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adoption meeting, Abel Thomas QC made great play on the question of who was behind the Meredyth candidature. Having dismissed the Carlton Club, he wondered about the influence of the Duke of Beaufort and his great landowning interests in South Wales. These names underline the power of the English landowning aristocracy in Conservative politics at the time, not least in Wales. The Parties As far as the electoral power of the respective parties is concerned, only two Conservative MPs have represented Swansea since 1885, each for one brief term: Sir John Dillwyn-Llewelyn of Penllergaer, Swansea Town 1895-1900, and J E Hugh Rees, Swansea West 1959-64.3 The Liberal Party lost Gower to Labour's John Williams in 1906.4 Swansea Town elected Liberal MPs between 1885 and 1895 and from 1900 to 1918; Swansea West had two periods of Liberal representation Liberals here favoured millionaire candidates.5 Swansea District was steadfastly Liberal, choosing candidates with strong local links, as was Swansea East for the first four years of its life but became a Labour seat in 1922.6 The Liberal Party's last MP in the area was defeated in 1929. Ageism The ageism of 1885 is in direct contrast to that of the twenty first century. Meredyth, 'a mere boy', dared to challenge one of Swansea's patriarchal figures. Dillwyn, aged 71, boasted that he was an MP long before Meredyth was born. Liberal supporters saw Meredyth's incursion as insolent and impertinent. Swansea, like other constituencies, was represented by men who had already made their way in life, gaining wealth and experience in industry and commerce. The author recalls a conversation with a would-be MP in the 1960s who had failed to notice that times had changed, whilst he was gaining experience and fighting unwinnable seats. What would Dillwyn and Vivian and Meredyth, too, for that matter make of our society where youth is supreme and experience has lost its sparkle, and where one is expected to change one's job regularly so as to gain the kind of short-term experiences that look so good on a CV? London and Wales At his adoption meeting, Meredyth said that 'people had twitted him for standing for a Welsh constituency'.7 By 'people', he clearly means the London social establishment of his day. Perhaps not everything has changed? Church, Chapel and Temperance Religion and religious loyalties were of paramount importance in the Swansea of 1885. Vivian and Dillwyn were both Anglicans one assumes that Meredyth was too but they represented constituencies where the majority of voters were Welsh Nonconformists. Dillwyn, a man of advanced views, had great sympathy with them, as revealed by his introducing a Disestablishment Bill almost every year from 1883.