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Arfon (UK Parliament constituency)

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Covid-19
Preserved county  Gwynedd
Created  2010
Created from  Caernarvonshire
Member of parliament  Hywel Williams
Replaced by  Caernarfonshire
Electorate  41,138 (December 2010)
Created from  Caernarfon and Conwy
Welsh Assembly  Arfon, North Wales
Number of members  1
Major settlements  Bangor, Caernarfon
Arfon (UK Parliament constituency) may2015comwpcontentuploads20150310744826084

Arfon is a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (at Westminster). Although the constituency is relatively large by geographical area, it is a predominantly urban rather than rural seat, with the majority of the population living in the two towns on which the constituency is based, Bangor and Caernarfon. "Arfon" is a historical name for the area, meaning "facing Anglesey"; it is also the name of the former district council. This seat was created by the Welsh Boundary Commission in time for the 2010 general election, and replaced the old seat of Caernarfon. The same boundaries were used for the Arfon Welsh Assembly constituency in the 2007 Welsh Assembly election.

Contents

It is the smallest mainland constituency in the UK by electorate, and larger only than the two Scottish island constituencies, Na h-Eileanan an Iar and Orkney and Shetland.

The Arfon division of Caernarvonshire was a former UK Parliament constituency, which existed from 1885 until 1918. Before 1885 and after 1918 the area was part of the Caernarvonshire constituency. The Liberal MP William Rathbone represented the Arfon seat until 1895, followed by fellow Liberal William Jones. Upon the death of Mr Jones, Griffith C. Rees, for the Liberal Party, was elected unopposed at the subsequent by-election.

Boundaries

When first created in 1885, the constituency was defined as the Petty Sessional Divisions of Bangor, Conway and Nant-Conway, with the Parishes of Llanddeinilen and Llanberis (which were within the Carnarvon Petty Sessional Division). The constituency included the boroughs of Bangor and Conway which were part of the Carnarvon District of Boroughs constituency; only those who owned freehold land within the boroughs could vote in elections for the Arfon constituency as a second vote.

The electoral wards which are used to create the twenty-first century Arfon are entirely within the preserved county of Gwynedd. They are Arllechwedd, Bethel, Bontnewydd, Cadnant, Cwm-y-Glo, Deiniol, Deiniolen, Dewi, Garth, Gerlan, Glyder, Groeslon, Hendre, Hirael, Llanberis, Llanllyfni, Llanrug, Llanwnda, Marchog, Menai (Bangor), Menai (Caernarfon), Ogwen, Peblig (Caernarfon), Penisarwaun, Pentir, Penygroes, Seiont, Talysarn, Tregarth and Mynydd Llandygai, Waunfawr and Y Felinheli.

2010 Election

The latest boundary change created a battle ground in Arfon particularly for Labour, Plaid Cymru, and the Conservatives, with the latter being labelled as a ‘resurgent’ party by the Caernarfon Herald. The scale of contention had been reached due to the large shift in boundary changes which in turn has created a need within each party to achieve a relatively unforeseen outcome. Plaid Cymru had previously never represented Bangor, which had been held by Conservative Wyn Roberts for twenty-seven years and a further thirteen under Labour’s Betty Williams. It has however also been more than thirty years since Caernarfon has been represented by anyone other than Plaid Cymru.

Elections in the 2010s

*Served as MP for the predecessor seat of Caernarfon in the 2005-2010 Parliament

References

Arfon (UK Parliament constituency) Wikipedia


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