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Welsh Labour has defied the odds, claims Carwyn Jones

After what he's calling a "mixed night" for Labour, plus better results today in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly, First Minister Carwyn Jones has called for a re-focus on the General Election campaign, to be fought "with our own Welsh Labour values".

Welsh Labour candidates and activists can be incredibly proud of themselves today – they fought another tough election, and once again defied the odds. The Tories had been briefing that they’d be walking into power right across Wales this morning – that simply has not happened. People realise that only Welsh Labour will stand up for Wales and we thank them once again for that trust.

Despite defying the doom-mongers in places like Cardiff and Flintshire, there is no question it was a mixed night for us, and as the true party of Wales we are always more stretched than our opponents. We faced strong challenges from all parties, and independents, right across the country.

We must now re-focus and fight a General Election campaign the same way we always fight elections – with our own Welsh Labour values, huge amounts of hard work and an absolute commitment to stand up for our communities against the Tories.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

We've defied the pundits say Labour

Credit: Welsh Labour Party

Although there are still results coming in, it’s clear from what we know so far that the predicted Tory advance in Wales has simply failed to materialise. We have defied the pundits to deliver some extremely strong results across Wales – holding Cardiff, Newport, Torfaen and Neath Port Talbot, retaining control with gains in Flintshire and, against a Tory onslaught, increasing our majority in Swansea.

It’s obviously been a difficult night for Welsh Labour in Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil, and it’s always a blow to lose hard working Welsh Labour councillors.

– Shadow Welsh Secretary Christina Rees MP

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Newport: final results - Labour keep control

Credit: Newport City Council

Labour has retained Newport, with a large majority of the fifty seats.

Here's a breakdown:

  • Labour - 31 (-3)
  • Conservative - 12 (+2)
  • Independent - 5
  • Lib Dems - 2 (+1)

Labour staying positive about Westminster seats

Credit: Labour Party

Labour sources are pointing out that both Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent councils haven't been solid bastions for the party in recent years. Both were only won back from the independents in 2012 and reports from both counts suggest that those results could be reversed tonight.

It certainly makes it impossible to extrapolate anything about what will happen in the Westminster election in those areas from the local results. On the other hand, Labour take encouragement from the result in Flintshire, where the Tories are expected to challenge hard for the county's two constituencies next month.

Nevertheless, last week's YouGov poll for ITV Wales showed Labour narrowly in the lead when people were asked how they would vote in the local elections -and 10 points behind the Conservatives when it came to the General Election.

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