Clwyd West

RuthinThe constituency was created in 1997 from parts of the seats of Clwyd South West and Clwyd North West. The area has always tended to elect Conservatives. But in the Blair landslide of 1997 it came Labour’s way in Parliament and this was followed by a Labour gain in the Assembly elections of 1999.

The UK parliamentary seat  was won by David Jones for the Conservatives in 2005 and he increased his majority in the 2010 election. He served as a junior minister in the Welsh office and became Secretary of State for Wales  in the cabinet reshuffle of 4 September 2012. In the cabinet reshuffle of 2014 he lost his place at the top table and is now a humble backbencher.

The Assembly seat was a Conservative gain in the 2007 Assemble elections. Alun Pugh a cabinet member in Rhodri Morgan’s administration lost his seat to Darren Millar an accountant by profession and at the time was a Councillor on Conwy Borough Council.

The seat spans two local authorities Conwy County Borough and Denbighshire County Council. The seat stretches along the North Wales coast taking in the resort town of Colwyn Bay, Abergele and Pensarn. In these areas there are high numbers of retired folk namely from the the North West of England.

Then there is a large rural hinterland where the historic town of Ruthin is centered. This area has a large Welsh speaking population.

Ruthin used to be on the Drovers route and was alleged to have a pub for every week of the year. Thirsty lot those drovers. It’s not nearly as boozy a place now with only a very few pubs left.

Ruthin was instrumental in pushing a Welsh icon into stirring himself and the national cause. For it was the third Baron de Grey owner of Ruthin Castle who had a  land dispute with Glyndwr that got him so worked up that he took on Henry IV and  also in a fit of pique burned down Ruthin Castle. He moved West to establish his parliament and seat of government in Machynlleth.

But having lost its claims on Owain Glyndwr the constituency could claim having some connection with a government leader, all be it a foreign one. In 1947 Wladyslaw Raczkiewicz  the first president of the Polish government in exile, died in Ruthin. Obviously not the place to visit if you’re top dog.

It also has an unique place in Assembly history. In 2003 all the candidates from the four main parties fighting Clwyd West were returned to the Assembly. Labour from the Constituency then Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrat and the Conservative candidates on the North Wales regional list. Despite Labour having introduced the electoral system they didn’t like the results. So being Labour they changed the system. Candidates no longer can fight in both type of seats, they have to opt for one or ‘tother, all thanks to Peter Hain and Labour changing the system. But its back to the future, thanks to the current government reversing the Hain changes.

2015 General election results

Party Votes Cast Percentage
Jones, David Conservative 16,463 43.29
Thomas, Gareth Labour 9,733 25.59
Nicholson, Warwick UKIP 4,988 13.12
Jones, Marc Plaid Cymru 4,651 12.23
Lesiter-Burgess, Sarah Liberal Democrat 1,387 3.85
English, Rob Socialist Labour 612 1.61
Jepson, Rory Above 194 0.51

Conservative Majority 6,730 (17.7%) 0.43% swing Labour to Conservative

Electorate 58,657 Turnout: 38,028 (64.83%)

2011 Assembly election result

Party Votes Cast Percentage
Millar, Darren Conservative 10,890 43.38%
Jones, Crispin Labour 6,642 26.41%
Jones, Eifion Lloyd Plaid Cymru 5,775 22.96%
Cossey, Brian Liberal Democrat 1,846 7.34%

Turnout: 25,153 (43.38%)

Conservative hold 4,248 majority

Turnout: 17,664 (42.99%)

2010 General election results

Party Votes Cast Percentage
Jones, David Conservative 15,833 41.5
Hutton, Donna Labour 9,414 24.7
Gruffydd, Llyr Huws Plaid Cymru 5,864 15.4
Jones, Michele Liberal Democrat 5,801 15.2
Nicholson, Warwick UKIP 864 2.3
Griffiths, Rev Dr David Christian Party 239 0.6
Blakesley, Joe Independent 96 0.3

Electorate 57,913 Turnout: 38,111 (65.81%)

 

Assembly Member

Darren Millar (Conservative) was elected in 2007. His political career has seen him serve as Mayor of Towyn and Kinmel Bay and a member of Conwy Borough Council. In the Assembly he currently is the Opposition spokesperson on Health and chairs the influential Public Accounts Committee. He is an active evangelical Christian.

Member of Parliament

David Jones (Conservative) elected in 2005. He briefly served as an Assembly Member by virtue of being second on the regional list to Rod Richards. Following Richards resignation mid term on grounds of ill-health Jones served the rest of the term. He is a lawyer by profession, a solicitor in his own practice in Llandudno. He claims to be a supporter of Liverpool FC. He was sacked as Secretary of State for Wales in 2014.

 

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