2009 Welsh Labour leadership election

The 2009 Welsh Labour leadership election was held following the resignation of Rhodri Morgan, who stepped down after nine years as First Minister of Wales.[1] Morgan had made clear his intent to resign in 2009 as far back as 2005.[2] As Morgan had been elected unopposed in 2000, this was the first contested election for the Welsh Labour leadership for more than a decade.

2009 Welsh Labour Party leadership election

← 2000 1 December 2009 2018 →
  Carwyn Jones AM (28092341921).jpg Edwina Hart.jpg Huw Lewis.jpg
Candidate Carwyn Jones Edwina Hart Huw Lewis
Overall result 52.0% 29.2% 18.8%
Affiliated Unions 51.3% 33.9% 14.8%
Party members 53.7% 25.3% 21.0%
MPs, AMs & MEPs 50.9% 28.3% 20.8%

Leader before election

Rhodri Morgan

Elected Leader

Carwyn Jones

The contest concluded on 1 December 2009 and was won on the first round by Carwyn Jones who won in all three sections of the ballot.[3] As Welsh Labour was the senior partner in a Labour/Plaid Cymru coalition government, Jones was confirmed as First Minister the following week assumed office as First Minister on 10 December 2009. Both Edwina Hart and Huw Lewis served in Jones' governments until their retirement in 2016.

Under Jones, Labour would go on to take office alone as a minority government following the 2011 Assembly election, and retain office following the 2016 Assembly election.

Jones stood down in late 2018, triggering a new election.[4]

Voting systemEdit

The election was conducted under an Electoral College system in which Labour Party members, affiliated trade union members and Welsh Labour elected officials all held an equal share of the votes.[5]


To stand, candidates needed the support of a minimum of six[6][7] (out of a possible 24) including themselves of Labour's Assembly Members.

Three candidates - Counsel General Carwyn Jones, Health Minister Edwina Hart and Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney AM Huw Lewis - entered the race.[7]

The following were reported as endorsements by the BBC at the close on nominations on 22 October 2009:[8]

Candidate Portrait Constituency and Office AM Endorsements MP Endorsements Union Endorsements CLP Endorsements
Edwina Hart   Gower

Minister for Health and Social Services

Rosemary Butler, Christine Chapman, Jeff Cuthbert, Andrew Davies, Edwina Hart, Janice Gregory, Jane Hutt, Val Lloyd, Sandy Mewies, and Gwenda Thomas Paul Murphy, Don Touhig and Martin Caton Unite, CWU, Aslef, Community, Socialist Health Association, TSSA Brecon and Radnorshire, Gower, Neath, Swansea East, Swansea West and Vale of Glamorgan
Carwyn Jones   Bridgend

Counsel General for Wales

Leighton Andrews (Campaign Manager), Lorraine Barrett, Jane Davidson, Alun Davies, Brian Gibbons, John Griffiths, Lesley Griffiths, Carwyn Jones and Carl Sargeant Nick Ainger, Kevin Brennan, Chris Bryant, Ann Clwyd, Paul Flynn, Hywel Francis, David Hanson, Huw Irranca-Davies, Ian Lucas, Madeleine Moon, Albert Owen, Chris Ruane, Mark Tami and Betty Williams Unison, NUM (South Wales), Ucatt, Musicians' Union Aberavon, Alyn and Deeside, Bridgend, Ogmore, Wrexham
Huw Lewis   Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney


Irene James, Ann Jones, Huw Lewis, Lynne Neagle, Karen Sinclair, Joyce Watson Nia Griffith, Dai Havard, Sian James, Martyn Jones, Jessica Morden Co-operative Party Aberconwy, Clwyd West, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, Torfaen

Derek Vaughan MEP supported Carwyn Jones.[8]


Carwyn Jones AM 51.3% 53.7% 50.9% 52.0%
Edwina Hart AM 33.9% 25.3% 28.3% 29.2%
Huw Lewis AM 14.8% 21.0% 20.8% 18.8%

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Morgan is stepping down as leader". BBC News Online.
  2. ^ "Morgan plans to step down in 2009". BBC News.
  3. ^ "Carwyn Jones clinches leadership in Wales". WalesOnline. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  4. ^ "Carwyn Jones to quit as first minister after the 'darkest of times'". 21 April 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  5. ^ "Welsh Party Leadership Elections 1998-2016". Tom Quinn, Senior Lecturer in Government, University of Essex.
  6. ^ Live, North Wales (3 October 2009). "Welsh Labour announces leadership election timetable". North Wales Live.
  7. ^ a b "Two join race to succeed Morgan". 2 October 2009 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  8. ^ a b "Deadline for leadership backers". 22 October 2009 – via news.bbc.co.uk.