Counting begins in Welsh local elections

'Wales Decides' ballot box
The polls have closed and 14 counts are underway with another seven tomorrow Photo: ITV News Wales

Counting is underway in 14 counties and county boroughs across Wales that are declaring their election results overnight. They include Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham, all currently led by the Liberal Democrats and all Labour targets. Labour are expecting to bounce back from poor results in 2008.

The party is also targeting Conservative-led Newport and Plaid Cymru-led Caerphilly, as well as Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil and Flintshire, which all fell to independent leadership last time. Plaid Cymru are also defending Gwynedd and have hopes of success in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.

The Conservatives are defending Monmouthshire and the Vale of Glamorgan and hope to gain the leadership in Conwy. The first results are due around midnight but seven councils will count their votes tomorrow. Where no party wins outright, there will be negotiations to form political alliances.