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Ceredigion (UK Parliament constituency)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Ceredigion in Wales
Preserved countyDyfed
Population75,922 (2011 census)[1]
Electorate57,556 (March 2014)[2]
Number of membersOne
Replaced byCeredigion and Pembroke North
Created fromCeredigion and Pembroke North
SeneddCeredigion, Mid and West Wales

Ceredigion (also Cardiganshire) is a parliamentary constituency[n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament.[n 2] Created in 1536, the franchise expanded in the late 19th century and on the enfranchisement of women. Its boundaries remained virtually unchanged until 1983. From 1536 until 1885 the area had two seats (electing MPs): a county constituency (Cardiganshire) comprising the rural areas, the other the borough constituency known as the Cardigan District of Boroughs comprising a few separate towns; in 1885 the latter was abolished, its towns and electors incorporated into the former, reduced to one MP. The towns which comprised the Boroughs varied slightly over this long period, but primarily consisted of Cardigan, Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Adpar, the latter now a suburb of Newcastle Emlyn across the Teifi, in Carmarthenshire.

The county constituency (a distinction from borough class remains, namely as to type of returning officer and permissible electoral expenses) was merged in 1983 with part of Pembrokeshire, making a new constituency named Ceredigion and Pembroke North. In 1997 it was recreated and its non-Anglicised name became its formal name, Ceredigion.

The Ceredigion Senedd constituency was created with the same boundaries in 1999 (as an Assembly constituency).


The boundaries of this constituency mirror almost exactly those of the county of Ceredigion.

Proposed constituency changes

Under proposed constituency boundary changes announced in September 2016, ahead of the then next general election, the seat's boundaries were to be extended. The seat, which has the proposed name of Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire, includes all of the current Ceredigion constituency, the northern part of the current Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency, a small part of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire around the village of Dre-fach Felindre, as well the south-western part of Montgomeryshire around Llanidloes.[3][4]


Ceredigion, formerly known by the anglicised version of its name as Cardiganshire, was first enfranchised in 1536 when King Henry VIII incorporated Wales within England. The county was given one member, who was to be elected by each person who owned property of a sufficient value. In addition the inhabitants of Cardigan, Aberystwyth, Adpar and Lampeter were given the right to elect one MP between them, with the vote restricted to the Freemen. The general election of 1715 saw the return of Lewis Pryse, who was expelled from the House of Commons in the following year for refusing to attend the House to take oaths of loyalty to King George I after the Jacobite rising, with which he sympathised.[5]

Reformed elections

From 1832 the Reform Act changed the electoral system so that householders of homes worth over £10 were enfranchised in the boroughs. The Borough constituency was still dominated by the Loveden-Pryse family based in Gogerddan who were supporters of the Liberals; Pryse Pryse held the seat unopposed from 1818 until his death in 1849, except for the 1841 election when he narrowly retained the seat after a controversial contest. The Cardiganshire county constituency, however, was dominated by the Powell family of Nanteos who were Conservatives. William Edward Powell held the seat from 1816 until shortly before his death in 1854. By agreement between the followers of Gogerddan and Nanteos, neither challenged the others' nomination and as a result there were no contested elections in the county until 1859.

Following Powell's retirement, the representation fell to Ernest Vaughan of Trawscoed, whose politics were Conservative.

The county saw its first contest in the 1859 general election when Colonel W.T.R. Powell of Nanteos sought to re-establish the family's claim to the county seat. He was opposed by Arthur Saunders-Davies of Pentre but prevailed by a narrow margin. Both candidates held conservative views but Powell sat as a Liberal-Conservative.

However, the era where Nanteos could claim the seat were numbered, and Sir Thomas Lloyd of Bronwydd was mooted as a potential Liberal candidate at the 1854 by-election,[6] and again at the General Elections of 1857[7] and 1859.[8]

By the 1865 general election, Powell had indicated some twelve months prior to the election that he would retire and Lloyd of Bronwydd was selected as the Liberal candidate. However, when Powell reversed his decision, Lloyd issued an address stating that he would not oppose the sitting member. The result was that both Henry Richard and David Davies offered themselves as candidates. A selection meeting was arranged to be held at Aberaeron, but shortly before this took place, Powell announced his retirement. Lloyd now stated that he would now fight the seat after all and Richard withdrew in his favour. David Davies, however, did not withdraw and came within 361 votes of victory.[9]

Lloyd transferred to the borough in the 1868 election when the seat was captured by Swansea industrialist, E.M. Richards. This election is often regarded as a landmark when tenant farmers allegedly refused to follow patterns of age-old deference and vote in line with the wishes of their landlords. Following this election there were claims of intimidation by Conservative landlords and a national fund was set up to support those purportedly evicted from their farms. In reality, however, Richards' victory owed much to the support of the powerful Pryse family of Gogerddan.

In 1874, the Conservative candidate Thomas Edward Lloyd of Coedmore captured the seat for the Conservatives, defeating Richards by 215 votes. The result was greeted with disbelief in Liberal ranks, particularly since the introduction of the secret ballot was expected to have favoured the Liberals.[10] However, the Conservatives had chosen a candidate who was popular in his locality and not been involved in conflicts with his tenants. The Liberals were also caught unprepared for the contest, with Lloyd's candidature kept secret until nomination day.[11] Much capital was also made of the fact that Lloyd was a Cardiganshire man, in contrast to Richards, a Swansea industrialist.[12] The result was reversed in 1880 although there were close contests for the county thereafter, on a slightly widened franchise.

Single constituency

In a redistribution of seats for the 1885 general election, the borough constituency was abolished and absorbed into the county. This brought into the county seat the more radical politics of urban voters in the boroughs of Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Lampeter and Adpar. More significantly, the further widening of the franchise in 1884 added between five and six thousand new voters to the register by extending the pattern of household suffrage to the counties. The majority of these voters would have been tenant farmers, the more prosperous agricultural labourers, and householders in small towns or large villages such as Tregaron, Aberaeron, New Quay, Aberporth, Tal-y-bont and Borth, which had not been part of the old Cardigan Boroughs constituency. The impact of the widening of the franchise and boundary changes was to increase the electorate from 5,026 in 1883 to 12,308 by 1886.[13] It was assumed that these changes would make the county a reasonably safe bet for the Liberal Party and that supporters of Gladstone would be comfortably returned at every election. These structural changes to the political arrangements of the county were also taking place against wider social and economic developments which affected all aspects of Cardiganshire life. Traditional industries were in decline, agriculture was increasingly in crisis and it was becoming increasingly difficult for a still-increasing population to earn a living within their native parishes and communities. As a result, there were two major consequences. Firstly there was a significant population shift as a result of emigration, in the majority of cases to the south Wales valleys. Secondly, the great landed estates of the county, which had for so long dominated the politics of the county, were in many cases heavily in debt. This second factor contributed to the loss of landowner influence in the politics of the county, a trend that became very apparent at the first elections to the Cardiganshire County Council.[14]

Initially, the predictions that Gladstonian Liberals would dominate county politics were realised, in 1885, David Davies was elected to represent the constituency with a majority of 2,323 (24.2%) on a turnout of 78%, heavily defeating the Conservative, Matthew Vaughan Davies. Although David Davies was no public speaker, he drew substantial support in Cardiganshire as a generous benefactor of the new university college at Aberystwyth and also through his links with Calvinistic Methodism, which had over 13,000 members in the county. Allied to this was a particularly effective Liberal association which paid close attention to the registration of voters.[15]

In 1886, however, Davies broke with Gladstone over home rule for Ireland in 1886 and a number of his associates such as Robert J. Davies, Cwrtmawr followed him into the Liberal Unionist camp.[16] He sought re-election as a Liberal Unionist but lost by 9 votes to William Bowen Rowlands, who was the Gladstonian candidate. This election split the Liberal Party in Cardiganshire and the election was hotly contested with almost all the landowners, including those previously regarded as having Liberal sympathies, supporting Davies. He also received the support of several prominent Liberals, especially from his own Methodist denomination.[17] The result of the election was largely attributed to the influence of nonconformist ministers over their congregations, although the more effective canvassing of supporters by the Liberal Association was also identified as an important factor.[18]

Even though Bowen Rowlands's victory was by the closest of margins it was a decisive moment in the political history of Cardiganshire. It proved that a Gladstonian Liberal candidate, even an Anglican with strong Irish Nationalist sympathies, could triumph in Cardiganshire even against the resources and religious connections of a candidate such as David Davies. Although Liberal Unionism continued to be championed by a relatively small group, led by the journalist Henry Tobit Evans, who published a newspaper, Y Brython, at Lampeter, most of the leading Liberals who had defected to Davies eventually returned to the fold, in some cases to contest the 1889 County Council elections. The demise of Liberal Unionism was confirmed at the 1892 general election when, William Jones, a self-made Birmingham draper who had a small estate in Cardiganshire and was a member of the Cardiganshire County Council ran with the support of Joseph Chamberlain. Chamberlain had sponsored a number of Nonconformist unionist candidates in Wales in the hope of capitalising upon perceived antipathy towards Irish Nationalism. Despite spending heavily and producing a farmer evicted at the 1868 Election on his platform, Jones was heavily defeated by Bowen Rowlands.[19] Rowlands served until 1895.

Once Rowlands's intention not to stand again was known, Matthew Vaughan Davies of Tan-y-Bwlch, who had been the Conservative candidate in the seat in 1885, but who had subsequently joined the Liberal Party, emerged as a contender for the nomination and was eventually chosen by a delegate conference, defeating Wynford Phillips by 160 votes to 111.[20] The choice of Vaughan Davies was controversial and was strongly opposed by the Aberystwyth-based Cambrian News on the basis of his former association with the Conservative Party. Indeed, the paper went as far as to equate the division with that of 1886.[21] There is no doubt that the choice of Vaughan Davies created deep divisions in the Liberal ranks.[22] However, despite these divisions he saw off a strong Conservative candidate by a comfortable if reduced majority.

Matthew Vaughan-Davies was the longest serving MP for the constituency, holding it from 1895 to 1921. His closest electoral call came in the 'Khaki election' of 1900 when he had a majority of 781 (9.4%) over J.C. Harford of Falcondale. Thereafter, Vaughan Davies was comfortably returned at each election but the vitality of the Liberal Association was in serious decline. During this time the Cambrian News had tempered its opposition to him and grudgingly admitted that Vaughan-Davies had won friends and supporteres by his adherence to Liberal policies.[23]

By 1914 the Liberal Association was heavily dependent on Vaughan Davies's role as treasurer to keep it going. In the meantime, Vaughan Davies remained on poor terms with prominent Liberals, including John Gibson, editor of the Cambrian News until his death in 1915.[24]

Like most Welsh Liberals, he supported David Lloyd George in the split in the Liberal Party, and not H. H. Asquith, and was therefore returned unopposed as a Coalition Liberal in 1918.

Liberal infighting (1921–1950)

In many ways the Liberals had become the new elite in Cardiganshire by the time of the First World War. This was demonstrated in 1919 when John Humphreys Davies, the nonconformist squire of Cwrtmawr, was appointed Principal of the University College, Aberystwyth, at the expense of Thomas Jones, who was championed by Lord Davies of Llandinam, grandson of David Davies.[25]

With Vaughan Davies known to be a supporter of Lloyd George, it was natural that Lloyd George looked to him to boost his support in the House of Lords and awarded him a peerage in the New Years' Honours list in 1921. Although he would have preferred to be called 'Lord Ceredigion', the Garter King of Arms refused this as an inappropriate title for a Baron, and so Vaughan Davies took his title from the River Ystwyth which ran past his home. The peerage created a vacancy in a historically Liberal seat and the Asquithites decided to take the Lloyd Georgeites on in their 'backyard' in what became a memorable by-election.

Ernest Evans, who asserted on his election posters that he was 'THE Liberal candidate', was a Barrister from Aberystwyth and had been Private Secretary to Lloyd George himself, and therefore had the blessing of the Coalition and official support from the Conservatives. A number of possible Asquithian Liberal candidates were approached to contest the seat against Evans and eventually the choice fell upon W. Llewelyn Williams who was sponsored by the Asquithite 'Welsh Liberal Federation'. No other candidate stood and in the straight fight, Evans won with a majority of 3,590 (14.6%).[26]

Evans held on as a 'National Liberal' (as Lloyd George's supporters called themselves) in the 1922 general election but with a slim majority of 515 votes (2.0%) over Rhys Hopkin Morris.

The sudden shotgun merger of the two factions in the Liberal Party led to Evans getting the official approval of the unified party for the 1923 election. However, the Conservatives decided to fight and this deprived him of their votes. Hopkin Morris decided to fight again as an unofficial Liberal and won with a 5,078 vote majority. Hopkin Morris was lucky to survive the 1924 election, a disaster for the Liberals, by being returned unopposed.

The first Labour Party candidate stood against Rhys Hopkin Morris at the 1931 general election and polled 24% of the vote in a straight fight against Morris, who had a 13,752 (52.0%) majority.

In 1932, Morris left Parliament temporarily (he was later to return as MP for Carmarthen) when he was appointed as a Metropolitan Police magistrate. The byelection on 22 September 1932 saw the first three-way fight between the parties, but was won by Owen Evans for the Liberals. Like many of the Liberal MPs he had been a barrister. Evans died shortly before the 1945 general election, but the seat was easily held by his successor Roderic Bowen. Unusually the Labour vote actually fell in percentage terms compared with the previous election despite the Labour landslide in the country at large.

Labour challenge (1950–1972)

Labour established itself as the main challenger to the Liberals at the 1950 general election in a three-way contest, and the Conservatives opted out of the contest thereafter until 1964. This was partly a move to keep the seat from going Labour. Plaid Cymru first fought the seat in 1959 and kept their deposit (just, with 12.8% of the vote).

With a four-way contest involving the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru at the 1964 general election, and a national swing to Labour, Roderic Bowen suffered a precipitate decline in his share of the vote to only 38.4%; he was re-elected with a majority of 2,219 (7.4%) over Labour. After the death of the Speaker in 1965, Bowen accepted the offer to become a Deputy Speaker, which prevented him from speaking on behalf of his constituency. For the 1966 election, Labour selected Elystan Morgan who had been a member of Plaid Cymru until 1964; with a further national swing and Morgan making a credible bid for the Welsh-speaking vote, Labour won the seat by 523 votes.

1974 onwards

In boundary changes in 1983, the constituency was merged with a northern area of Pembrokeshire and also took a Welsh version of its name, becoming known as Ceredigion and Pembroke North.

Ceredigion was recreated for the 1997 election as it reverted to its former borders, having lost the part of North Pembrokeshire in boundary changes.

Mark Williams, first elected in 2005, was the first non-Welsh speaking Member of Parliament elected to represent the constituency since Bowen Rowlands (MP from 1886 until 1892, who declared at a meeting in Aberystwyth when adopted as candidate that he could not speak Welsh).[27] At the 2010 general election, he received a massive increase in his vote, polling over 50% of the votes cast and raising his majority from 219 to 8,324 over the Plaid Cymru candidate, Penri James.

In 2015, Williams suffered a decline of over 14% in his vote share, in common with other Liberal Democrat incumbents across the UK. However, after a campaign which made national headlines due to prior controversial comments by both the Plaid Cymru[28] and Labour[29] candidates, Plaid Cymru were unable to capitalise as their vote share went down slightly. The Conservative vote also declined, while UKIP, Labour and the Greens all improved on their 2010 performance. Williams retained the seat to become the only Liberal Democrat MP in Wales, and one of only eight across the UK.

In 2017, Williams lost his seat to Ben Lake by 104 votes (0.2%). Labour moved from fifth to third in the seat and were roughly 3,000 votes behind Williams and Lake, their best result in Ceredigion since 1997, and the Tories fell to fourth but increased their vote by more than 3,000. The 29.2% won by Plaid Cymru in 2017 was the lowest winning vote share of the election and the only seat won with less than 30% of the vote. At the 2019 General Election Lake substantially increased both his majority and vote share, with the Liberal Democrats falling to third place.

Members of Parliament

MPs 1541–1640

Parliament Member
1541–1543 Morgan ap Rice ap Philip
1543–1544 Thomas Gynns
1545–1547 David ap Llewellin Lloid of Llan Dissill
1547 William Devereux
1553 (Mar) James Williams
1553 (Oct) John Pryse II
1554 (Apr) John Pryse II
1554 (Nov) James Williams
1555 Sir Henry Jones of Abermarlais
1558 Sir Henry Jones of Abermarlais
1563 John Pryse
1571 John Pryse
1572 John Pryse
1584 Richard Pryse
1586 Griffith Lloyd
1588 Richard Pryse
1593 Richard Pryse
1597 Thomas Pryse
1601 Richard Pryse
1604–1611 Sir John Lewis
1614–1622 Sir Richard Pryse
1625–1629 James Lewis
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned

MPs after 1640

Short Parliament

Long Parliament

Cardiganshire was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament

First Protectorate Parliament

Second Protectorate Parliament

Third Protectorate Parliament

Year Member[30][31] Party
April 1660 Sir Richard Pryse, 2nd Baronet
1661 Sir John Vaughan
1669 Edward Vaughan
1685 John Lewis
1690 Sir Carbery Pryse, 4th Baronet (died 1694)
1694 John Vaughan, 1st Viscount Lisburne
1698 John Lewis
February 1701 Sir Humphrey Mackworth
December 1701 Lewis Pryse Tory
1702 Sir Humphrey Mackworth
1705 John Pugh
1708 Lewis Pryse Tory
1710 Sir Humphrey Mackworth
1713 Thomas Johnes Whig
1715 Lewis Pryse[32] Tory
1718 Owen Brigstocke
1722 Francis Cornwallis Tory
1727 John Vaughan, 2nd Viscount Lisburne Whig
1734 Walter Lloyd (1678–1747) Whig
1742 Thomas Powell Tory
1747 John Lloyd Whig
1755 Hon. Wilmot Vaughan
1761 John Pugh Pryse
1768 Wilmot Vaughan, 1st Earl of Lisburne Tory[33]
1796 Thomas Johnes Whig[33]
1816 William Edward Powell Tory[33]
1834 Conservative[33]
1854 by-election Ernest Vaughan, 4th Earl of Lisburne Conservative
1859 William Thomas Rowland Powell Conservative
1865 Sir Thomas Lloyd, 1st Baronet Liberal
1868 Evan Mathew Richards Liberal
1874 Thomas Edward Lloyd Conservative
1880 Lewis Pugh Pugh Liberal
1885 David Davies Liberal
1886 William Bowen Rowlands Liberal
1895 Matthew Vaughan-Davies Liberal
1921 by-election Ernest Evans Coalition Liberal
1923 Rhys Hopkin Morris Independent Liberal
1932 by-election Owen Evans Liberal
1945 Roderic Bowen Liberal
1966 Elystan Morgan Labour
1974 Geraint Howells Liberal
1983 Seat abolished; see Ceredigion and Pembroke North
1997 Seat recreated
1997 Cynog Dafis Plaid Cymru
2000 by-election Simon Thomas Plaid Cymru
2005 Mark Williams Liberal Democrat
2017 Ben Lake Plaid Cymru


Elections in the 19th century

Elections in the 1830s

General election 1830: Cardiganshire [33][34]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory William Edward Powell Unopposed
Registered electors
Tory hold
General election 1831: Cardiganshire [33][34]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory William Edward Powell Unopposed
Registered electors
Tory hold
General election 1832: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory William Edward Powell Unopposed
Registered electors 1,184
Tory hold
General election 1835: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Edward Powell Unopposed
Registered electors 1,352
Conservative hold
General election 1837: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Edward Powell Unopposed
Registered electors 1,788
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1840s

General election 1841: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Edward Powell Unopposed
Registered electors 2,060
Conservative hold
General election 1847: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Edward Powell Unopposed
Registered electors 2,278
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1850s

General election 1852: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Edward Powell Unopposed
Registered electors 2,235
Conservative hold
1854 Cardiganshire by-election[35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ernest Vaughan Unopposed
Registered electors
Conservative hold
General election 1857: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ernest Vaughan Unopposed
Registered electors 2,723
Conservative hold
General election 1859: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Thomas Rowland Powell 1,070 53.6 N/A
Liberal Arthur Henry Saunders Davies[36] 928 46.4 N/A
Majority 142 7.2 N/A
Turnout 1,998 77.3 N/A
Registered electors 2,586
Conservative hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1860s

General election 1865: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Thomas Lloyd 1,510 56.8 N/A
Liberal David Davies 1,149 43.2 N/A
Majority 361 13.6 N/A
Turnout 2,659 75.5 -1.8
Registered electors 3,520
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing N/A
General election 1868: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Evan Matthew Richards 2,074 52.0 N/A
Conservative Edmund Mallet Vaughan[37] 1,918 48.0 N/A
Majority 156 4.0 -9.6
Turnout 3,992 78.0 +2.5
Registered electors 5,115
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1870s

General election 1874: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Thomas Edward Lloyd 1,850 53.1 +5.1
Liberal Evan Matthew Richards 1,635 46.9 -5.1
Majority 215 6.2 N/A
Turnout 3,485 78.5 +0.5
Registered electors 4,438
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +5.1

Elections in the 1880s

General election 1880: Cardiganshire [35]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Lewis Pugh Pugh 2,406 60.0 +13.1
Conservative Thomas Edward Lloyd 1,605 40.0 -13.1
Majority 801 20.0 N/A
Turnout 4,011 82.2 +3.7
Registered electors 4,882
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +13.1
General election 1885: Cardiganshire [38][39][40]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal David Davies 5,967 62.1 +2.1
Conservative Matthew Vaughan-Davies 3,644 37.9 -2.1
Majority 2,323 24.2 +4.2
Turnout 9,611 78.1 -4.1
Registered electors 12,308
Liberal hold Swing +2.1
General election 1886: Cardiganshire[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal William Bowen Rowlands 4,252 50.1 -12.0
Liberal Unionist David Davies 4,243 49.9 +12.0
Majority 9 0.2 -24.0
Turnout 8,495 69.0 -9.1
Registered electors 12,308
Liberal hold Swing -12.0

Elections in the 1890s

General election 1892: Cardiganshire[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal William Bowen Rowlands 5,233 61.5 +11.4
Liberal Unionist William Jones[41] 3,270 38.5 -11.4
Majority 1,963 23.0 +22.8
Turnout 8,503 64.6 -4.4
Registered electors 13,155
Liberal hold Swing +11.4
1893 Cardiganshire by-election[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal William Bowen Rowlands Unopposed
Registered electors
Liberal hold

Rowlands is appointed Recorder of Swansea, requiring a by-election.

General election 1895: Cardiganshire[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Matthew Vaughan-Davies 4,927 56.8 -4.7
Conservative John Harford 3,748 43.2 +4.7
Majority 1,179 13.6 -9.4
Turnout 8,675 66.8 +2.2
Registered electors 12,994
Liberal hold Swing -4.7

Elections in the 20th century

Elections in the 1900s

General election 1900: Cardiganshire[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Matthew Vaughan-Davies 4,568 54.7 -2.1
Conservative John Harford 3,787 45.3 +2.1
Majority 781 9.4 -4.2
Turnout 8,355 62.8 -4.0
Registered electors 13,299
Liberal hold Swing -2.1
General election 1906: Cardiganshire[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Matthew Vaughan-Davies 5,829 66.3 +11.6
Liberal Unionist C E D M Richardson 2,960 33.7 -11.6
Majority 2,869 32.6 +23.2
Turnout 8,789 66.5 +3.7
Registered electors 13,215
Liberal hold Swing +11.6

Elections in the 1910s

General election January 1910: Cardiganshire[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Matthew Vaughan-Davies 6,348 68.3 +2.0
Conservative George Fossett Roberts 2,943 31.7 -2.0
Majority 3,405 36.6 +4.0
Turnout 9,291 69.7 +3.2
Registered electors 13,333
Liberal hold Swing +2.0
General election December 1910: Cardiganshire[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Matthew Vaughan-Davies Unopposed
Registered electors
Liberal hold
General election 1918: Cardiganshire[38]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
C Liberal Matthew Vaughan-Davies Unopposed
Registered electors 30,368
Liberal hold
C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.

Elections in the 1920s

Ernest Evans
Ernest Evans
1921 Cardiganshire by-election[42]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Liberal Ernest Evans 14,111 57.3 N/A
Liberal William Llewelyn Williams 10,521 42.7 N/A
Majority 3,590 14.6 N/A
Turnout 24,631 80.1 N/A
Registered electors 30,751
National Liberal hold Swing N/A
General election 1922: Cardiganshire[42]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Liberal Ernest Evans 12,825 51.0 N/A
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris 12,310 49.0 N/A
Majority 515 2.0 N/A
Turnout 25,135 76.9 N/A
Registered electors 32,695
National Liberal hold Swing N/A
Hopkin Morris
Hopkin Morris
General election 1923: Cardiganshire[42]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris 12,469 46.9 N/A
Liberal Ernest Evans 7,391 27.7 -23.3
Unionist Ernest Vaughan 6,776 25.4 N/A
Majority 5,078 19.2 N/A
Turnout 26,636 81.0 +4.1
Registered electors 32,881
Independent Liberal gain from National Liberal Swing +10.6
General election 1924: Cardiganshire[42]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris Unopposed
Registered electors 33,314
Liberal hold
General election 1929: Cardiganshire[42]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris 17,127 60.6 N/A
Unionist E C L Fitzwilliams 11,158 39.4 N/A
Majority 5,969 21.2 N/A
Turnout 28,285 73.1 N/A
Registered electors 38,704
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1930s

General election 1931: Cardiganshire[42]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rhys Hopkin Morris 20,113 76.0 +15.5
Labour J Lloyd Jones 6,361 24.0 N/A
Majority 26,474 52.0 +30.8
Turnout 26,474 67.5 -5.6
Registered electors 39,206
Liberal hold Swing
1932 Cardiganshire by-election[42]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Owen Evans 13,437 48.7 -27.3
Conservative E C L Fitzwilliams 8,866 32.1 N/A
Labour D M Jones 5,295 19.2 -4.8
Majority 4,571 16.6 -35.4
Turnout 27,598 70.4 +2.9
Registered electors 39,206
Liberal hold Swing
General election 1935: Cardiganshire[42]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Owen Evans 15,846 61.1 -14.9
Labour Moelwyn Hughes 10,085 38.9 +14.9
Majority 5,761 22.2 -29.8
Turnout 25,931 65.1 -2.4
Registered electors 39,851
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1940s

General election 1945: Cardiganshire[42]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Roderic Bowen 18,912 63.8 +2.7
Labour Iwan James Morgan 10,718 36.2 -2.7
Majority 8,194 27.6 +5.4
Turnout 29,630 71.2 +6.1
Registered electors 41,597
Liberal hold Swing +2.7

Elections in the 1950s

General election 1950: Cardigan[43]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Roderic Bowen 17,093 52.2 -11.6
Labour Iwan James Morgan 9,055 27.6 -8.6
Conservative G S R Little 6,618 20.2 N/A
Majority 8,038 24.6 -3.0
Turnout 32,766 73.4 +2.2
Registered electors 44,627
Liberal hold Swing
General election 1951: Cardigan[43]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Roderic Bowen 19,959 67.3 +15.1
Labour Brynmor Williams 9,697 32.7 +5.1
Majority 10,262 34.6 +10.0
Turnout 29,656 70.6 -2.8
Registered electors 41,977
Liberal hold Swing
General election 1955: Cardigan[43]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Roderic Bowen 18,907 65.2 -2.1
Labour David Jones-Davies 10,090 34.8 +2.1
Majority 8,817 30.4 -4.2
Turnout 28,997 72.7 +2.1
Registered electors 39,902
Liberal hold Swing
General election 1959: Cardigan[43]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Roderic Bowen 17,868 59.0 -6.2
Labour Loti Rees Hughes 8,559 28.2 -6.6
Plaid Cymru Gareth W. Evans 3,880 12.8 N/A
Majority 9,309 30.8 +0.4
Turnout 30,307 77.9 +5.2
Registered electors 38,878
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s

General election 1964: Cardigan[43]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Roderic Bowen 11,500 38.4 -20.6
Labour D L Davies 9,281 31.0 +2.8
Conservative Arthur J. Ryder 5,897 19.7 N/A
Plaid Cymru Gareth W. Evans 3,262 10.9 -1.9
Majority 2,219 7.4 -23.4
Turnout 29,940 78.9 +1.0
Registered electors 37,964
Liberal hold Swing
General election 1966: Cardigan[43]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Elystan Morgan 11,302 37.1 +6.1
Liberal Roderic Bowen 10,779 35.4 -3.0
Conservative John Stradling Thomas 5,893 19.4 -0.3
Plaid Cymru Edward Millward 2,469 8.1 -2.8
Majority 523 1.7 N/A
Turnout 30,443 81.1 +2.2
Registered electors 37,553
Labour gain from Liberal Swing

Elections in the 1970s

General election 1970: Cardigan[43]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Elystan Morgan 11,063 33.4 −3.7
Liberal Huw Lloyd Williams 9,800 29.6 −5.8
Plaid Cymru Hywel ap Robert 6,498 19.6 +11.5
Conservative David George 5,715 17.3 −2.1
Majority 1,263 3.8 +2.1
Turnout 33,076 82.2 +1.1
Registered electors 40,226
Labour hold Swing
General election February 1974: Cardigan[44]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Geraint Howells 14,371 40.2 +10.6
Labour Elystan Morgan 11,895 33.2 −0.2
Conservative Trefor W. Llewellyn 4,758 13.3 −4.0
Plaid Cymru Clifford Gregory Davies 4,754 13.3 −6.3
Majority 2,476 7.0 N/A
Turnout 35,778 83.7 −1.5
Registered electors 42,752
Liberal gain from Labour Swing
General election October 1974: Cardigan[45]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Geraint Howells 14,612 42.2 +2.0
Labour Elystan Morgan 12,202 35.2 +2.0
Plaid Cymru Clifford G. Davies 4,583 13.2 −0.1
Conservative Delwyn Williams 3,257 9.4 −3.9
Majority 2,410 9.0 +2.0
Turnout 34,654 80.5 −3.2
Registered electors 43,052
Liberal hold Swing
General election 1979: Cardigan[46]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Geraint Howells 13,227 35.6 −6.6
Conservative I. Emlyn Thomas 11,033 29.7 +20.3
Labour L John Powell 7,488 20.2 −15.0
Plaid Cymru Dafydd J. L. Hughes 5,382 14.5 +1.3
Majority 2,194 5.9 -3.1
Turnout 37,130 81.5 +1.0
Registered electors 45,555
Liberal hold Swing

For 1983, 1987 and 1992; see Ceredigion and Pembroke North

Elections in the 1990s

General election 1997: Ceredigion[47][48]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Plaid Cymru Cynog Dafis 16,728 41.6 +10.7
Labour Robert (Hag) Harris 9,767 24.3 +5.7
Liberal Democrats Dai Davies 6,616 16.5 -10.0
Conservative Felix Aubel 5,983 14.9 -9.1
Referendum John Leaney 1,092 2.7 N/A
Majority 6,961 17.3 +4.9
Turnout 40,186 73.9 -4.1
Registered electors 54,378
Plaid Cymru win (new seat)

Elections in the 21st century

Elections in the 2000s

2000 Ceredigion by-election[49]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas 10,716 42.8 +1.2
Liberal Democrats Mark Williams 5,768 23.0 +6.5
Conservative Paul Davies 4,138 16.5 +1.6
Labour Maria Battle 3,612 14.4 -9.9
UKIP John Bufton 487 1.9 N/A
Independent Green – Save the World Climate John Davies 289 1.2 N/A
Wales on Sunday – Match Funding Now Martin Shipton 55 0.2 N/A
Majority 4,948 19.8 +2.5
Turnout 25,143 46.0 -27.9
Registered electors 55,025
Plaid Cymru hold Swing -2.7
General election 2001: Ceredigion[50][51]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas 13,241 38.3 -3.3
Liberal Democrats Mark Williams 9,297 26.9 +10.4
Conservative Paul Davies 6,730 19.4 +4.5
Labour David Grace 5,338 15.4 -8.9
Majority 3,944 11.4 -5.9
Turnout 34,606 61.7 -12.2
Registered electors 56,125
Plaid Cymru hold Swing -6.9
General election 2005: Ceredigion[52][53]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Mark Williams 13,130 36.5 +9.6
Plaid Cymru Simon Thomas 12,911 35.9 -2.4
Conservative John Harrison 4,455 12.4 -7.0
Labour Alun Davies 4,337 12.1 –3.3
Green Dave Bradney 846 2.3 N/A
Veritas Iain Sheldon 268 0.7 N/A
Majority 219 0.6 N/A
Turnout 35,947 67.2 +5.5
Registered electors 53,776
Liberal Democrats gain from Plaid Cymru Swing -6.0

Elections in the 2010s

General election 2010: Ceredigion[54][55][56]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Mark Williams 19,139 50.0 +13.5
Plaid Cymru Penri James 10,815 28.3 -7.6
Conservative Luke Evetts 4,421 11.6 -0.8
Labour Richard Boudier 2,210 5.8 -6.3
UKIP Elwyn Williams 977 2.6 N/A
Green Leila Kiersch 696 1.8 -0.5
Majority 8,324 21.8 +21.2
Turnout 38,258 64.8 -2.4
Registered electors 59,882
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +10.6
General election 2015: Ceredigion[57][58]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Democrats Mark Williams 13,414 35.9 -14.1
Plaid Cymru Mike Parker 10,347 27.7 -0.6
Conservative Henrietta Hensher 4,123 11.0 -0.6
UKIP Gethin James 3,829 10.2 +7.6
Labour Huw Thomas 3,615 9.7 +3.9
Green Daniel Thompson 2,088 5.6 +3.8
Majority 3,067 8.2 -13.6
Turnout 37,416 69.0 +4.2
Registered electors 54,242
Liberal Democrats hold Swing –6.8
General election 2017: Ceredigion[59][60][61]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Plaid Cymru Ben Lake[62] 11,623 29.2 +1.5
Liberal Democrats Mark Williams[63] 11,519 29.0 −6.9
Labour Dinah Mulholland[64] 8,017 20.2 +10.5
Conservative Ruth Davis 7,307 18.4 +7.4
UKIP Tom Harrison 602 1.5 −8.7
Green Grenville Ham 542 1.4 −4.2
Monster Raving Loony Sir Dudley the Crazed[65] 157 0.4 N/A
Rejected ballots 52
Majority 104 0.2 N/A
Turnout 39,767 75.2 +6.2
Registered electors 52,889
Plaid Cymru gain from Liberal Democrats Swing +4.3

Of the 52 rejected ballots:

  • 41 were either unmarked or it was uncertain who the vote was for.[61]
  • 11 voted for more than one candidate.[61]
General election 2019: Ceredigion[66][67]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Plaid Cymru Ben Lake 15,208 37.9 +8.7
Conservative Amanda Jenner 8,879 22.1 +3.7
Liberal Democrats Mark Williams 6,975 17.4 −11.6
Labour Dinah Mulholland 6,317 15.8 −4.4
Brexit Party Gethin James 2,063 5.1 N/A
Green Chris Simpson 663 1.7 +0.3
Rejected ballots 117
Majority 6,329 15.8 +15.6
Turnout 40,105 71.3 −3.9
Registered electors 56,250
Plaid Cymru hold Swing +2.5

Of the 117 rejected ballots:

  • 87 were either unmarked or it was uncertain who the vote was for.[66]
  • 30 voted for more than one candidate.[66]

See also


  1. ^ A county constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.


  1. ^ "Ceredigion: Usual Resident Population, 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Electoral roll: Electors and attainers, by National Assembly for Wales constituency". 2014 Electoral Register. StatsWales. Retrieved 21 February 2015.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Ceredigion could return to south constituency boundary". Cambrian News. 19 September 2016. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Ceredigion a Gogledd Sir Benfro (Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire)". 2018 Review of Parliamentary Constituencies — Initial Proposals Report (Report). Boundary Commission for Wales. September 2016. p. 80.
  5. ^ "Members expelled from the House of Commons since the Restoration".
  6. ^ "Editorial [untitled]". Welshman. 17 February 1854. p. 2. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Editorial [untitled]". Welshman. 27 March 1857. p. 3. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Editorial [untitled]". Welshman. 22 April 1859. p. 5. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  9. ^ Jones 1964, p. 16.
  10. ^ "Liberal Defeat in Cardiganshire (editorial)". Cambrian News. 13 February 1874. p. 6. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  11. ^ "The Cardiganshire Election (editorial)". South Wales Daily News. 5 February 1874. p. 2. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  12. ^ "The Conservative Victory in Cardiganshire (editorial)". Aberystwyth Observer. 14 February 1874. p. 2. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  13. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 313. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 314–18, 319–20. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 322–3. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ "Meeting in support of Mr D. Davies". Aberystwyth Observer. 26 June 1886. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  17. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 323–4. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ "Cardiganshire Election and its lessons (editorial)". Aberystwyth Observer. 17 July 1886. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  19. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 324–5. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  20. ^ "Representation of Cardiganshire. Selection of Liberal Candidate". Aberystwyth Observer. 4 July 1895. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  21. ^ "The Contest in Cardiganshire (editorial)". Cambrian News. 5 July 1895. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  22. ^ "The Liberal Split (editorial)". Aberystwyth Observer. 4 July 1895. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  23. ^ "The Two Cardiganshire Candidates (editorial)". Cambrian News. 5 October 1900. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  24. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 328–9. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  25. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 330. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  26. ^ Morgan. "Cardiganshire Politics": 332–5. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  27. ^ "The County Election". Aberystwyth Observer. 3 July 1886. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  28. ^ "Election 2015: 'Baptism of fire' for Plaid candidate". BBC News. 9 April 2015.
  29. ^ "Election 2015: Candidate suggested cars be damaged". BBC News. 10 April 2015.
  30. ^ "Ceredigion 1997–". Hansard 1803–2005. UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  31. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "C" (part 2)
  32. ^ Expelled the House 23 March 1716 for failing to attend to take an oath of loyalty.
  33. ^ a b c d e f Stooks Smith, Henry (1845). The Parliaments of England, from 1st George I., to the Present Time. Vol II: Oxfordshire to Wales Inclusive. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. pp. 180–181. Retrieved 5 May 2020 – via Google Books.
  34. ^ a b Escott, Margaret. "Cardiganshire". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
  36. ^ "Cardiganshire County Election". Eddowes's Journal, and General Advertiser for Shropshire, and the Principality of Wales. 11 May 1859. p. 7. Retrieved 24 August 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  37. ^ "Nomination Day at Cardigan". Carmarthen Weekly Reporter. 28 November 1868. p. 3. Retrieved 3 February 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  38. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Craig, F. W. S. (1974). British parliamentary election results 1885-1918 (1 ed.). London and Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press Ltd. ISBN 9780333169032. Page 471
  39. ^ The Liberal Year Book, 1907
  40. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1886
  41. ^ "How Mr W Jones Holds His Meetings". South Wales Daily News. 11 July 1892. p. 6. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  42. ^ a b c d e f g h i Craig, F. W. S. (1969). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (1 ed.). Glasgow: Political Reference Publications. ISBN 0-900178-019. Page 550
  43. ^ a b c d e f g Craig, F. W. S. (1971). British parliamentary election results 1950-1970 (1 ed.). Chichester: Political Reference Publications. ISBN 9780900178023. Page 569
  44. ^ "Politics Resources". Election February 1974. Politics Resources. 28 February 1974. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  45. ^ "Politics Resources". Election October 1974. Politics Resources. 10 October 1974. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  46. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1979. Politics Resources. 3 May 1979. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  47. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  48. ^ "BBC NEWS > Ceredigion". Vote 2001. BBC News. 7 June 2001. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  49. ^ Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 1997-2001 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  50. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  51. ^ "BBC NEWS > Ceredigion". Vote 2001. BBC News. 7 June 2001. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  52. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  53. ^ "Ceredigion parliamentary constituency - Election 2005". BBC News.
  54. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  55. ^ Ceredigion Archived 9 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Cyngor Sir Ceredigion County Council – candidates Ceredigion
  56. ^ Ceredigion BBC Election – Ceredigion
  57. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  58. ^ "Ceredigion parliamentary constituency - Election 2015". BBC News.
  59. ^ "General Election 2017: Who will people in Aberystwyth vote for?". ITV News. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  60. ^ "Ceredigion Parliamentary constituency". Election 2017 Results. BBC. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  61. ^ a b c "Results" (PDF). Ceredigion County Council. Ceredigion County Council. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  62. ^ Ceredigion, Plaid- (26 April 2017). "Very pleased to announce that Ben Lake is the Plaid Cymru #Ceredigion candidate for the general election. #Plaid17 #ProtectWales".
  63. ^ "Ceredigion's MP reacts to surprise news of snap General Election".
  64. ^ Society, People's Printing Press. "Dinah Mulholland".[permanent dead link]
  65. ^ "Loony Party Candidates". Archived from the original on 18 January 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  66. ^ a b c "Voting & Elections". Ceredigion County Council. Ceredigion County Council. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  67. ^ "Ceredigion parliamentary constituency - Election 2019". BBC News. Retrieved 17 December 2019.


External links

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