Rhondda (UK Parliament constituency)

Last updated

Rhondda
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Rhondda2007Constituency.svg
Boundary of Rhondda in Wales
Preserved county Mid Glamorgan
Electorate 50,262 (December 2019) [1]
Major settlements Porth, Tonypandy, Treherbert, Treorchy, Tylorstown
Current constituency
Created 1974 (1974)
Member of Parliament Chris Bryant (Labour)
Number of membersOne
Created from Rhondda East and Rhondda West
18851918
Number of membersOne
Type of constituency County constituency
Replaced by Rhondda East and Rhondda West
Created from Glamorganshire
Overlaps
Senedd Rhondda, South Wales Central

Rhondda is a constituency [n 1] represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2001 by Chris Bryant of the Labour Party. [n 2]

Contents

Boundaries

Rhondda (UK Parliament constituency)
Map of current boundaries

1974–1983: The Municipal Borough of Rhondda.

1983–2010: The Borough of Rhondda.

2010–present: The Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough electoral divisions of Cwm Clydach, Cymmer, Ferndale, Llwyn-y-pia, Maerdy, Pentre, Pen-y-graig, Porth, Tonypandy, Trealaw, Treherbert, Treorchy, Tylorstown, Ynyshir, and Ystrad.

The Westminster constituency of Rhondda is based around the southern edge of the Rhondda Cynon Taf council area, with population centres including Treherbert, Maerdy, Tylorstown, Tonypandy, and Pen-y-Graig. The seat borders the constituencies of Cynon Valley, Ogmore, Pontypridd, and Aberavon.

History

This constituency was first created under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, for the 1885 general election. For the 1918 general election it was divided into Rhondda East and Rhondda West.

The constituency was reunited in 1974. Since 1974, the constituency has always had a large Labour majority, and in the 1987 general election was the safest seat for any party, anywhere in Britain. In 2001, it was the only seat in the country where Liberal Democrats lost their deposit, and the Conservative Party also lost their deposit in their worst performance outside Northern Ireland. [2]

Early History: the 1885 general election

The constituency was formed following the Third Reform Act of 1884, as a result of the rapid growth of population in the two valleys over the previous twenty years. During the 1880s the demand for working men representatives in the ranks of the Parliamentary Liberal Party were increasingly vociferous and there was a precedent for a Liberal-Labour (Lib-Lab) candidate in South Wales as Thomas Halliday had contested Merthyr Tydfil in 1874.

The local trade union, the Rhondda Steam Coal Miners' Association, laid claim to the candidacy as early as 1883, on the basis that the franchise had been extended to many working men within the county constituencies and that in Mabon, their agent for six years they had the ideal candidate. [3] The local Liberal Association, however, formed in early 1885,was dominated by middle-class business and professional men, and included a disproportionate number of colliery officials. . Lewis Davis of Ferndale, brother of David Davis, Maesyffynnon, one of the leading coalowners in the valley, was selected as president of the association. [3] Ministers, including William Morris of Noddfa, Treorchy were also prominent. [4] At a meeting in April 1885 six names were put forward as possible candidates for the nomination, including Lewis Davis, Mabon and Alfred Thomas, a leading figure in the municipal life of Cardiff. [4] Shortly afterwards, Lewis Davis was invited by the Association to be its parliamentary candidate and defeated Mabon in a ballot by 143 votes to 51. In spite of his selection, however, he declined and proposed that his son, the 22-year-old Frederick Lewis Davis, be the candidate. In a further ballot, F.L. Davis again defeated Mabon by 125 votes to 56. [3]

The refusal of the trade union movement to accept this decision and to support an independent campaign by Mabon is regarded as an important watershed in the political history of South Wales. In terms of policy there was little apparent difference between the candidates, with the only notable difference being that Mabon supported the payment of MPs while Davis did not. [3] The campaign was therefore waged on other grounds. Davis's supporters claimed that Mabon lacked legitimacy, having been rejected by the Liberal Association. Mabon's adherents, in turn, claimed that the miners' had held mass meetings throughout the two valleys to promote his candidature long before the middle-class-dominated Association was established. [3] Davis's youth and inexperience was a major issue, although he had qualified as a barrister. There were also claims of intimidation on both sides. Mabon's supporters were said to be victimised at the workplace while several of Davis's meetings were disrupted by violence. [3]

Class therefore became a major issue in the campaign. The vast majority of Mabon' supporters were trade union activists and working men, along with a relatively small number of tradesmen and professionals, some of whom had links of one form or another to the miners' union. These included Walter H. Morgan of Pontypridd, often described as the miners' lawyer. One nonconformist minister, supported Mabon, namely John Salisbury Edwards of Treorchy. In contest, Davis had the support of the vast majority of the middle-classes in the Rhondda, and natural deference together with the paternalistic influence of the Davis family, in the Rhondda Fach in particular, was a factor. [3]

On polling day, Mabon scored a clear and decisive victory.

General election 1885: Rhondda [5]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Lib-Lab William Abraham 3,859 56.3 N/A
Liberal Frederick Lewis Davis2,99243.7N/A
Majority86712.6N/A
Turnout 6,85183.5N/A
Lib-Lab win (new seat)

Despite the fierce contest the two wings of the Liberal Party in the Rhondda were soon reconciled. After the result, the Davis family accepted Mabon's victory and he was not challenged thereafter for the parliamentary seat. Following the election, Mabon's supporters established the Rhondda Labour and Liberal Association which shortly afterwards absorbed the rival Liberal Association which had supported Davis. [3] Mabon was returned unopposed the following year.

General election 1886: Rhondda [5]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Lib-Lab William Abraham Unopposed N/AN/A
Lib-Lab hold Swing N/A

Members of Parliament

1885–1918

ElectionMember [6] Party
1885 William Abraham Lib-Lab
1910 Labour
1918 Constituency abolished: See Rhondda East and Rhondda West

1974–present

ElectionMember [6] PartyNotes
Feb 1974 Alec Jones Labour Shadow Welsh Secretary 1979–1983. Died in office March 1983; no by-election held due to imminent general election.
1983 Allan Rogers Labour
2001 Chris Bryant Labour Shadow Cabinet Member 2011–16

Elections

Rhondda election results Rhondda election results.png
Rhondda election results

Elections 1885–1910

Elections in the 1880s

General election 1885: Rhondda [5]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Lib-Lab William Abraham 3,859 56.3 N/A
Liberal Frederick Lewis Davis2,99243.7N/A
Majority86712.6N/A
Turnout 6,85183.5N/A
Registered electors 8,210
Lib-Lab win (new seat)
General election 1886: Rhondda [5]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Lib-Lab William Abraham Unopposed
Registered electors
Lib-Lab hold

Elections in the 1890s

General election 1892: Rhondda [5]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Lib-Lab William Abraham Unopposed
Registered electors
Lib-Lab hold
General election 1895: Rhondda [5]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Lib-Lab William Abraham Unopposed
Registered electors
Lib-Lab hold

Elections in the 1900s

William Abraham William Abraham.jpg
William Abraham
General election 1900: Rhondda [5]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Lib-Lab William Abraham 8,383 81.7 N/A
Conservative Robert Hughes1,87418.3N/A
Majority6,50963.4N/A
Turnout 10,25781.7N/A
Registered electors 12,549
Lib-Lab hold Swing N/A
General election 1906: Rhondda [5]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Lib-Lab William Abraham Unopposed
Registered electors
Lib-Lab hold

Elections in the 1910s

General election January 1910: Rhondda [5]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour William Abraham 12,436 78.2 N/A
Conservative Harold Lloyd3,47121.8N/A
Majority8,96556.4N/A
Turnout 15,90790.2N/A
Registered electors 17,640
Labour hold Swing N/A
General election December 1910: Rhondda [5]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour William Abraham 9,073 71.0 -7.2
Conservative Harold Lloyd3,70129.0+7.2
Majority5,37242.0-14.4
Turnout 12,77472.4-17.8
Registered electors 17,640
Labour hold Swing -7.2

Elections 1974–present

Elections in the 1970s

General election February 1974: Rhondda [7]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Alec Jones 36,880 70.7 N/A
Plaid Cymru Glyn Powell James6,73912.9N/A
Conservative Peter Leyshon4,1117.9N/A
Liberal Dennis James Austin3,0565.9N/A
Communist Arthur True1,3742.6N/A
Majority30,14157.8N/A
Turnout 52,16080.0N/A
Registered electors 65,192
Labour win (new seat)
General election October 1974: Rhondda [8]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Alec Jones 38,654 77.1 +6.4
Plaid Cymru Donald Morgan4,1738.3−4.6
Conservative Peter Leyshon3,7397.5−0.4
Liberal Dennis James Austin2,1424.3−1.6
Communist Arthur True1,4042.8+0.2
Majority34,48168.8+11.0
Turnout 50,48876.2−3.8
Registered electors 65,787
Labour hold Swing
General election 1979: Rhondda [9]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Alec Jones 38,007 75.2 −1.9
Conservative Peter Leyshon6,52612.9+5.4
Plaid Cymru Glyn James4,22610.2+1.9
Communist Arthur True1,8193.6+0.8
Majority31,48162.3-6.5
Turnout 50,57879.8+3.6
Registered electors 63,412
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1980s

General election 1983: Rhondda [10]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Allan Rogers 29,448 61.7 -13.5
SDP Allan Lloyd8,07816.9N/A
Plaid Cymru Geraint Davies 4,84510.2±0.0
Conservative Peter Meyer3,9738.3-4.6
Communist Arthur True1,3502.8-0.8
Majority21,37044.8-17.5
Turnout 47,69476.2-3.6
Registered electors 62,587
Labour hold Swing
General election 1987: Rhondda [11]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Allan Rogers 35,015 73.4 +11.7
Plaid Cymru Geraint Davies 4,2618.9−1.3
SDP John York-Williams3,9308.2−8.7
Conservative Stephen Reid3,6117.8−0.5
Communist Arthur True8691.8−1.0
Majority30,75464.5+19.7
Turnout 47,68678.3+2.1
Registered electors 60,931
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s

General election 1992: Rhondda [12] [13]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Allan Rogers 34,243 74.5 +1.1
Plaid Cymru Geraint Davies 5,42711.8+2.9
Conservative John Richards3,5887.8±0.0
Liberal Democrats Paul Nicholls-Jones2,4315.3-2.9
Communist (PCC) Mark Fischer2450.5N/A
Majority28,81662.7−1.8
Turnout 45,93476.6−1.7
Registered electors 59,955
Labour hold Swing −0.8
General election 1997: Rhondda [14] [15]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Allan Rogers 30,381 74.5 ±0.0
Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood 5,45013.4+1.6
Liberal Democrats Rodney Berman 2,3075.7+0.4
Conservative Steven Whiting1,5513.8−4.0
Referendum Stephen Gardiner6581.6N/A
Green Kevin Jakeway4601.1N/A
Majority24,93161.1-1.6
Turnout 40,80771.5-5.1
Registered electors 57,105
Labour hold Swing -0.8

Elections in the 2000s

General election 2001: Rhondda [16] [17]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Chris Bryant 23,230 68.3 −6.2
Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood 7,18321.1+7.7
Conservative Peter Hobbins1,5574.6+0.8
Liberal Democrats Gavin Cox1,5254.5−1.2
Independent Glyndwr Summers5071.5N/A
Majority16,04747.2-13.9
Turnout 34,00260.6−10.9
Registered electors 56,121
Labour hold Swing -7.0
General election 2005: Rhondda [18] [19]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Chris Bryant 21,198 68.1 −0.2
Plaid Cymru Percy Jones4,95615.9−5.2
Liberal Democrats Karen Roberts3,26410.5+6.0
Conservative Paul Stuart-Smith1,7305.6+1.0
Majority16,24252.1+4.9
Turnout 31,14861.0+0.4
Registered electors 50,461
Labour hold Swing +2.5

Elections in the 2010s

General election 2010: Rhondda [20] [21]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Chris Bryant 17,183 55.3 −12.8
Plaid Cymru Geraint Davies 5,63018.1+2.2
Liberal Democrats Paul Wasley3,30910.6+0.1
Independent Philip Howe2,5998.4N/A
Conservative Juliette Henderson1,9936.4+0.8
UKIP Taffy John3591.2N/A
Majority11,55337.2–14.9
Turnout 31,07260.3−0.7
Registered electors 51,554
Labour hold Swing −7.5
General election 2015: Rhondda [22] [23] [24]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Chris Bryant 15,976 50.7 −4.6
Plaid Cymru Shelley Rees-Owen 8,52127.0+8.9
UKIP Ron Hughes3,99812.7+11.5
Conservative Lyn Hudson2,1166.7+0.3
Liberal Democrats George Summers4741.5−9.1
Green Lisa Rapado4531.4N/A
Rejected ballots56
Majority7,45523.6−13.6
Turnout 31,53860.9+0.6
Registered electors 51,811
Labour hold Swing −6.8

Of the 56 rejected ballots:

  • 34 were either unmarked or it was uncertain who the vote was for. [24]
  • 22 voted for more than one candidate. [24]
General election 2017: Rhondda [25] [26] [27]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Chris Bryant 21,096 64.1 +13.4
Plaid Cymru Branwen Cennard7,35022.3–4.7
Conservative Virginia Crosbie 3,33310.1+3.4
UKIP Janet Kenrick8802.7–10.0
Liberal Democrats Karen Roberts2770.8–0.7
Majority13,74641.8+18.2
Turnout 32,88665.2+4.3
Registered electors 50,514
Labour hold Swing +9.1

The seat saw the fewest Conservative votes on mainland Great Britain in 2017, 22 fewer than in Manchester Gorton; likewise as to the Liberal Democrat votes, 18 votes fewer than in Blaenau Gwent. [28]

General election 2019: Rhondda [29] [30] [31]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Labour Chris Bryant 16,115 54.4 -9.7
Conservative Hannah Jarvis4,67515.8+5.7
Plaid Cymru Branwen Cennard4,06913.7–8.6
Brexit Party John Watkins3,73312.6N/A
Liberal Democrats Rodney Berman 6122.1+1.3
Green Shaun Thomas4381.5N/A
Majority11,44038.6–3.2
Turnout 29,64259.0–6.2
Registered electors 50,262
Labour hold Swing

See also

Notes

  1. A borough 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.

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References

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