Welsh Assembly elections favour Labour

The results declared in the elections for the Welsh Assembly favoured Labour, even though the party narrowly failed to gain an outright majority.

When the final results of the elections for the 60 seat Welsh Assembly were declared this morning, Labour held 30 of the 40 constituency seats. Labour, short of an overall majority in the Assembly, could nonetheless have a workable majority.

Labour's leader in the Welsh Assembly, Rhodri Morgan, had previously hinted that he might resume the coalition with the Liberal Democrats who won six seats, but in an interview with BBC Radio Wales this morning he said that he had no plans to talk to any other parties. He said that the emphasis had moved on to “how to deliver Labour’s programme”.

Labour’s position is much improved from the 1999 election when the party was four seats adrift of a majority. Following recounts in two of the four seats they wrested from Plaid Cymru, Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said that while it was a fantastic result for Labour, it was a terrible one for nationalists. He said that the “fantasy” of an independent Wales had been “buried for ever” as Plaid Cymru were neck-and-neck with the Conservatives.

Clearly the big losers in the Assembly elections were Plaid Cymru who took only 12 seats, a loss of five including Rhondda and Islwyn. The Conservatives fared a little better taking 11 seats, a gain of two on the previous election.

The Liberal Democrats held on to six assembly seats while the remaining seat went to an independent candidate.


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