Plaid Members Mark 50th Anniversary of Famous Caerphilly By-Election


It was 50 years ago that Plaid Cymru came within less than 2,000 votes of unseating Labour in the famous Caerphilly Parliamentary By-Election.

Bargoed-born and Cambridge University-educated Dr Phil Williams slashed the majority from 21,148 to just 1,874 with an enormous 29% swing.

Leanne Wood

The late Dr Williams’ family joined Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood (pictured) and former party leader, Dafydd Wigley (pictured) at a dinner at the Penyrheol Community Centre on Friday (June 22), where votes were counted back in 1968.

Dafydd Wigley

Also present at the event were some of those that helped in the by-election campaign, including Councillor Lindsay Whittle and former Rhymney Valley councillors Colin Palfrey, Syd Morgan, Kevin Viney and Ben Jones.

Stories of the by-election campaign were aplenty and, although Plaid Cymru failed to win the seat, the momentum  increased greatly the party’s profile and, ultimately, led onto Parliamentary success at Westminster elections with three MPs in the 1970s.  It also boosted the drive for devolution which eventually led to the National Assembly being established.

Entertainment was provided by Rachel Stephens, who starred in the BBC singing series, All Together Now.