2015 Result:
Conservative: 15862 (37.1%)
Labour: 15835 (37%)
Lib Dem: 1552 (3.6%)
Plaid Cymru: 3051 (7.1%)
Green: 1161 (2.7%)
UKIP: 4773 (11.2%)
TUSC: 103 (0.2%)
Loony: 253 (0.6%)
Independent: 168 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 27 (0.1%)

Category: Ultra-marginal Conservative seat

Geography: Wales, West Glamorgan. Part of the Swansea council area.

Main population centres: The Mumbles, Port Eynon, Pontarddulais, Clydach, Gorseinon.

Profile: Consists of the Gower peninsula, a tourist area of beaches, campsites and caravan parks, the seaside resort and residential villages of The Mumbles and the more working class and industrial, former mining and tin making towns to the north of Swansea like Pontarddulais and Gorseinon (the birthplace of former Tory leader, Michael Howard).

Politics: Long a Labour-Conservative marginal on paper, Gower remained tantalisingly out of Conservative reach even at their high tide marks of support. The Gower peninsula itself contains much Conservative support, but more industrial towns to the north of Swansea vote Labour and more than balance this out. Gower was held by the Labour party continously for a century between 1910 and 2015 before falling to the Conservatives on the tiniest of margins, the smallest majority of the 2015 election.

Current MP
BYRON DAVIES (Conservative) Born Gower. Educated at Gowerton Boys Grammar School. Former police officer. Contested Gower 2007 Welsh assembly election, member of the Welsh Assembly for South Wales West since 2011. First elected as MP for Gower in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 13333 (32%)
Lab: 16016 (38%)
LDem: 7947 (19%)
PC: 2760 (7%)
Oth: 1615 (4%)
MAJ: 2683 (6%)
Con: 10083 (25%)
Lab: 16786 (42%)
LDem: 7291 (18%)
PC: 3089 (8%)
Oth: 2293 (6%)
MAJ: 6703 (17%)
Con: 10281 (28%)
Lab: 17676 (47%)
LDem: 4507 (12%)
PC: 3865 (10%)
Oth: 1024 (3%)
MAJ: 7395 (20%)
Con: 10306 (24%)
Lab: 23313 (54%)
LDem: 5624 (13%)
PC: 2226 (5%)
Oth: 1867 (4%)
MAJ: 13007 (30%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
BYRON DAVIES (Conservative) Born Gower. Educated at Gowerton Boys Grammar School. Retired police officer. Contested Gower 2007 Welsh assembly election, member of the Welsh Assembly for South Wales West since 2011.
LIZ EVANS (Labour) Born Hafod. Trade union officer, works for the Land Registry.
MIKE SHEEHAN (Liberal Democrat)
COLIN BECKETT (UKIP) Educated at Oxford Brookes University. Chiropractor and former army officer.
STEVE SPARKY ROBERTS (Independent) Party organiser.
BARON BARNES VON CLAPTRAP (Loony) , real name David Barnes. Retired optometrist.
Comments - 348 Responses on “Gower”
  1. Also Conservative Estimate please stop spamming the site: within the space of a few minutes you’ve commented on 4 Welsh pages with notionals from 1992 when you could have easily posted them all on a single page/single post.

  2. ‘Glad to see you’re all taking the comments policy with the respect and maturuty it deserves’

    Grow up FFS and don’t take yourself so seriously

    It’s a political site and by its very nature it will be partisan to a degree – and besides I was only responding to a particularly unpleasant post blaming homelessness on the homeless themselves and those who help them – an extremely partisan view if might say so

  3. Nobody wants to see your partisan arguments on this site Tim, I don’t care what the motivations are or how partisan other people are being.

    Straight out of the comments policy again:
    “If you see a comment from someone else that you think crosses over the line please do NOT respond with equally partisan rebuttals. If it is a new poster then please do welcome them, explain we don’t really do things that way round here, and point them in the direction of this policy. If it is someone who should know better, just ignore them: continuing a partisan argument is just as bad as starting it!”

    This site is for those keen about polling and elections, it’s not about partisan debate: if you want that you’ll need to look elsewhere.

  4. “Terribly sorry. I just like to post them so I have easy access to them on this site. Will refrain!!”

    If you want easy access to them put them on google drive.

  5. NTY UK

    totally agree with you re. Conservative Estimate. This site has become simply become a platform for Conservative Estimate to indulge in Hamlet-style soliloquies. He must contribute at least half the posts. it’s very boring.

  6. Tim Jones – except I was of course quoting Labour Cllrs in Liverpool and Manchester.

    Although I realise Rivers10 may regard them as ‘on the Right’ as you claimed.

  7. Tim J – I suspect you mean Pepp’s post and not mine incidentally as I certainly didn’t claim that or indeed anything – I merely cited the study in Lpool and police investigation in Manc – and didn’t even refer to charity workers.

    I don’t mind you being partisan (re the bad guys and all is woe since the Leave vote) but at least be accurate re who you are accusing in future.

  8. Conservative Estimate please do not arrevate the situation by hurling abuse at people and being incredibly ignorant.

    I’m sorry that you have autism but at the same time you are not alone in having a mental illness: I can’t help you at all in that regard but I would implore you to take everybody’s advice on board (stop spamming pages and if you can try not to patronise people/avoid being unpleasant and partisan).Nobody is forcing you to come on this site or to comment on it the way you do. I’d implore you to seek real life help if that’s what you think you need.

  9. I still cant see exactly what Tim said to Cons estimate to warrant that response, but whenever this site does become partisan it quicky escalates into hurling personal insults at one another – one good reason alone for sticking to the site’s comments policy

  10. With all do respect you’ve said that repeatedly since the end of last year: if anything you’re number of posts have increased since then.

  11. Your*

  12. @Hemming

    ”You should be very grateful that most of society isn’t as uncharitable towards others as you are otherwise your openly gay lifestyle would still be criminalised!”

    I am not uncharitable towards others I am just extremely sceptical of things which might well alleviate the problem in the short term but make the problem worse in the long term. It’s a similar story with charities that go to the developing world and say build a school or vaccinate children without training local people up or leaving behind the necessary tools for them to be able to help themselves or giving money directly to the homeless probably isn’t an overall constructive way to help. As for homosexuality it’s hardly comparable to charity as I believe you yourself have said on here it was an issue that most people never really cared all that passionately about.

    ”poor because they don’t know how to cook porridge”

    I never said it was the only reason but it would be foolish to dismiss it as a factor. Healthy, nutritious food can be cooked extremely cheaply especially as it is not advised that people eat meat every day of the week. Rising rates of obesity (particularly in children at the poorer end of society) and the prevalence of fast food which is far more expensive than home cooked suggests there is much to be said both costwise and healthwise for encouraging people to home cook.

    ”I’m afraid you often fall into the trap of pontificating on anything & everything even on things it’s obvious you know absolutely nothing about.”

    I accept I am not an expert on everything obviously but if someone writes a response to me I will try my best to reply.

    ”I do hope you never have the misfortune to fall on hard times yourself”

    Nor do I obviously but if I do I would like someone to help me in a way that would be more helpful in getting myself out of a hole rather than one that would trap me there.

    ”I don’t share much of Rivers’ politics but I’m not too mean spirited to congratulate him on his charity work”

    So do I but my overall point is that some forms of charity do more harm than good or at the very least fail to help solve the long term problem.

  13. Nobody wants to hear this crap. Take it somewhere else.

  14. ”That’s one of the most ludicrous comments I’ve ever read on here”

    I should have been clearer and included with the exception of the homeless. But the definition of poverty used by many politicians and much of the media: % of median income (which is really a test of inequality not poverty which are really two different things) and using silly metrics like not having a holiday once a year and arriving at the figure of 1/3 of the country is clearly ridiculous whichever way you look at it.

    ”If you honestly think that’s true you should visit somewhere like Brighton where homelessness has gone up almost fourfold since 2010 Just yesterday I waled past over six rough sleepers on my short 5 minute journey from the supermarket to my home”

    I don’t need to Bristol might as well be the homeless capital of Britain. I think it unwise the lay all blame at the governments door as this hugely underestimates the influence drugs play, I have seen gifts of food thrown in the bin and people often act very cagy when you offer to buy them food instead of giving them money. Going to a liberal city like Brighton, Bristol or London (incidentally I know central London moderately well and homelessness to me doesn’t look all that bad, absolutely nothing on the level of Bristol) will distort your view of how bad homelessness is nationwide though as the homeless tend to be highly concentrated in a handful of liberal, large cities leaving the rest of the country nearly entirely homeless free.

  15. ”Glad to see you’re all taking the comments policy with the respect and maturuty it deserves…”


    I do tend to agree that people (including me) should try to be less partisan. On a site about elections the line between that an policy is a bit blurred so it is quite easy to get into a full blown debate. I will try to tone the partisanship down.

  16. Pepps
    Just for the sake of clarity poverty by the UK definition no longer includes things like “can hey afford a holiday” the gov scrapped that years ago. Today it is measured as follows

    Relative Poverty is less than 60% of the median UK income, median income in the UK is £22,000 so less than £13,200 with modifications based on cost of living in a given area, number of children etc. When you include relative poverty as well as abolsute poverty the govs official figures are just short of 1/3 of the population

    Then there is absolute poverty which is measured as the inability to afford the essentials of life (food, shelter, clothing etc) and again modified based on cost of living/number of dependants etc the govs official figures put the number of people living in absolute poverty in the UK at just shy of 5%

    A clear minority? Yes. A handful of people one can dismiss? Most certainly not. even if you disregard relative poverty that still leaves millions in the UK living in absolute poverty which is a shameful statistic.

  17. wow a serious number of typos there apologies

  18. Con Estimate
    Govs own report found cutting welfare didn’t help people find work, it actually had the opposite effect.

    You live in the SE I imagine finding a job there is much easier, try looking for work elsewhere in the country. Remember this post by Polltroll a week ago…
    “There are 231 jobs advertised in London and the South-East. There are just 108 in the rest of the country – half the number of jobs for three times the number of people”
    Hardly makes a fair comparison you living where you do does it? Personally all I’ve been able to find is min wage part time work and even that was a struggle to attain.

  19. “Why should I paint my neighbour’s house when the paint on mine is peeling gargantuan flecks daily?”

    This is what amuses me from Tories, see the (in my mind0 logical response and the response from the left would be to demand your house receive the same treatment as your neighbours (aka dragging you up)
    However Tories always have the approach of dragging everyone else down, “if I can’t have it you cant have it”
    And then they say we on the left are anti aspirational…

  20. “Rivers, I find that hard to believe”
    That cutting welfare made a negative impact on people finding work? Read for yourself

    “No, Rivers, my point was that we should spend less on foreign aid (it’s largely virtue-signalling on a grandiose scale) and put the needs of the UK first”
    So after all the posturing on this thread the last couple of days about how poverty in the UK isn’t real we are know taking money away from people living in genuine destitution abroad (in large part due to actions taken by this country) to help the apparently not very needy here in the UK? I don’t buy it one bit, with respect the people who normally advocate slashing foreign aid are the same people who advocate slashing welfare here (yourself for example) I’d bet anything the money saved would be squandered on something unnecessary like a further round of tax cuts for the rich.

  21. I have a sneaking suspicion that neither of you have even read the Comments Policy.

    – says won’t be partisan
    – then immediately breaks down into a partisan debate

    It’s really not that hard to differentiate polling/election results from partisan debate to be honest. Debating about how the country is run and how it should be run is really not what this site is about: and it’s abundantly clear from your discussions on taxes, foreign aid policy etc. that you are completely disregarding this in spite of my warnings. This isn’t a site about how the country should be run: it’s a site primarily concerned with objective analysis and points of discussion, that can include news events, election results, demographics etc. NOT public policy.

    Again from the Comments Policy: “This means that it is not a place for spinning, not a place for saying how much you hate party X and wish they would lose, nor it is a place for saying what party should win, or what the public should support. We are interested in what will happen, what the public actually think, not what you think they should do.”

  22. ”From 20 years ago…

    CON 31% [0]
    LAB 48% [-2]
    LD 16% [+1]
    LAB lead +17 [-2]
    ICM for the Guardian


    Seems like a completely different world doesn’t it. Labour riding high, the Tories ripping themselves to shreds, Tony Blair popular…

  23. my father appeared in the 1997 coverage when Pollard was elected but watching and rewatching I still can’t find it

  24. Pepps
    I’d like to respond but I promised NTY UK I’d stop being partisan and getting roped into these big debates falls under that category so unsurprisingly I disagree with most everything you say but I’ll have to let it slide.

    The “one” thing I would comment on is that you can’t dismiss relative poverty like its nothing, I mean try living on less than 13K, you’d either fail or endlessly struggle and be miserable and stressed.

  25. I wonder what the Majority for the Torries will be her in June. Between 1-2.5 thousand is my guess.

  26. Greens not standing here.

  27. Plop
    I disagree totally, the Gower peninsula itself has never been industrial and the Tories have long maxed their vote their. Lab have weakened in the industrial North of the seat but as with other ex industrial seats unless that is accompanied with gentrification (which isn’t happening here) then it only weakens Labs vote so much and indeed the local election results in this seat were actually fairly promising for Labour.

    I agree with BM11 max Tory majority about 2,500, wouldn’t be at all surprised if they only managed a three digit majority though.

  28. If that poll is to be believed this could be a LAB gain.

  29. Today’s Welsh only poll would suggest that, but I suspect after the social care u-turn/fiasco this is perhaps as close as Labour are going to get in the polls and in retrospect will be seen as the Tories wobble on the way to a decent overall win (say 70-80 maj) albeit less than was expected 3-4 weeks ago.

    I can’t see Labour picking up any seats in Wales, though I think they will hold Cardiff Central and might have some chance still in likes of Alyn and Deeside and Delyn.

  30. I thought that

  31. And apologies to you on Derby North. Subsequent developments show that you may well be right about that.

  32. ”And apologies to you on Derby North. Subsequent developments show that you may well be right about that.”

    At the moment it doesn’t look likely the Tories still comfortably have a double digit lead in national polling. If it comes down further then yes but not at the present time.

  33. I cant see this being gained by Labour despite the current You Gov Poll. I still think it be close to the doomsday situation for Labour in the election.

  34. I can see it being gained by Labour. Wales is Wales not England, Lab are recovering there and there is not a small amount of disquiet about the incumbents relish for fracking in the local area. And the Green party are stepping aside: “A press release from the Gower Green Party and seen by The Canary stated:

    ‘The sitting MP in Gower, Byron Davies, has an abhorrent voting record in Parliament. Whether it is cutting payments to the disabled, allowing the privatisation of the NHS, voting against Wales to receive the same level of funding it would have had in the EU, or voting to allow fracking to devastate vast swathes of his own constituency, Byron has done it all. It is almost unthinkable that a sitting MP would vote to potentially poison surface and groundwater supplies in his own constituency particularly in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is a move which could obliterate the local Tourism, cockle and agricultural industries whilst seeing house prices in the area plummet.'” The Canary 12th May

  35. The Canary would call every Tory in parliament “abhorrent”, and most sitting Labour MPs as well.

    That press release means bugger all in terms of how people will vote.

  36. While I tend to think current events will peel Labor’s gains back slightly in Wales and in the UK more generally, It’s definitely now a live possibility that Labour will win back this seat.

  37. I feel it should be a CON hold – they achieved a good swing here in the Assembly election and, contrary to Alex F’s post, I think Byron Davies is the kind of candidate likely to get a good first-time incumbency boost.

    Having said that if the last Wales poll is correct and there is basically no swing between CON and LAB it is quite conceivable that LAB could gain this (and perhaps even Cardiff North?) whilst losing the likes of Wrexham and Clwyd South.

  38. @Plopwellian Tory

    Because those seats have a lot more UKIP votes. And in the case of Wrexham there isn’t even a UKIP candidate. If the Cons are getting a considerable swing there, which seems pretty inevitable, then if that poll is right it would imply a swing in the other direction in some seats.

  39. Most likely a Conservative hold with an increased majority but Labour’s victory here at the last Welsh Assembly elections will give Labour an outside chance.

  40. As well as the fracking proposals, Mr Davies did not impress friends of mine who are constituents, with his apparent indifference to plans to convert farmland to a housing estate in Pontarddulais. He doesn’t seem to be battling for his electorate in the way more astute colleagues would. With that, I would disagree with Jack Sheldon and expect him to get a below par incumbency boost. While he will gain more votes from UKIP than Labour will from the Greens, it still looks like it will be tight here, anything from a CON hold with about 1000 majority to a Labour gain.

  41. I remember reading in some newspaper recently that despite the Tories’ Wales woes, they’re confident of holding this seat, if only narrowly. That said, if Labour are to gain seats, this is very high up on their list. Personally, I think Labour will win here unless the Tories recover some ground in Wales which is entirely possible (although I don’t see them going back to anything like a 10 point lead).

  42. Tory candidate here coming under criticism for saying benefit claimants “should be put down”.


    I don’t like the culture of dragging up comments from before people were involved in politics, but equally these are disgusting comments.

  43. Dodgy ground for the Tories this. Two of their biggest voting constituencies are the over 66 population (by far the biggest welfare claimants of all) and their new WWC voters in various dumps across the country who almost certainly aren’t net taxpayers across their lifetimes. Or wasn’t he referring to them?

  44. Applogies, should be ‘she’ above.

  45. “I’m sorry for misgendering the person who advocated class genocide.”

  46. ‘I don’t like the culture of dragging up comments from before people were involved in politics, but equally these are disgusting comments.’

    It just shows how low politics has stooped in this country, with Tories literally pushing each other out of the way to publicly defend her and her repugnant comments

    Just imagine how bad an MP she would make, yet clearly it’s people like her and Ross England that are rallying an increasing amount of Welsh people behind the Tory cause

  47. For as long as we have had a welfare state, some benefits claimants have taken the piss, while others are good honest people. The latter are probably the majority, but programmes like Benefits Street are obviously only going to show the former, getting the viewers all wound up. This debate is as old as the hills and you will certainly find it aired voiciferously in TV comedies from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

    The Tory candidate sounds a bit daft and lacking nuance, and saying humans should be put down as you would take an animal to the vet certainly isn’t advisable for an aspiring politician. Many of the pensioners Tristan mentions will surely agree with her though.

  48. Nonsense, Tristan.

    Quite apart from the fact that ‘welfare’ (as opposed to pensions which is based on NICs anyway) is regarded as cross party as the £90 Bn spent on working age people, the largest increase in Tory support in Stoke, Mansfield etc was amongst C2s many of whom are self-employed.

    The group who receives the least in State benefits and no holiday pay either.

    There are however groups who contribute the least in net terms (due to Housing Benefit, etc) and Frank Field isn’t afraid to point out that the same are new immigrants and groups such as Travellers and seats with lots of RCs such as Bootle and West Belfast. Hence the 2 child limit on new Child Benefit claims and Pat Glass et al moaning.

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