The Constituency Association came into being in 1945 with the formation of a new Cardiff West constituency made up of parts of the old Cardiff Central Division and the former Llandaff and Barry Divisions.
In that year, the first General Election since before World War II, the seat was contested on behalf of the Conservative Party by Charles Hallinan, later to become Sir Charles Hallinan. He admitted later that he had hoped to win the seat on the tail of Sir Winston Churchill's outstanding reputation as Britain's wartime leader. Unfortunately it was not to be, the seat was won for Labour by George Thomas, later to become Viscount Tonypandy and Speaker of the House of Commons. The next Parliamentary candidate for the constituency was Lincoln Hallinan, the son of Sir Charles, and who in turn was awarded a knighthood while Lord Mayor of Cardiff.
Success continued to elude the Conservatives in Cardiff West until 1983 when our candidate, Stefan Terlezki CBE won the seat from Labour. It was a briskly fought election and many members of the Association still remember how, on polling morning, motorists driving to work down Cathedral Road were astonished to see, hanging from clothes hangers from every tree, posters extolling the virtues of the Conservative candidate. The idea was the brainchild of the Association agent Charlotte Bennett and many still believe that this cheeky initiative had much to do with the success of the campaign. Sadly, at the end of that Parliament, the seat was lost and has not, as yet, been regained.
For over sixty years the Constituency Association has provided many members of the City Council and the South Glamorgan Council, eight of whom served either as Lord Mayor or Chairman of the County Council. In one well-remembered Local Government election in the 1960s, every seat in the Constituency was won by the Conservatives.
Since its inception in 1945 the Association has won many awards including:-
- The Graesser Cup 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1990
for the most improved Conservative Association in Wales.
- The Wales Area Speaking Competition cup 1985.
- The Gold Award 1985, 1986, 1997 and 1998 for the highest percentage increase in Britain for financial quota contribution.
- The Blue award 1990 second in the national league for quota payments.
- The Gold Award 1997,1998 and 1999 top of the national league for quota payments.
- National Award for Financial achievement 1985 and 2000.
- Award for a twenty year successful record of payment of campaign subscriptions to Central Office 2003.
- A Certificate of Excellence awarded by CCO London for achieving Campaign Subsciptions targets, Jan - Dec 2008
Now, sixty years after its inception, Cardiff West Conservative Association is looking forward to the future. At the 2003 Welsh Assembly elections, the Labour majority in Cardiff West was reduced by some 4,000 and in the Local Elections of 2004, the difference between the overall Conservative and Labour vote in Cardiff West was dramatically reduced to just 2,366.
In the 2005 General Election, candidate Simon Baker and his team obtained a swing to the Conservatives in Cardiff West of 4.8%. This was one of the largest swings in Wales and was considerably higher than the UK average swing of 2%, an achievement that everyone in the Association can be proud of. At the same time Labours majority was slashed by nearly 3,000 and their total number of votes slumped to a 20 year low, reaffirming the position of the Conservatives as the only real challenge to Labour in Cardiff West.
In the 2007 National Assembly elections, candidate Craig Williams and his team doubled the Conservative vote, securing a swing of 8.8% from Labour to Conservative the second largest in Wales.
In the 2010 General Election, our candidate, Dr Angela Jones-Evans ran a strong campaign and slashed the Labour majority in Cardiff West by a further 3416 votes. Following this James Taghdissian fought an excellent campaign in the 2015 General Election. Both campaigns give us hope that victory for Conservatives in Cardiff West is now within striking distance.
Sean Driscoll took the fight to the then future First Minister of Wales in the 2016 Senedd election. In the snap General Election of 2017, Matt Smith increased thr Conservative vote to 13,874 votes. Carolyn Webster fought the seat in the 2019 General Election.
As part of this revival we now have FIVE local Conservative County Councillors - Rod McKerlich (Radyr & Morganstown), Graham Thomas (Creigiau and St Fagans), Gavin Hill-John (Pentyrch & Gwaelod y Garth), Sean Driscoll (Llandaff) and Pip Hill-John (Llandaff)
The Conservative revival in Cardiff West is going from strength to strength and we look forward to the future with renewed vigour and determination.