1. ITV Report

Labour celebrates 'best result since 1996' with council gains

Labour celebrated a good night across South Wales Photo: ITV News Wales

Labour have performed very strongly in the local elections, in South Wales in particular, taking back control of a raft of councils they lost in 2008. The other parties have had disappointing nights, with the Conservatives losing their majorities on the two Welsh councils they held, and the Liberal Democrats losing their grip on the big city councils where they led coalitions.

David Phillips, the leader of the Labour group, which has won a majority on Swansea Council, says that voters have recognised them as "the party for us in difficult times."

The councils now with Labour majorities:

  • Blaenau Gwent - Labour re-gain overall control from Independents
  • Bridgend - Labour secure wide majority, after winning exactly half of seats in 2008
  • Caerphilly - Labour re-gain overall control from Plaid Cymru-led coalition
  • Cardiff - Labour secure majority, ousting Liberal Democrat-Plaid Cymru coalition
  • Merthyr Tydfil - Labour re-gain overall control from Independent-led coalition
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Newport - Labour re-gain overall control from Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition
  • Swansea - Labour take control from Liberal Democrat-led coalition
  • Torfaen - Labour gain

Labour failed to win majorities on their two North Wales target councils. They gained 8 seats in Flintshire, and 11 in Wrexham, to strengthen their position as the largest party on both authorities.

The Conservatives have lost control of Monmouthshire and the Vale of Glamorgan, the two Welsh councils where they held majorities from 2008.

Conservative councillor Matthew Evans, who has led Newport Council in a Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition since 2008, says he thinks how people voted was largely based on what they think of the UK Government.

The Liberal Democrats also suffered a difficult night. They have been leading the Swansea and Wrexham city councils since 2008, and replicated their UK Government coalition with the Conservatives in Newport. None of those will remain intact. The party has been wiped out completely in Merthyr Tydfil, and Liberal Democrat Cardiff Council leader Rodney Berman is in serious danger of losing his seat, with a further recount to be held at 1pm on Friday. Whatever that result, Labour will be the biggest party in the capital.

Ron Davies, the Liberal Democrat leader of Wrexham Council, who has lost his seat, tells our reporter Rob Shelley he doesn't want to focus on his party's poll struggles on a UK-wide level.

Plaid Cymru lost control of Caerphilly, while failing to secure a majority in Ceredigion, which remains under no overall control.

Elections have been contested in 21 of Wales' 22 local authorities. Polling stations closed at 10pm on Thursday night. Counts for Carmarthenshire, Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Gwynedd, Pembrokeshire, Powys and Rhondda Cynon Taf are due to take place on Friday.

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