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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Good night, bad night after poll
Alun Pugh
Minister Alun Pugh was beaten by Conservative Darren Millar
After an election there are always winners and losers, as some familiar faces say goodbye to the Senedd and some new assembly members are sworn in.

Former Labour minister Alun Pugh, is packing his bag for an African holiday after losing his seat.

It was also a bad night for veteran politicians, Tory Glyn Davies, Plaid's Dafydd Wigley and independents Ron Davies and John Marek.

But a good night for Plaid's Helen Mary Jones and independent Trish Law.

Clwyd West provided one of Labour's biggest casualties of the night when Sport, Culture and Welsh Language minister Alun Pugh lost his seat to Tory Darren Millar.

John Marek
Independent John Marek loses his seat to Labour's Lesley Griffiths

But according to Mr Pugh his job loss is down to the "nature of democracy".

"We all go into this with our eyes open, so I have no complaints for that.

"The people of Clwyd West have elected me twice and I'm profoundly grateful for that opportunity to serve.

"Now they've changed their minds, that's their prerogative. That's democracy."

After his sleep depravation during the last two days Mr Pugh said: "I just want to have a good sleep and a good think for the next couple of days.

"But I've already booked a mountaineering trip. I'm off to Tanzania in August and I hope to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and I'm looking forward to doing some serious munro bagging, I'd like to get back to that."

As the full implications of the Welsh political landscape become clearer, Conservative Glyn Davies' delight at the party's showing was tempered by disappointment that he was not re-elected to the Mid and West Wales seat.

The vagaries of the list system meant that - even though the Conservatives gained some seats - Mr Davies from Welshpool lost his.

Mr Davies, who had major surgery for rectal cancer in 2002, said he would miss the work and his colleagues and had enjoyed his time at the assembly.

But after a string of poor results, Labour enjoyed a valuable victory when Lesley Griffiths won back Wrexham from independent Dr John Marek, the assembly's former deputy presiding officer.

Mohammed Asghar
Plaid's Mohammed Asghar is the first AM from an ethnic minority

But fellow independent, the former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies, failed in his bid to win the Caerphilly seat which he formerly held for Labour.

He was third behind Labour's Jeff Cuthbert and Plaid's Lindsay Whittle.

"Talking to people on the doorstep, there's a huge groundswell of disenchantment with party politics and disengagement from politics generally," Mr Davies said.

"Many people feel that their views are not taken into account, that political parties are negative, they don't engage them, they don't have a positive agenda and that, I think, is a bit worrying."

Mr Davies stood down as Labour AM for Caerphilly just before the 2003 assembly election over more press allegations about his private life.

He became known as the "architect of devolution" for his role in creating the assembly as Welsh Secretary in the 1990s.

Another independent, Trish Law, held onto the Blaenau Gwent assembly seat, which she won in the by-election following her husband Peter's death last year.

Mrs Law increased her majority in what was once Labour's safest seat in Wales, taking 54% of the vote.

In her acceptance speech she said: "I must say that Rhodri Morgan got it wrong again when he spoke about me getting a sympathy vote in the by-election 10 months ago."

Dafydd Wigley comeback attempt failed as a Plaid candidate on the north Wales regional list.

The former party president quit front-line politics three years ago for health reasons.

Because of Plaid's commitment to promoting women candidates, he was placed second on the list and Janet Ryder heads off to Cardiff Bay.

Helen Mary Jones
Plaid's Helen Mary Jones regained her seat

One of Plaid's successes was Helen Mary Jones who won Llanelli by overturning a Labour majority in the seat she lost four years ago.

And Dafydd Elis Thomas was voted AM for the new constituency, Dwyfor Meirionnydd.

Elsewhere, the Tories won a closely fought three-way fight in neighbouring Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.

Conservative Angela Burns took 8,590 votes compared to Labour's Christine Gwyther, who had been the sitting AM with 8,492.

The one-time rural affairs minister was best remembered for attracting criticism from within the farming community when, as a vegetarian, she was given the job of selling Welsh meat to customers in Europe.

After the third set of elections, the assembly has its first AM from an ethnic minority, Mohammed Asghar, who was elected on the South Wales East regional list for Plaid Cymru.

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