The 1970 Parliamentary Election at Merthyr Tydfil Alun Morgan In the early hours of a dry, warm morning, June 19, 1970, a crowd of several thousand people waited intently outside the town hall in Merthyr Tydfil. Suddenly tension mounted as the town-clerk stepped on to the town hall balcony to announce the result of the parliamentary election in the constituency of Merthyr Tydfil which had taken place the previous day. Within minutes the night air was rent by a deafening roar followed by chanting, singing and shrieks from girls in the crowd. The event that caused such pandemonium was surprising it was that an eighty-three-year-old candidate had retained the Parliamentary seat he had held since 1934, encompass- ing nine previous elections. Behind the bare announcement, how- ever, there lay a most interesting story. The constituency of Merthyr Tydfil has a very rich political history. The locality had been one of the most important in Britain in the early stages of the industrial revolution. By 1850 it was by far Wales's largest town a teeming, sprawling mass[1], a virtual frontier town [2], violent, cosmopolitan a community in which class division and inequality of wealth were at their sharpest. In 1831 serious riots had necessitated the summoning of troops to the town; people were shot down; the mob controlled the town for two days; and in the aftermath an alleged ringleader, Richard Lewis better known to his contemporaries and to history as "Dic Penderyn" was executed for his part in the riots. Gradually the town evolved a more stable community base and in 1867 became part of a two-member constituency of Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare. In 1868 the radical Liberal, Henry Richard, "the Apostle of Peace", was elected as one of its members. In 1900 the constituency returned Independent Labour candidate James Keir Hardie as one of the members. In 1918 the Borough of Merthyr Tydfil became a separate constituency returning a single