentage = 26.2
change =
Election box turnout
votes = 19,822
percentage = 80.9
change =
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

;General election of 1922In the 1922 UK general election, David Lloyd George, National Liberal was elected unopposed.

Elections in the 1910s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Coalition Liberal
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 13,993
percentage = 92.7
change = +30.7
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = A Harrison
votes = 1,095
percentage = 7.3
change =
Election box majority
votes = 12,898
percentage = 85.4
change = +61.4
Election box turnout
votes = 15,088
percentage = 63.4
change = -24.3
Election box hold with party link
winner = Coalition Liberal
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 3,112
percentage = 62.0
change = +1.8
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = A L Jones
votes = 1,904
percentage = 38.0
change = -1.8
Election box majority
votes = 1,208
percentage = 24.0
change = +3.6
Election box turnout
votes = 5,288
percentage = 87.7
change = -4.8
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 3,183
percentage = 60.2
change = -1.5
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = H C Vincent
votes = 2,105
percentage = 39.8
change = +1.5
Election box majority
votes = 1,078
percentage = 20.4
change = -3.0
Election box turnout
votes = 5,288
percentage = 92.5
change = +0.4
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Elections in the 1900s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 3,221
percentage = 61.7
change = +8.4
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = R A Naylor
votes = 1,997
percentage = 38.3
change = -8.4
Election box majority
votes = 1,224
percentage = 23.4
change = +16.8
Election box turnout
votes = 5,218
percentage = 92.1
change = +5.1
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 2,412
percentage = 53.3
change = +1.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = H Platt
votes = 2,116
percentage = 46.7
change = -1.1
Election box majority
votes = 296
percentage = 6.6
change = +2.2
Election box turnout
votes = 4,528
percentage = 87.0
change = -1.8
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Elections in the 1890s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 2,265
percentage = 52.2
change = -0.2
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = H J E Nalley
votes = 2,071
percentage = 47.8
change = +0.2
Election box majority
votes = 194
percentage = 4.4
change = -0.4
Election box turnout
votes = 4,336
percentage = 88.8
change = +1.7
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 2,154
percentage = 52.4
change = +2.2
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = J H Puleston
votes = 1,958
percentage = 47.6
change = -2.2
Election box majority
votes = 196
percentage = 4.8
change = +4.4
Election box turnout
votes = 4,112
percentage = 87.1
change = -2.4
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = David Lloyd George
votes = 1,963
percentage = 50.2
change = +2.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = H J E Nanney
votes = 1,945
percentage = 49.8
change = -2.1
Election box majority
votes = 18
percentage = 0.4
change =
Election box turnout
votes = 3,908
percentage = 89.5
change = +11.2
Election box gain with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
loser = Conservative Party (UK)
swing =

Elections in the 1880s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Edmund Swetenham
votes = 1,820
percentage = 51.9
change = +2.8
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Love Jones-Parry
votes = 1,684
percentage = 48.1
change = -2.8
Election box majority
votes = 136
percentage = 3.8
change =
Election box turnout
votes = 3,504
percentage = 78.3
change = -6.2
Election box gain with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
loser = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Love Jones-Parry
votes = 1,923
percentage = 50.9
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Edmund Swetenham
votes = 1,858
percentage = 49.1
change =
Election box majority
votes = 65
percentage = 1.8
change =
Election box turnout
votes = 3,781
percentage = 84.5
change =
Election box hold with party link
winner = Liberal Party (UK)
swing =

See also

* Caernarvon Boroughs by-election, 1945
* List of Parliamentary constituencies in Gwynedd

References

* "Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972", compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Reference Publications 1972)
* "British Parliamentary Constituencies: A Statistical Compendium", by Ivor Crewe and Anthony Fox (Faber and Faber 1984)
* "British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885", compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (The Macmillan Press 1977)
* F. W. S. Craig, "British Parliamentary Election Results 1885 - 1918"
* F. W. S. Craig, "British Parliamentary Election Results 1918 - 1949"
* "British Parliamentary Election Results 1950-1973", compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Research Services 1983)
* "The House of Commons 1509-1558", by S.T. Bindoff (Secker & Warburg 1982)
* "The House of Commons 1558-1603", by P.W. Hasler (HMSO 1981)
* "The House of Commons 1715-1754", by Romney Sedgwick (HMSO 1970)
* "The House of Commons 1754-1790", by Sir Lewis Namier and John Brooke (HMSO 1964)
* "The Parliaments of England" by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844-50), second edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973)
* [http://www.angeltowns.com/town/peerage/ccommons1.htm Historical list of MPs]


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