6 May 2011

Labour falls one seat short of majority in Wales

Labour emerges victorious in the Welsh Assembly elections but fails to take overall control despite winning half the seats.

First Minister and Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones is hoping for a majority but it remains short of that number, with seats still to declare in north Wales, where counting began at 9am

Labour has fallen agonisingly short of securing an overall majority in the Welsh Assembly elections.

The party increased its Assembly Members (AMs) by four, while coalition partners Plaid Cymru lost four seats.

Carwyn Jones’s party won 30 of the Senedd’s 60 seats, leaving it just one short of the magic number of 31 which would have allowed it to scrap its partnership with the nationalists.

The Conservatives suffered mixed fortunes, increasing their number of Assembly Members by two but losing leader Nick Bourne after he was defeated in Mid and West Wales.

Welsh Liberal Democrats bucked the national trend by holding on to their total of five seats.

Leader Kirsty Williams, who held on to Brecon and Radnorshire, said: “There’s been a big challenge for us with our colleagues in Westminster in power for the first time.

“We’re constantly being asked about the effects of the coalition impacting on our politics here.”

Read more: Lib Dems crushed in polls

As well as losing Mr Bourne as their leader, the Conservatives were defeated in Cardiff North by Labour’s Julie Morgan – the wife of former first minister Rhodri Morgan.

Plaid also suffered a major blow – seeing deputy leader Helen Mary Jones defeated in Llanelli.

Mr Jones, who retained his seat in Bridgend, said: “30 seats is a good result – we’ve made gains across Wales. To get up to 30 seats with the electoral system we have is quite an achievement.

“The task now is to make sure we are in a position to form a Labour-led government, because that’s what the people of Wales have shown they want.

“Over the next few days all the parties will be considering their positions.”

Read more: SNP makes big gains in Scotland