Senedd Election 2021: How the election unfolded in pictures

This year's Senedd elections took longer than usual due to coronavirus restrictions.

Polls closed at 10pm on Thursday 6 May but the count did not begin until Friday morning at 9am, to ensure the safety of those counting.

The counts took place under strict Covid restrictions this year. Credit: PA Images

It was the first time since 1999 that there was no overnight count.

Counting started at 9am on Friday 7 May, 11 hours after the polls closed on Thursday. Credit: PA Images

The first result to be announced was in Montgomeryshire at around 1:30pm. The Welsh Conservatives held their seat.

The Conservatives also gained the Vale of Clwyd, and 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.

Gareth Davies paid tribute to former Labour MS for the Vale of Clwyd Ann Jones after winning the seat. Credit: ITV Wales
The Liberal Democrats lost their only constituency seat as the Welsh Conservatives claimed Brecon & Radnorshire from candidate Bill Powell.

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

Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood lost her seat in the Rhondda. Credit: ITV Wales

Mark Drakeford and Vaughan Gething, who led Wales through the pandemic as First Minister and Health Minister, both won significantly higher majorities and votes than in 2016.

Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething is congratulated by his son Isaac Credit: ITV Wales
Captain Beany and Mark Drakeford waiting for election results in their constituency Cardiff West. Credit: PA Images

Natasha Asghar became the first female Senedd member from a Black or Asian minority background.

Ms Asghar follows in the footsteps of her late father, Mohammad Asghar, who was also MS for South Wales East until he died in 2020. Credit: ITV Wales

The last result came in shortly before 2pm on Saturday 8 May.

Welsh Labour held onto power, with Mark Drakeford's party claiming 30 seats in total.

Mark Drakeford elbow bumps newly elected candidates Elizabeth Buffy Williams for the Rhondda and Sarah Murphy for Bridgend & Porthcawl Credit: PA

Mr Drakeford can choose to form a minority government or invite members of other parties into a Labour-led administration, giving the party greater control of the Senedd.