Arfon (UK Parliament constituency)
Arfon is a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (at Westminster). Although the constituency is relatively large by geographical area, it is a predominantly urban rather than rural seat, with the majority of the population living in the two towns on which the constituency is based, Bangor and Caernarfon. "Arfon" is a historical name for the area, meaning "facing Anglesey"; it is also the name of the former district council. This seat was created by the Welsh Boundary Commission in time for the 2010 general election, and replaced the old seat of Caernarfon. Bangor was in the old seat of Conwy. The same boundaries were used for the Arfon Welsh Assembly constituency in the 2007 Welsh Assembly election.
for the House of Commons
|Electorate||39,349 (December 2018)|
|Major settlements||Bangor, Caernarfon, Bethesda|
|Member of Parliament||Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymru)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Caernarfon and Conwy|
|Senedd||Arfon, North Wales|
It is the smallest constituency on the mainland of Great Britain by electorate, and larger only than the two Scottish island constituencies, Na h-Eileanan an Iar and Orkney and Shetland. The total population as of the 2011 census was 60,573.
The Arfon division of Caernarvonshire was a former UK Parliament constituency, which existed from 1885 until 1918. Before 1885 and after 1918 the area was part of the Caernarvonshire constituency. The Liberal MP William Rathbone represented the Arfon seat until 1895, followed by fellow Liberal William Jones. Upon the death of Mr Jones, Griffith C. Rees, for the Liberal Party, was elected unopposed at the subsequent by-election.
When first created in 1885, the constituency was defined as the Petty Sessional Divisions of Bangor, Conway and Nant-Conway, with the Parishes of Llanddeinilen and Llanberis (which were within the Carnarvon Petty Sessional Division). The constituency included the boroughs of Bangor and Conway which were part of the Carnarvon District of Boroughs constituency; only those who owned freehold land within the boroughs could vote in elections for the Arfon constituency as a second vote.
The new constituency was a merger of northern Caernarfon and western Conwy. The electoral wards used to create the current constituency are entirely within the preserved county of Gwynedd; They are Arllechwedd, Bethel, Bontnewydd, Cadnant, Cwm-y-Glo, Deiniol, Deiniolen, Dewi, Garth, Gerlan, Glyder, Groeslon, Hendre, Hirael, Llanberis, Llanllyfni, Llanrug, Llanwnda, Marchog, Menai (Bangor), Menai (Caernarfon), Ogwen, Peblig, Penisarwaun, Pentir, Penygroes, Seiont, Talysarn, Tregarth and Mynydd Llandygai, Waunfawr and Y Felinheli.
Electoral history (current constituency)
The latest boundary change created a battleground in Arfon particularly for Labour, Plaid Cymru, and the Conservatives, with the latter being labelled as a 'resurgent' party by the Caernarfon Herald. The scale of contention had been reached due to the large shift in boundary changes which in turn has created a need within each party to achieve a relatively unforeseen outcome. Plaid Cymru had previously never represented Bangor, which had been held by Conservative Wyn Roberts for twenty-seven years and a further thirteen under Labour's Betty Williams. It has however also been more than thirty years since Caernarfon has been represented by anyone other than Plaid Cymru.
In the event, Plaid gained the seat (which had been notionally Labour) in 2010 and held it in 2015; their victory in 2017 was by just 92 votes, the tightest margin in Wales in that election.
Members of Parliament
MPs since 2010
|2010||Hywel Williams||Plaid Cymru|
Elections in the 1880s
|Liberal win (new seat)|
Elections in the 1890s
|Conservative||Alfred William Hughes||2,860||38.9||N/A|
Elections in the 1900s
|Conservative||Arthur E. Hughes||2,533||29.9||N/A|
Elections in the 1910s
|Conservative||Arthur E. Hughes||2,629||29.7||-0.2|
Elections in the 2010s
|Plaid Cymru||Hywel Williams*||9,383||36.0||N/A|
|Liberal Democrats||Sarah Green||3,666||14.1||N/A|
|Plaid Cymru win (new seat)|
*Served as MP for the predecessor seat of Caernarfon in the 2001-2010 Parliament
The 2010 result has been categorized as a win, because the two predecessor constituencies from which Arfon was created were held by different parties: Caernarfon was held by Williams of Plaid Cymru, while Conwy was held by Labour, so it is unclear whether the 2010 was a hold or a gain.
|Plaid Cymru||Hywel Williams||11,790||43.9||+7.9|
|Liberal Democrats||Mohammed Shultan||718||2.7||-11.4|
|Socialist Labour||Kathrine Jones||409||1.5||N/A|
|Plaid Cymru hold||Swing||+4.0|
|Plaid Cymru||Hywel Williams||11,519||40.8||-3.1|
|Liberal Democrats||Calum Davies||648||2.3||-0.4|
|Plaid Cymru hold||Swing||-6.7|
|Plaid Cymru||Hywel Williams||13,134||45.2||+4.4|
|Labour||Steffie Williams Roberts||10,353||35.6||−4.9|
|Brexit Party||Gary Gribben||1,159||4.0||N/A|
|Plaid Cymru hold||Swing||+4.6|
- Arfon (Senedd constituency)
- List of Parliamentary constituencies in Gwynedd
- List of Parliamentary constituencies in Wales
- "Electoral rolls by Welsh Assembly constituency areas and electoral regions". 2019 Electorate Figures. StatsWales. 1 December 2018. Archived from the original on 8 October 2019. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
- "Arfon' UK Parliament, 6 May 2010 -". ElectionWeb Project. Cognitive Computing Limited. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
- Information in the paragraph is taken in part from F.W.S Craig's British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918 (Macmillan, 1974).
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- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "A" (part 2)
- Craig, F. W. S. (1974). British parliamentary election results 1885-1918 (1 ed.). London and Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press Ltd. ISBN 9780333169032. Page 469
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 January 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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- "Arfon parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
- "Parliamentary Elections" (PDF). Gwynedd Council. Gwynedd Council. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
- "Arfon parliamentary constituency - Election 2019". BBC News. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
- Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1972)