Welsh Conservatives


The Welsh Conservatives (Welsh: Ceidwadwyr Cymreig) is the branch of the United Kingdom Conservative Party that operates in Wales. At Westminster elections, it is the second most popular political party in Wales, having obtained the second-largest share of the vote at every general election since 1931.[4] In Senedd elections, the Conservatives are currently the second most supported party but have at times been third. They hold fourteen of the forty Welsh seats in the UK Parliament, and sixteen of the sixty seats in the Senedd.

Welsh Conservatives
Ceidwadwyr Cymreig
Leader of the Welsh Conservative GroupAndrew RT Davies[1]
PresidentLord Davies of Gower
Founded1921
HeadquartersUnit 5
Rhymney House
Parc Ty Glas
Llanishen
Cardiff
CF14 5DU
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right
European affiliationAlliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union
UK Parliament affiliationConservative Party (UK)
ColoursBlue
Senedd
16 / 60
House of Commons (Welsh seats)
14 / 40
Local government in Wales[3]
166 / 1,253
Website
www.conservatives.wales

At the 2021 Senedd election, the Welsh Conservatives won 8 constituency seats, taking the Vale of Clwyd from Welsh Labour and Brecon and Radnorshire from the Welsh Liberal Democrats and 26.1% of the constituency vote across Wales, their best constituency seats results since the creation of the Senedd in 1999.

History


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.[5] 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 leader, the former Welsh Office Minister Rod Richards, showed a combative style of politics against the Labour government. Richards subsequently resigned shortly after the Assembly had become established in response to allegations of an assault, from which he was later cleared.[6] 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 to 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 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.[7] 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 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 was between Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central) and 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.[citation needed] 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


House of Commons

Performance of the Welsh Conservatives at the 2019 general election
Election Wales +/–
 % Seats
1922 21.4
6 / 36
1923 21.0
4 / 36
2
1924 28.3
9 / 36
5
1929 21.9
1 / 36
8
1931 22.1
6 / 36
5
1935 23.3
6 / 36
1945 16.5
3 / 36
3
1950 21.0
3 / 36
1951 27.6
5 / 36
2
1955 26.7
5 / 36
1959 29.6
6 / 36
1
1964 27.6
6 / 36
1966 27.0
3 / 36
3
1970 27.7
7 / 36
4
Feb 1974 25.9
8 / 36
1
Oct 1974 23.9
8 / 36
1979 32.2
11 / 36
3
1983 31.0
14 / 38
3
1987 29.5
8 / 38
6
1992 28.6
6 / 38
2
1997 19.6
0 / 40
6
2001 21.0
0 / 40
2005 21.4
3 / 40
3
2010 26.1
8 / 40
5
2015 27.2
11 / 40
3
2017 33.6
8 / 40
3
2019 36.1
14 / 40
6

Senedd

Performance of the Welsh Conservatives in the 2016 Assembly election
Election Constituency Regional Total seats +/– Government
Votes  % Seats Votes  % Seats
1999 162,133 15.8
1 / 40
168,206 16.5
8 / 20
9 / 60
Opposition
2003 169,832 19.9
1 / 40
162,725 19.2
10 / 20
11 / 60
2 Opposition
2007 218,730 22.4
5 / 40
209,153 21.4
7 / 20
12 / 60
1 Opposition
2011 237,388 25.0
6 / 40
213,773 22.5
8 / 20
14 / 60
2 Opposition
2016 215,597 21.1
6 / 40
190,846 18.8
5 / 20
11 / 60
3 Opposition
2021 289,802 26.1
8 / 40
278,560 25.1
8 / 20
16 / 60
5 Opposition

Local councils

Welsh Conservatives by ward and council control after the 2017 local elections
Election Votes  % Councils +/- Seats +/-
1993 84,909 12.5
0 / 8
32 / 502
1995 75,448 8.1
0 / 22
42 / 1,272
10
1999 99,565 10.1
0 / 22
75 / 1,270
33
2004 99,991 11.0
1 / 22
1
107 / 1,263
32
2008 148,708 15.6
2 / 22
2
165 / 1,270
19
2012* 108,365 12.8
0 / 22
2
105 / 1,235
66
2017 182,520 18.8
1 / 22
1
184 / 1,271
79

*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

Election Wales +/–
 % Seats
1979 36.6
1 / 4
1984 25.4
1 / 4
1989 23.5
0 / 4
1
1994 14.6
0 / 5
1999 22.8
1 / 5
1
2004 19.4
1 / 4
2009 21.2
1 / 4
2014 17.4
1 / 4
2019 6.5
0 / 4
1

References


  1. Williams, James (24 January 2021). "Andrew RT Davies returns as Welsh Conservatives leader". BBC News. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  2. Nordsieck, Wolfram (2016). "Wales/UK". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  3. "Open Council Data UK - compositions councillors parties wards elections". www.opencouncildata.co.uk. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  4. Jones, B, Welsh Elections 1885 – 1997(1999), Lolfa
  5. Melding, D, Have We Been Anti-Welsh? The Conservative Party and the Welsh Nation (2005), Cymdeithas Y Kymberiaid
  6. "Welsh Tory leader resigns". BBC News. 11 August 1999. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  7. "Labour agrees historic coalition". BBC News. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 20 December 2011.