Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 13:43 UK

Few election shocks in north-east Wales

Chris Ruane
Chris Ruane held off a strong Conservative challenge

While political shocks were registered in many parts of Wales, the north-east of the country barely felt a tremor.

The region resisted any surprises, with incumbent parties topping the poll in all six of the region's constituencies.

All the seats apart from Wrexham, where the Lib Dems came second again, were largely straight Tory-Labour fights.

Five of the seats will continue to host Labour MPs while Conservative David Jones comfortably held on to Clwyd West with an increased majority.

Mr Jones said on the night the Conservative Party was making substantial gains across the UK, adding: "Bearing in mind that we were attacking the government from a very low base, I think we are doing pretty well."

"It looks as if the Conservative Party is going to be the largest party in this parliament and therefore it has the moral authority to form the next government," he added.

However, there may have been some disappointment for the Conservatives in not capturing Vale of Clwyd - number six in their list of targets for Wales but requiring a 7% swing.

Labour's Chris Ruane held on, actually registering more votes than in 2005, albeit with a smaller share of the vote and a reduced majority.

Stood down

He said: "I thought it was going to be a lot closer. I wouldn't have thought you could have come out of the worst recession since the 1930s and have an extra 147 votes.

"I think that's [from] listening to my constituents very, very carefully over the past 13 years and responding to those concerns collectively and individually."

Labour also held off strong Conservative challenges in Delyn, Alyn & Deeside and Clwyd South.

Clwyd South does have a new face as MP though, with victor Susan Elan Jones taking over from Martyn Jones, who stood down.

BNP candidates were fielded in five of the north-east Wales seats but the right wing party's vote failed to exceed 1,400 in any of the constituencies.

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