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Mark Drakeford fights off challenge from the Tories at Welsh election

wales election results


Election results: Mark Drakeford says Labour has 'exceeded … Sat, 08 May 2021 00:00:00 +0100-WELSH Labour has held its ground in the first day of counting in the Senedd election.

Mark Drakeford fights off challenge from the Tories at Welsh election

 

Mark Drakeford, pictured with his wife Clare, said Welsh independence is not over as a debate

WELSH Labour has held its ground in the first day of counting in the Senedd election.

The Welsh Conservatives posed a strong challenge to the ruling party but has so fair made just two gains – one from the pro-independence Plaid Cymru.

At the end of the first day of counting, Labour had taken 26 of the 39 declared seats – including holding the First Minister’s seat of Cardiff West. The Welsh Tories had taken eight seats, a gain of two, with Plaid Cymru taking four, a loss of one.

The Welsh LibDems have failed to take a single seat so far, losing Brecon and Radnorshire – their only seat from the 2016 election – to the Tories.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said their showing so far reflected the “real enthusiasm” he had encountered on doorsteps. Polling earlier in the election campaign suggesting the party faced its worst-ever performance. Drakeford said: “I started this campaign answering questions as to why this was going to be Labour’s worst-ever result, a poll prediction of 22 seats.

“The campaign never felt like that to me. We’ve had a fantastic and energetic campaign with hundreds of people involved and real enthusiasm on the doorstep, so that never seemed to me to genuinely reflect the mood here in Wales. But we don’t have results yet, so we’ll reserve our enthusiasms and excitement for when the time comes that we’ve got real results in the ballot box.”

READ MORE: Anas Sarwar shamed by Welsh Labour over indyref2 position, SNP say

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his party had not set out “a strong enough case to the country” and in the disastrous English council elections before the so-called Super Thursday elections. Speaking to broadcasters yesterday, he said was “bitterly disappointed” in the result, took full responsibility for them and vowed to fix it.

The Tories took Vale of Clwyd from Labour, recreating their success in the 2019 General Election, by a slender margin of 366 votes. However, Labour fought off the challenge from the Conservatives in Clwyd South, Delyn and Wrexham.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price retained his seat in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, taking 45.9% of the vote. He said his priority is “economic transformation, delivering jobs and decent wages” for the “neglected” communities in Wales.

However, former leader Leanne Wood lost her Rhodda seat to Labour, but Drakeford said it was not necessarily a sign that the desire for Welsh independence had been put to bed.

He said: “I’m sure it’s not over as a debate. But I can tell you absolutely truthfully, in the hundreds of doors that I knocked and conversations that I had, not a single person mentioned the word independence to me.

“So, for some people it’s a real focus, it consumes their idea of the future of Wales. But on the doorstep it really didn’t run.”

As well as taking four seats, Plaid Cymru gained ground in Montgomeryshire to finish second behind the Tories and ahead of the LibDems, whose vote collapsed in one of its former strongholds.

Plaid Cymru retained their hold on Afron, with the party’s Sian Gwenllian seeing a surge in her majority.

Gwenllian saw her vote share increase from 10,962 from 2016 to 13,760 in Wales’s smallest constituency in terms of electorate – a majority of more than 8000.

Gwenllian said: “I am over the moon, so pleased, and I’m thankful from the bottom of my heart to everyone that has supported me and showed faith in me once more.

“I’ve had so many interesting chats with everyone over this time and I’m now so determined to do everything I can for the people of Arfon.”

First Minister Drakeford said it is “too early to say” whether Welsh Labour will be the first party to ever win an outright majority in the Senedd.

Speaking in Cardiff, he said: “We’ll watch the results really carefully. It would be the best result ever, no party has ever had a majority in the Senedd. But I am looking forward to an afternoon that is a good bit better than the predictions with which we started

this campaign.”

 

Mark Drakeford, pictured with his wife Clare, said Welsh independence is not over as a debate

WELSH Labour has held its ground in the first day of counting in the Senedd election.

The Welsh Conservatives posed a strong challenge to the ruling party but has so fair made just two gains – one from the pro-independence Plaid Cymru.

At the end of the first day of counting, Labour had taken 26 of the 39 declared seats – including holding the First Minister’s seat of Cardiff West. The Welsh Tories had taken eight seats, a gain of two, with Plaid Cymru taking four, a loss of one.

The Welsh LibDems have failed to take a single seat so far, losing Brecon and Radnorshire – their only seat from the 2016 election – to the Tories.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said their showing so far reflected the “real enthusiasm” he had encountered on doorsteps. Polling earlier in the election campaign suggesting the party faced its worst-ever performance. Drakeford said: “I started this campaign answering questions as to why this was going to be Labour’s worst-ever result, a poll prediction of 22 seats.

“The campaign never felt like that to me. We’ve had a fantastic and energetic campaign with hundreds of people involved and real enthusiasm on the doorstep, so that never seemed to me to genuinely reflect the mood here in Wales. But we don’t have results yet, so we’ll reserve our enthusiasms and excitement for when the time comes that we’ve got real results in the ballot box.”

READ MORE: Anas Sarwar shamed by Welsh Labour over indyref2 position, SNP say

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his party had not set out “a strong enough case to the country” and in the disastrous English council elections before the so-called Super Thursday elections. Speaking to broadcasters yesterday, he said was “bitterly disappointed” in the result, took full responsibility for them and vowed to fix it.

The Tories took Vale of Clwyd from Labour, recreating their success in the 2019 General Election, by a slender margin of 366 votes. However, Labour fought off the challenge from the Conservatives in Clwyd South, Delyn and Wrexham.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price retained his seat in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, taking 45.9% of the vote. He said his priority is “economic transformation, delivering jobs and decent wages” for the “neglected” communities in Wales.

However, former leader Leanne Wood lost her Rhodda seat to Labour, but Drakeford said it was not necessarily a sign that the desire for Welsh independence had been put to bed.

He said: “I’m sure it’s not over as a debate. But I can tell you absolutely truthfully, in the hundreds of doors that I knocked and conversations that I had, not a single person mentioned the word independence to me.

“So, for some people it’s a real focus, it consumes their idea of the future of Wales. But on the doorstep it really didn’t run.”

As well as taking four seats, Plaid Cymru gained ground in Montgomeryshire to finish second behind the Tories and ahead of the LibDems, whose vote collapsed in one of its former strongholds.

Plaid Cymru retained their hold on Afron, with the party’s Sian Gwenllian seeing a surge in her majority.

Gwenllian saw her vote share increase from 10,962 from 2016 to 13,760 in Wales’s smallest constituency in terms of electorate – a majority of more than 8000.

Gwenllian said: “I am over the moon, so pleased, and I’m thankful from the bottom of my heart to everyone that has supported me and showed faith in me once more.

“I’ve had so many interesting chats with everyone over this time and I’m now so determined to do everything I can for the people of Arfon.”

First Minister Drakeford said it is “too early to say” whether Welsh Labour will be the first party to ever win an outright majority in the Senedd.

Speaking in Cardiff, he said: “We’ll watch the results really carefully. It would be the best result ever, no party has ever had a majority in the Senedd. But I am looking forward to an afternoon that is a good bit better than the predictions with which we started

this campaign.”


قراءة المزيد

Mark Drakeford fights off challenge from the Tories at Welsh election Sat, 08 May 2021 00:00:00 +0100-Labour is set to retain control of the Welsh government after the party fought off challenges from the Conservatives to key "red wall" seats. With the final results …

Election results: Mark Drakeford says Labour has ‘exceeded expectations’ as party set to win Senedd

Labour is set to retain control of the Welsh government after the party fought off challenges from the Conservatives to key “red wall” seats.

With the final results still to come, Labour has exactly half the 60 seats in the Senedd, equalling its best-ever results.

Results so far have seen Labour win 30, the Tories 12, Plaid Cymru nine and the Liberal Democrats one.

Only one of Wales' red wall seats – the Vale of Clwyd – fell to the Tories.

Wrexham, Clwyd South and Delyn, were all held despite being targeted by the Conservatives after they flipped them from Labour in the 2019 general election.

Polling at the start of the campaign suggested Labour was facing its worst-ever result and was at risk of winning as few as 22 seats, a loss of seven from 2016, though later polls suggested a stronger showing.

After voting closed at 10pm on Thursday, Labour sources said retaining all of its seats in the Senedd remained “a massive challenge”.

Labour First Minister Mark Drakeford, who extended his majority for his Cardiff West seat by more than 10,000 votes, said he was delighted his party had “exceeded expectations”.

“Did I think we would be up approaching the top of the twenties? That was probably at the top end of what I thought was achievable, given the extraordinary circumstances of this election,” he said.

Mr Drakeford said he will wait until all election results are in today before he thinks about forming a new government.

“I will want to sit down tomorrow [Saturday] when we have a full suite of results in front of us to think about how we can achieve what we need here in Wales, which is a stable and progressive government.”

Commenting on the surprise turnaround, a Labour spokesperson said: “It is increasingly clear that people across Wales have put their faith in Welsh Labour and Mark Drakeford to lead the next Welsh government and lead Wales out of the pandemic.”

Image: Vaughan Gething held his Cardiff South and Penarth seat with a majority of more than 10,000 votes

Health minister Vaughan Gething, who held his Cardiff South and Penarth seat with 18,153 votes (49.89%), said Labour and Mr Drakeford's handling of the pandemic was a “major factor” in the party's results.

“We've had to make life-changing choices that affected every single family in the country,” he said.

“The pandemic has thrust the first minister in the spotlight, and most people like what they've seen in the way he's handled the pandemic.

“What we now need to do is understand what that means for the future government for Wales, how we handle this next phase finishing up the pandemic response, and then the difficult task of recovery – one that I think we're in the best possible place for.”

Conservative leader in the Senedd Andrew RT Davies said his party's taking of Vale of Clwyd from Labour was a “brilliant result”, but suggested traditional Labour voters who voted Tory in the 2019 general election had now “come home”.

“It does seem from other seats that have been declared in other parts of Wales that the Labour voters have come home to it after the, shall we say, Brexit election of 2019,” he said.

Welsh Labour's uninterrupted dominance looks set to continue

Analysis by Dan Whitehead, home news correspondent

Labour started count day briefing journalists about the “massive challenge” it faced if it were to retain its current seats in the Senedd – the day ended with the party matching its largest ever victory.

Fears Labour losses in England would spread across the red wall in the north of Wales were unfounded – with Wrexham, Alyn and Deeside and Clwyd South all staying with Labour.

The talk of Welsh Conservative Senedd gains to match 2019 general election results just didn't materialise.

Nor did Plaid Cymru's promise to “make history” – an independence referendum was clearly not a priority for the Welsh, with leader Adam Price insisting he has no plans to resign despite disappointing results.

Another notable win for Labour was regaining control of the Rhondda from former Plaid leader Leanne Wood.

In the end Labour increased its vote share on constituency seats to 39.9% – a result it simply wasn't predicting at the start of the day.

It wasn't all good news for the party – it lost the Vale of Clwyd for the first time, but the Conservative win was small.

The backdrop of Wales' election result was the COVID-19 pandemic.

It put devolution in the spotlight like nothing before, with voters clearly deciding that First Minister Mark Drakeford has guided the country well through a tough 14 months.

With some final regional seats still to declare, it'll be a while before we know the exact make-up of the new Welsh parliament.

One thing is for sure – Labour's uninterrupted dominance in Wales looks set to continue – 22 years on from devolution.


قراءة المزيد
– May 8, 2021
Mark Drakeford fights off challenge from the Tories at Welsh election
wales election results