Cardiff the icing on Labour’s cake in “stunning” election result
Tories, Lib Dems and “Independents” all lose out as Labour makes gains
It was a stunning night for the Labour Party in Cardiff with the celebrations starting at just after 7:30 this morning when they took the seat that gave them 39 councillors, which represents an overall majority. Two seats have yet to be declared, Plasnewydd and Cathays, both of which are going to recounts.
In 2008, Labour had been reduced to just 13 seats in the capital and had slumped to being the third largest party behind both the ruling Liberal Democrats and the Tories, so the reversal of their fortunes must have put a smile on the faces of Cardiff Labour leader Heather Joyce and Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones.
The coalition parties suffered heavy defeats with the Conservatives being reduced just 7 seats on the new council. The Lib Dems fared slightly better, winning back 15 seats, although their leader’s future is hanging in the balance as he calls for a third recount having lost on the first two counts by just 14 votes. The recount will take place at one o’clock this afternoon.
Wales’s First Minister, Carwyn Jones (pictured) said: Labour had “reconnected with people”. He had been urging the electorate to use the vote as a referendum on the Westminster coalition and the message was loud and clear in Wales.
"The momentum is clearly with Welsh Labour tonight," he said.
"We are taking seats from every party across the country – with impressive gains in Wrexham, Caerphilly, Newport and a total Lib Dem wipe out in Merthyr.
"We have reconnected with people and our community campaigning has resonated with voters right across Wales."
Elsewhere in Wales, Labour has taken control of Newport and Swansea; the two other big jewels in the crown of Welsh politics.
In the Vale of Glamorgan, the Conservatives lost overall control of the council, with Labour now the largest party in an area that has been regarded as the Welsh Tory heartland. If Labour had taken a majority in The Vale, it would have represented meltdown point for the Tories, but they just held on to sufficient seats to deny Mr Jones the cherry on top of a cake that had already been mixed, baked and iced.