Labour set to win Senedd election as counting resumes in Wales

  • First Minister Mark Drakeford reflects on holding Cardiff West seat and Labour performance

Welsh Labour are on course to win the Senedd election ahead of the final results emerging, despite the Welsh Conservatives gaining two new seats.

There is just one regional result to be announced - South Wales Central - with South Wales East being declared early on Saturday.

Just before 1pm, it was announced that the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru gained two seats each.

The final regional result is expected on Saturday afternoon.

It is thought to be very unlikely that Labour will win another seat, due to their constituency performance in the South Wales Central regional.

Counting resumed for the South Wales Central region on Saturday morning. Credit: ITV Wales

The penultimate constituency result to be announced was in Cardiff West, where the First Minister Mark Drakeford held his seat.

The Conservatives gained the northern seat of the Vale of Clwyd, which was previously held by Labour MS Ann Jones, who stepped down to retire after holding the seat since 1999.

The winning candidate Gareth Davies won the seat by just 366 votes, and the declaration followed a recount.

The Conservatives also gained Brecon and Radnorshire, almost wiping the Liberal Democrats out of the Senedd until leader Jane Dodds won a regional seat in Mid and West Wales

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies has congratulated Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour on a "successful campaign."

Counting began across Wales on Friday morning, after voters attended polling stations around the country to have their say.

The first result to be announced was in Montgomeryshire at around 1.30pm, where the Welsh Conservatives held their seat.

Polls opened at 7am and closed at 10pm on Thursday, but for the first time since 1999, there was no overnight count due to Covid restrictions.

However, some of those attending prior to 10pm did not vote until after that time due to long queues in some areas, with some voters in Cardiff waiting an hour and a half.

The pandemic has made it more difficult to predict how long it will take to count votes while also keeping to social distancing requirements.

  • ITV Wales reporter Hamish Auskerry provides a roundup of the day's events

Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has lost her Rhondda Senedd seat to Labour's Elizabeth Buffy Williams.

Wood described the result as "disappointing" but said her party ran a "clean and honest campaign."

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have lost their only constituency seat in the Senedd as the Welsh Conservatives claim Brecon and Radnorshire in the 2021 election.

James Evans won by a majority of 3,820, beating the Liberal Democrats' candidate William Powell - who was an Assembly Member for the Mid and West Wales region between 2011-16.  

Plans have been made by returning officers to adjourn the counting process until Saturday morning if it is believed staff will not be able to finish counting ballots by Friday evening.

If results in some constituencies are close and recounts are called, the final make-up of the next Senedd would not be confirmed until the weekend.

No party has ever won an outright majority in Wales, meaning the party which has won the most seats will be expected to enter into talks with other parties or independent members in order to form the next Welsh Government.

Members of the new Senedd will meet next week to elect a new presiding officer.