Montgomeryshire

2015 Result:
Conservative: 15204 (45%)
Labour: 1900 (5.6%)
Lib Dem: 9879 (29.3%)
Plaid Cymru: 1745 (5.2%)
Green: 1260 (3.7%)
UKIP: 3769 (11.2%)
MAJORITY: 5325 (15.8%)

Category: Semi-marginal Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Newtown, Welshpool, Machynlleth, Llanidloes, Montgomery.

Profile: A rural and sparsely populated seat, mostly mountainous in the west but coming down into fertile, rolling farmland towards the English border. The local economy is dominated by agriculture, arable in the lower area, sheep farming in the hills. The largest settlements are the newtown of Newtown (the name long predates its 1960s designation) and the agricultural market town of Welshpool, both close to the English border in the east of the constituency.

Politics: Historically this was a reliable Liberal seat, held by the Liberals and Liberal Democrats almost continuously since 1880, most notably by former party leader Clement Davies. In 1979 it was briefly won by the Conservatives before being regained by the Liberals under Alex Carlile (a prominent barrister who later, as Lord Carlile, became the independent reviewer of government terrorist legislation. Carlile was succeeded in 1997 by Lembit Opik, whose colourful eccentricities were sometimes blamed for the seat falling to the Conservatives in 2010.


Current MP
GLYN DAVIES (Conservative) Born 1944, Welshpool. Educated at Llanfair Caereinion High School and Aberystwyth University. Former farmer and former chairman of the Development board for rural Wales. Montgomeryshire councillor 1979-89. Contested Montgomeryshire 1997. Member of the Welsh Assembly for Mid and West Wales 1999-2007. First elected as MP for Montgomeryshire in 2010. PPS to Cheryl Gillan 2010-2012.
Past Results
2010
Con: 13976 (41%)
Lab: 2407 (7%)
LDem: 12792 (38%)
PC: 2802 (8%)
Oth: 1836 (5%)
MAJ: 1184 (4%)
2005*
Con: 8246 (27%)
Lab: 3454 (11%)
LDem: 15419 (51%)
PC: 2078 (7%)
Oth: 900 (3%)
MAJ: 7173 (24%)
2001
Con: 8085 (28%)
Lab: 3443 (12%)
LDem: 14319 (49%)
PC: 1969 (7%)
Oth: 1167 (4%)
MAJ: 6234 (22%)
1997
Con: 8344 (26%)
Lab: 6109 (19%)
LDem: 14647 (46%)
PC: 1608 (5%)
Oth: 1217 (4%)
MAJ: 6303 (20%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
GLYN DAVIES (Conservative) See above.
MARTYN SINGLETON (Labour)
JANE DODDS (Liberal Democrat) Born Wrexham. Former Richmond councillor.
DES PARKINSON (UKIP) Born Brecon. Retired Chief superintendent.
RICHARD CHALONER (Green)
ANN GRIFFITH (Plaid) Social care consultant. Anglesey councillor.
Links
Comments - 471 Responses on “Montgomeryshire”
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  1. Baz, from what you say this very much has the feel of a constituency which the parties felt was in play if there were significant national changes between the calling of the election and polling day, one where the challenging party believe they can reduce the majority (otherwise why continue given that the LDs clearly aren’t making the traction most expected given Labour’s situation?), but one where most parties think they know the result.

    Most uninvolved people could have said from the start that this was almost certain to remain Conservative, but as the campaign has proven assumptions can change as the campaign goes on. Few people currently assume Labour to drop below 200 seats. Many did three or four weeks ago.

  2. Still very quiet here. Lib Dems were in the village last week. Labour seem to have called at some houses on the main road recently. No sign of Conservative canvassers here yet and only 1 hand-delivered leaflet on top of the official election address. Same for Labour. ! Green and 1 Plaid Cymru. Separate and different election addresses for my wife and I from Lib Dem plus 4 other leaflets from them, some in post and some hand-delivered.

  3. I see from BBC Wales that Tim Farron has been in Montgomeryshire today. I have not heard that any other leaders have been here.

  4. Baz: My guess would be he’s trying to shore up the vote so they can take it when Davies stands down, probably next time around. Does that sound about right to you?

  5. MR PITT

    In the 2015 election and this time the national polls made it difficult to see a Lib Dem win here but they put in a lot of effort. In a much lower key election this time I have had as many leaflets from Lib Dem now as all the others combined. If the boundary review goes through the most Con areas go into a North Wales seat and the more Lib Dem areas join Brecon and Radnor to make Brecon, Radnor and Montgomery. That could become a marginal.

  6. Thanks, Baz.

    My continued suspicion is a future LD gain after Davies goes. And yes, you’re right: Brecon, Radnor and Montgomery is one of the few very bright spots for the LDs in the boundary changes.

  7. A further 5% swing here to the Conservatives (or maybe the popular Mr Davies?) now leaves this a very safe seat.

    Its days as a Liberal citadel look well and truly over,

  8. Labour got almost as high a share here as in 1997. The unwinding of tactical voting in “Corbynmania” really hit the Lib Dems here.

  9. Just seen the boundary review. The proposal is much as my suggestion on 14 September last year, with Llanidloes no longer transferred over the mountains to join Ceredigion and a village near Welshpool going into the north Wales seat with Welshpool. With a bit of luck elections might get interesting here again if the review goes through but the LDs will have to work hard to challenge – they could win the Assembly seat if Kirsty Williams stands. I would doubt that Glyn Davies would stand as it is his village that is moved out and there is a Con MP already in the bulk of the new constituency.

  10. Jane Dodds, the Lib Dem candidate here in 2015 and 17, has just been elected leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

  11. Vince Cable was in Welshpool yesterday. He held a public question and answer session at lunchtime.

  12. Glyn Davies has announced he won’t contest next GE

  13. Tories have selected Craig Williams who lost his seat in Cardiff North in 2017.

    I understand from a friend that the Lib Dems have carrying out their selection process and should have a candidate soon. PC have a candidate so he would have to agree to withdraw if there is a deal between remain parties.

  14. Speaking of Cardiff North, the Tory PPC for that seat is the brother of the high-profile anti-FGM activist Nimko Ali.

  15. Lib Dems have selected Kishan Devani as their candidate. According to the County Times he is a former Tory who left because of their swing to the right.

  16. Kishan Devani was quite a prominent Tory, standing for them in one of the Leicester seats if my memory serves me right

    I wish him well but would have thought there would be many other seats he would be better suited to that one in Brexit-backing rural Wales, which is monolithically white

  17. Can’t be as ill-suited as the last Lib Dem MP…

  18. POLLTROLL
    Lembit Opik went off the rails a bit towards the end of his parliamentary career but not before he had won 3 elections 1997, 2001 and 2005, the last of them with over 50% of the vote. He was an unknown councillor from Newcastle when he was selected to take over from Alex Carlile. His conduct was no worse than that of the current PM but a little more out in the open.

    No idea how things will pan out here. Current polling suggests a narrow Tory hold but I get the feeling that the national picture will change substantially one way or the other before the election.

  19. ‘His conduct was no worse than that of the current PM but a little more out in the open.’

    Lembit wasn’t that bad

    He wasn’t a persistent liar, didn’t constantly break promises and did seem to care about his constituents welfare – unlike the person you unfairly compare him to

    He just got beaten by a good, local Conservative candidate in 2010

  20. Tim Jones

    As I understand it Lembit was very good for constituents. He managed to keep a bank open in Llanidloes but it closed after he lost the seat. I also vaguely recall him shovelling gravel into a big pothole in an unsurfaced side road in Caersws when the residents could get no one to do it. The Cheeky Girl was a step too far for him though.

  21. Tim J – good spot.

    I’ve noticed that the LDs do appear to have a disproportionate number of Asian PPCs thus far. I haven’t seen this since 2005, when after the Iraq war they deliberately courted that vote.

    LDs have also selected Bablu Molik in Cardiff C (a seat they won in 2005 with 50% of the vote but came 3rd in at the last GE).

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