Brecon & Radnorshire

2015 Result:
Conservative: 16453 (41.1%)
Labour: 5904 (14.7%)
Lib Dem: 11351 (28.3%)
Plaid Cymru: 1767 (4.4%)
Green: 1261 (3.1%)
UKIP: 3338 (8.3%)
MAJORITY: 5102 (12.7%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Wales, Powys. Part of Powys council area.

Main population centres: Brecon, Builth Wells, Llanwrtyd Wells, Ystradgynlais, Hay-on-Wye.

Profile: The largest seat in Wales geographically, Brecon and Radnorshire covers most of the historic counties of Radnorshire and Brecknockshire. It is an isolated rural seat with difficult communications, made up largely of mountains and forest. It includes the Cambrian mountains, Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons national park. The main industries are tourism and sheep farming. Towns includes Brecon, Builth Wells, Llanwrtyd Wells, one of the smallest towns in the UK and the site of the annual bog snorkling championships, Ystradgynlais, an industrial town at the far South of the constituency and Hay-on-Wye on the English border.

Politics: In the 1950s and 60s this was a reliable Labour seat but in more recent times it has been a marginal between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats..

Current MP
CHRIS DAVIES (Conservative) Former veterinary practice manager and auctioneer. Powys councillor since 2012. Contested Brecon and Radnorshire 2011 Welsh Assembly election. First elected as MP for Brecon & Radnorshire in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 14182 (37%)
Lab: 4096 (11%)
LDem: 17929 (46%)
PC: 989 (3%)
Oth: 1649 (4%)
MAJ: 3747 (10%)
Con: 13277 (35%)
Lab: 5755 (15%)
LDem: 17182 (45%)
PC: 1404 (4%)
Oth: 723 (2%)
MAJ: 3905 (10%)
Con: 13073 (35%)
Lab: 8024 (21%)
LDem: 13824 (37%)
PC: 1301 (3%)
Oth: 1294 (3%)
MAJ: 751 (2%)
Con: 12419 (29%)
Lab: 11424 (27%)
LDem: 17516 (41%)
PC: 622 (1%)
Oth: 900 (2%)
MAJ: 5097 (12%)

2015 Candidates
CHRIS DAVIES (Conservative) Veterinary practice manager and former auctioneer. Powys councillor since 2012. Contested Brecon and Radnorshire 2011 Welsh Assembly election.
MATTHEW DORRANCE (Labour) Born Brecon. Educated at Brecon High School and Swansea University. Political assistant and former mental health support worker. Powys councillor since 2012. Contested Mid and West Wales 2011.
ROGER WILLIAMS (Liberal Democrat) Born 1948, Crickhowell. Educated at Christ College School, Brecon and Cambridge University. Livestock farmer. Powys councillor 1981-2001. MP for Brecon and Radnorshire 2001 to 2015. A former Labour party member he joined the SDP in 1981.
DARRAN THOMAS (UKIP) Born 1966, Llandrindod Wells. Educated at Llandrindod High School. Forensic computer consultant.
CHRIS CARMICHAEL (Green) Educated at Open University. Postman.
FREDDY GREAVES (Plaid) Born Gladestry. Educated at Cambridge University. Local government officer.
Comments - 193 Responses on “Brecon & Radnorshire”
  1. I think that in seats like this one the Tories benefited in 2015 from the fact that most people thought it was going to be a very close election, and so people who prefer the Tories to Labour but have previously voted Lib Dem went Tory. Obviously this didn’t apply in 2016, when they also had a more high profile incumbent.

  2. That’s what they proposed last time – creating a seat covering an enormous geographic area (the other half of Montgomeryshire was merged with most of Clwyd South, and small parts of Clwyd West and the Vale of Clwyd, creating an interesting looking CON-LAB marginal).

  3. You can just call it Powys of course – nice and short.

    I’ve never understood Conservative attachment to “historic” counties that bear no relation either to modern settlement patterns or modern administrative areas.

  4. ‘I’ve never understood Conservative attachment to “historic” counties’

    Only *some* Conservatives.
    No Middlesex doesn’t exist anymore; Croydon is no longer part of Surrey; Rutland should be part of Leicestershire; the Isle of Wight should be incorporated into Hampshire.

    Let the war begin…

  5. John D – being a Northerner I’ve always been puzzled by the blurred Greater London ‘boundary.’

    Is it as a result of Londoners moving outwards – and some still calling themselves London and others a rural County?

    I remember sending a birthday card to a friend in South Croydon and they said the postman/Royal Mail had crossed out South Croydon which I’d written on the envelope! (They’re Northerners who live in Kenley)

    From what they’ve said, half of the people call themselves Surrey and the rest insist on Croydon, London. I think there are even businesses names South Croydon… in Kenley.

    Wasn’t the infamous BNP bunker said to be in Welling, Kent? (around the time of the Derek Beacon Millwall Ward win)

  6. I live at an address which is in the London Borough of Barnet but still includes Hertfordshire (which Barnet left in 1965) and an Enfield ‘EN’ post code (even though Barnet has never been in Enfield). The parts of Barnet that were part of Middlesex do have London addresses.

    All very confusing!


    This is quite sad. As well as the 120 Cllrs returned unopposed on Thursday, there are apparently 4 wards in England and Wales where no-one even contested the vacancy.

    I recall a few years back how Nick Griffin got the BNP parish cllrs by contesting a few in rather obscure rural locations.

  8. What happens if there are no candidates at all? Can someone request a byelection if they decide they want to stand or does the council sit with fewer members than it should for the duration?

  9. AFAIK any 2 members of a ward can request a by-election to fill a vacancy in Mets and counties.

    But I think a few fair parish/town councils operate with fewer members than full capacity.

  10. I saw this on the local B&R newspaper website re the selection of a local councillor to fight the seat for the Lib Dems –

    “Though the Lib Dems only increased their number of councillors by four on Powys council they won more seats in Brecon in Radnorshire than the Conservatives and also took a seat in Llandrindod Wells from the Conservatives”

    I had not seen many council results yet as my local Montgomeryshire paper comes out on Thursdays. Bearing in mind that the Lib Dems held the seat comfortably in the Assembly election last year, albeit with well-known Kirsty Williams as candidate, could this be an unexpected close contest?

  11. Bazinwales,

    Surely most of the seats in B&R would be held by Independents? So only a few would be fought on party lines giving little guidance of trends before June 8th.

  12. In B&R the seats went:

    Indi 15
    LD 10
    Lab 7
    Con 4
    PC 1
    Green 1
    Vacant 1

    In Montgomeryshire they went:

    Indi 15
    Con 14
    LD 3
    PC 2

    All three parties in Montgomeryshire increased their seats numbers while the independents fell, but it’s difficult to make a meaningful comparison, not only due to the large number of independents, but the large number of seats where there isn’t a LD and Con candidate.

  13. This must be the best Tory result in Wales, Christopher Davies achieved the highest Tory share of the vote ever. A clear comparison to the Assembly election last year.

  14. Christopher Davies has been charged with falsifying two parliamentary expense claims, the CPS has announced. He will appear in court of the 22nd of March.

  15. Christopher Davies has pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to two expense fraud charges.

    Not sure if the offences are serious enough for him to be suspended from the whip/face calls to resign his seat.

  16. Shock horror

    Yet another no-deal supporting Brexiteer who by his own admission is a lying cheating fraudster

  17. Onsanaya has set the precedent for convicted MPs to cling on if they’re sentenced to less than a year in jail. However if that does happen it seriously pulls the moral high ground from underneath the Tories in Peterborough. Wonder if we might see the Tories win Peterborough and lose here to the Lib Dems, if there are by-elections.

  18. Lots of local talk of a recall petition. Lib Dems are mobilising just in case according to reports of their recent Welsh conference.

  19. A recall petition will open here the Speaker has just announced.
    Chris Davies was sentence to community service only so not sure it will pass.

  20. This is dodgy as hell, but it’s not as bad as the case of Iain Paisley Jr and he escaped punishment.

  21. On the other hand this is a rural and religious area where you’d expect people to be dutiful and turnouts are always high. The Paisley case was always likely to be blunted by the sectarian divide, while Peterborough is a transient cosmopolitan town.

  22. PT – it depends what you mean and is all relative.

    After all troughing Treddinick, Wiggin & Grayling are all still there and all committed worse and with much greater sums.

    After all, daily, many benefit fraudsters are merely given community service and don’t even have to repay in some cases. You tend to only get jailed if it goes on years and so the sums are great.

    Sadly it seems fraud is seen as an interest-free loan by the Courts.

    I have no sympathy with Cllrs defrauding the system, but I know from experience that even if a journalist provides the police with proof they don’t always result in prosecutions.

  23. Through he the local Tories will be advocating against recall while in Peterborough Labour are advocating recall.

  24. Recall underway. I see that the Lib Dems have registered to campaign for the recall and the Cons have registered to campaign against it – a test of their levels of local campaigning. Some voters will have to travel a fair distance to sign but postal and proxy signing is allowed.

  25. I cant see it passing.

  26. I can.

    This is a religious area with high turnouts and one of the strongest Liberal traditions in the country.

    Angry Brexity Conservatives may be tempted to support recall as well as opponents.

  27. Is there only one place to sign the petition? That would be pretty daft in one of the geographically largest seats in the whole country.

  28. ‘That would be pretty daft in one of the geographically largest seats in the whole country.’

    I think geographically this is the largest seat in England & Wales, although there are several larger ones in Scotland

    10% isn’t a particularly large threshold, and I guess much of it depends of what voters think of Mr Davies performance as an MP

  29. Scotch my comment about the length of the Liberal tradition here, I was of course thinking of neighbouring Montgomery, though going back to the 85 by- election this seat has been Lib Dem more often than not. In the current climate IMO there’s a good chance of the petition succeeding. We might not be that far off the Tories needing more than DUP to get legislation through.

  30. With one eye on a possible recall here:

    Powys European election results
    Brex: 35
    LD: 24
    PC: 12
    Con: 9
    Lab: 7

    Not sure what you can reduce from those figures.

  31. With the distances some people would have to travel to sign the recall it is possible that not enough will sign. Fewer locations than Peterborough spread over a huge rural area. If there is a recall it will show that Lib Dem campaigners have been very effective.

  32. By election here. 19% of the electorate signed the recall.

  33. Impressive turnout in a large rural constituency.

    My prediction is a straight BXP vs Liberal.fight.with an edge to the LDs…this area wasn’t overwhelmingly.Leave-y.amd the LDs.have a decent tradition here.

  34. Decent showing for Brexit party here in euros.

    They got about 35% of the vote and given the leace vote waa 53% thats a better showing than the 38% in Peterborough given a 61% leave vote there

  35. Worth remembering that the Brexit Party went as short as 1/8 or even 1/10 in Peterborough and still failed to win it.

    No foregone conclusion this.

  36. Aye the betting companies gave Brexit Party very generous odds and people made a lot of money on Labour 7/1 only tge day before

  37. I think at this early stage CON at 13/2 to win is good value imo

    They got 49% of the GE2017 vote, it’s a 52% LEAVE seat and might easily benefit from a Boris bounce.

    There’s also a small chance that the Brexit Party won’t stand.

  38. A Boris bounce is not impossible but atm I see a big drop in the Tory vote

  39. The Liberal Democrats are 1/5 favourites for the by election. The Tories are actually second at 5/1, BXP at 7/1. No one else stands a chance, apparently.

  40. The opening numbers had BxP at 6/1 and Tories 8/1 i think so thats interesting

  41. I guess Johnson almost certainly becoming leader and chipping away at the BXP vote is being factored in by punters.

  42. Davies has been reselected as the candidate. Will CCHQ back this or force someone else on the R&B ?

  43. I think they will back him even if it seems utterly bizarre and an own goal.

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