Emlyn Garner Evans - Election For Denbigh

Election For Denbigh

The sitting Member of Parliament for Denbigh, Sir Henry Morris-Jones, was a National Liberal and announced his retirement. Evans was selected as his replacement by the local National Liberal Association in April 1948; he then attended several local branches of the Conservative Association (with whom the National Liberals were in alliance) to reassure them, and committed himself to defeating the Labour government. This reassurance worked and he was adopted as candidate in November 1949.

The election saw some confusion as the National Liberals claimed the official mantle of Liberalism; Evans, who faced a Liberal opponent, demanded that the electors were informed whether their Liberal candidate would back Conservatives or Labour in the event that the Liberals held the balance of power. Garner Evans himself broke the spirit of the 'Woolton-Teviot Agreement' between Conservatives and National Liberals by referring to himself as a 'National Liberal' only on his election literature. He won the seat with a narrow majority of 1,209 over the Liberal candidate, and only 38.9% of the total vote.

Evans made his maiden speech in June 1950 in support of the United Kingdom joining the Schuman Plan, but his main point was to call on the Labour Party to get back to idealism and internationalism and reject the 'economic nationalism' outlined by Chancellor of the Exchequer Stafford Cripps. He was re-elected in the 1951 general election with a much improved majority of 7,915 over Labour; the previous Liberal candidate had taken a job in Switzerland and his replacement could not get established.

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