Wednesday, 14 August 2019

RIP Robyn Léwis who could have changed Welsh political history.

The death of dormer  The former Archdruid Robyn Léwis at  89  leads me to  think how welsh political history may have changed .

A writer, barrister and local politician, he won the prestigious prose medal at the National Eisteddfod in Gowerton in 1980.
I remember when working at HMCE  HQ in london finding they had a copy of his "Welsh Legal Terms" in their library.
He went on to became the first prose winner to be elected as archdruid by the Gorsedd of Bards in 2002.
The Gorsedd said he would be remembered for his "outstanding contribution to the world of literature here in Wales".

In 1970   he contested  Caernarfon for Plaid Cymru  eating away at a large Labour majority
General election 1966: Caernarvon[16][17]
LabourGoronwy Roberts17,65056.11Increase 1.73
ConservativeRoger Prys6,97222.16Decrease 2.05
Plaid CymruHumphrey Roberts6,83421.73Increase 0.32
Majority10,67833.95Increase 3.78
Turnout31,45678.40Decrease 1.92
Registered electors40,121
Labour holdSwingIncrease 1.89
General election 1970: Caernarvon[18]
LabourGoronwy Roberts13,62740.1
Plaid CymruRobyn Léwis11,33133.4
ConservativeKathleen J Smith6,81220.1
LiberalJohn A Williams2,1956.5
Labour holdSwing

Dafydd Wigley of course won the subsequent , election and over the years built up a substantial  personal majority.
What if Robyn Lewis had won or stod again  ?  Would he have built up the same powerbase Dafydd Wigley had?
Would Dafydd  had stood in  again in Meirionnydd, leaving D.E.T to never becoming a MP?

General election 1970[20]
LabourWilliam Edwards8,86139.76
Plaid CymruDafydd Wigley5,42524.34
LiberalEmlyn Thomas5,03422.59
ConservativeD Elgan H Edwards2,96513.30
Labour holdSwing

General election February 1974[20]
Plaid CymruDafydd Elis-Thomas7,82334.61
LabourWilliam Edwards7,23532.01
LiberalIAE Jones4,15318.37
ConservativeRR Owen3,39215.01
Plaid Cymru gain from LabourSwing

Welsh political history may well have proved very different.
One thing is clear from reading the turn outs . In Arfon  (which has replaced Caernarfon)  in the last election the turn out was  68.2% and in  Dwyfor Meirionnydd  it  was just 68%.
It is a story throughout  the UK  and it reflects that  (throughout the UK) there are a large number of people  not even counting those who do not  even register, who do not vote.
It is something that should be addressed .

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