Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: Back to the 80s for the Welsh Tories

Image caption Conservatives celebrate their election success, in Monmouth

It's a story of the Davies boys: James, Byron and Chris winning in the Vale of Clwyd, Gower and Brecon and Radnorshire respectively.

And yet, arguably, the sweetest victory of them all for the Welsh Tories was for Craig Williams to hold on to Cardiff North, because they know how much effort Labour put in trying to take it.

The number of Conservative MPs in Wales is back in double figures, something the party hasn't achieved since the early 80s.

It is particularly striking if you take into account the Tories were wiped out at a parliamentary level in Wales in the wilderness years, when Tony Blair was in No 10.

Senior Conservatives appear to have been as surprised as anyone.

Late Thursday night they were calling Brecon and Radnorshire and Cardiff North within a few hundred votes either side, and in the end those hundreds turned into thousands.

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Media captionStephen Crabb says the government is committed to devolution.
Image caption Wales waved goodbye to Tory MPs when Tony Blair swept to power in 1997

The other two gains weren't really being talked about at all as possible gains, although a succession of ministers made the journey down the M4 to hit the streets and lanes of Gower with Byron Davies, and the campaign by James Davies, who is a GP, focusing on problems in the Welsh NHS clearly struck a chord in the Vale of Clwyd.

So does the Tory tally of 11 seats in Wales change anything?

It will obviously give the party confidence, but it will also be interesting to see the medium-term response from the opposition parties.

Both Labour and Plaid have dismissed the Conservatives in this campaign, with First Minister Carwyn Jones talking about the anti-Tory majority and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood stating the Conservatives have never had a mandate in Wales.

A key question is whether that message will continue to be relevant now the Tories have more than a quarter of Welsh MPs.

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