This is a new constituency based in the main on the old Conwy constituency. Its creation by the Boundary Commission for Wales. It’s main town is the sea side resort of Llandudno and its suburbs of Deganwy and Penrhyn Bay. It also takes in the historic Conwy with its ancient castle and the smallest house in Britain and the whole of the Conwy Valley. So what’s different from the old seat you ask, well the City and university town of Bangor is removed to be placed in the constituency of Arfon.
With the removal of Bangor a large chunk of Labour voters were also removed.
Why name it Aberconwy? Well, apart from most of the voters living in the towns and villages that abut the river Conwy it also shares the same boundaries as the old Aberconwy District Council which was scrapped in 1996. So the district council bequeathed a name to the new electoral division, it bequeathed very little else to the inhabitants.
It has nothing to do with the Battle of Aberconwy 1194 between the forces of Llywelyn ap Iorweth and Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd for control of Gwynedd. Llywelyn won. The defeated Dafydd went to live in England. A bit like Guto Bebb losing the Assembly seat and having to put up with second best and going to the English Parliament.
So what are we to make of the seat in political terms.The more Conservative areas of the old Conwy constituency of Llandudno and Conwy itself are retained. The closer to the source of the Conwy river the more Welsh speaking the constituency becomes.
What does it add up to in voting intentions? The constituency is diverse, combining Welsh-speaking rural areas, English-speaking coastal dwellers, many affluent suburbs, pockets of relative poverty, seaside resorts such as Llandudno and more industrial areas such as Llandudno Junction. It could be described as a three way marginal between the Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and Labour. Each able to lay claim when the electoral tide is running in their favour. The current incumbents in both Westminster and Cardiff Bay are Conservatives.
Politically, it could stretch things and claim a Prime Minister, Lloyd George, ‘cos he represented the Caernarfon boroughs of which Conwy was one. But of course the neighbouring constituency of Arfon can also lay claim and have at least elected a statute to the Welsh goat. But at least the great Orme has real live wild goats to boast of.
2015 General election results
|Meurig, Dafydd||Plaid Cymru||3,536||11.73|
|Babu, Victor||Liberal Democrat||1,391||4.61|
Conservative majority 3,999 (13.26%) 0.96% swing Labour to Conservative
Electorate 45,540 Turnout: 30,148 (66.20%)
2011 Assembly election result
|Priestley, Mike||Liberal Democrat||2,873||14.16%|
Turnout: 20,288 (45.11%)
|Conservative gain from Plaid Cymru||1,567 majority|
2010 General election results
|Priestly, Mike||Liberal Democrat||5,786||19.3|
|Edwards, Phil||Plaid Cymru||5,341||17.8|
|Wynne-Jones, Louise||Christian Party||137||0.5|
Electorate 44,593 Turnout: 29,966 (67.2%)
Janet Finch-Saunders (Conservative) Formerly a local Councillor in Aberconwy and was elected as a Llandudno Town Councillor in 1993, becoming the Mayor of Llandudno in 2004 and was elected as a Conwy County Borough Councillor as the Deputy Leader of the Welsh Conservative Group. She sits on the Assembly’s Health and Social care committee and acts as a spokesperson for the Conservative Group on Local Government matters.
Member of Parliament
Guto Bebb (Conservative) born 1968, Wrexham. Educated at the University of Wales. Partner in an Economic Development Consultancy. A former Plaid Cymru constituency chairman he defected after being ousted as local chair for his opposition to the single currency. His grandfather Ambrose Bebb was a founder member of Plaid Cymru. Guto was determined to make his way in the Conservative party having fought a safe Labour seat in Ogmore by-election 2002, Conwy in 2003 Welsh Assembly elections, Conwy 2005.