Page last updated at 21:53 GMT, Thursday, 5 May 2011 22:53 UK

Wales election: As it happened

Betsan Powys
1501 Thanks for joining our live page coverage of the Welsh assembly election result. It has been a long day and night, but a fascinating one. Our political editor Betsan Powys says Labour dearly wanted an overall majority. Thirty seats is a good result for Labour, but "isn't what they wanted", she says.

1447 Three senior Welsh Labour figures - leader Carwyn Jones, campaign director Leighton Andrews, and MP Owen Smith - have referred to their desire to have a Labour first minister and a "Labour-led" government in place by next week. Intriguing phraseology. Perhaps a hint the party has decided not to go it alone with 30 seats?

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1440 Over on the Institute of Welsh Affairs website Click on Wales, commentator John Osmond raises the prospect of another Labour-Plaid coalition. He believes Carwyn Jones would prefer the comfort of coalition to living on a knife edge as well as having a larger pool of ministerial talent.

1438 Asked by Jamie Owen if he would do any "soul searching" about his role, Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones told BBC One Wales's election programme: "Clearly that's one of the issues that I am sure the party will want to look at, but it's far too early to come to any conclusions about that." He added: "It has been a disappointing night obviously for Plaid in many areas and we have lost some excellent assembly members. On this occasion I am afraid we have a few losses and I very much regret that." The decision to go into coalition with Labour in 2007 - Plaid's first taste of government - was "not only the right thing to do for the party, but certainly the right thing to do for Wales," he said.

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1423 BBC Wales political correspondent Tomos Livingstone tweets: "We make that 23 new faces in the new Assembly #senedd2011."

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1419 Reader Mari Gordon, of Cardiff, emails to say: "Labour benefited in Wales from the Lib Dems' punishment. This is Labour's chance to prove that they have commitment and a vision for Wales, and that this isn't just a rung in the ladder back to Westminster." But Rich Corless, of Bridgend, says: "It's a bad morning for politics in Wales. Labour are still able to regard Wales as their private fiefdom to do with as they please."

1415 Rhun ap Iorwerth, providing analysis for BBC Wales' election programme, said that for Labour, Aberconwy was a key seat. Had Labour won there - and although in third place, it was only about 1,600 votes behind the winning Tory candidate - it would have had an overall majority in Wales. Those 1,600 votes were what deprived Labour of an outright win.

1411 Asked about potential coalition deals on BBC One Wales, Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams said she "certainly hasn't spoken to anybody else in the Labour Party". The "ball's in their court", she said. "I think it's quite clear that the Labour Party are in the prime position about how they intend to go forward," she said. On the Lib Dem result, she said: "It has been a tough night for the party right across the UK but I think in Wales we can be proud of what we have achieved." She added: "We have hung on when everybody else was predicting a wipe out."

1350 So that's it. All the votes have been counted and all the seats have been declared. Labour has fallen just shy of an absolute majority, winning 30 seats (+4). The Conservatives have overtaken Plaid to become the second biggest party with 14 seats (+2). Plaid has fallen back to 11 (-4) - its worst tally of seats in an assembly election. The Lib Dems have lost one seat, leaving them on five.

1348 RESULT North Wales region: Conservatives 2; Plaid 1; Lib Dems 1

1344 On BBC One Wales, Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said: "We have, in fact, stopped Labour getting an overall majority." She said that over the last few elections, the Welsh Conservatives had "quietly and steadily moved the party forward". "We are not trying to create a revolution. We are trying to show we are a fresh voice for Wales and I think we are being rewarded at the ballot box," she said. Although it was a good night for the Tories, the result was "tinged with sadness" because of the loss of Nick Bourne. Asked who should replace him as the party's assembly leader, she said: "I'm not going to speculate."

1331 RESULT Labour hold Clwyd South

1330 RESULT Labour hold Delyn

Betsan Powys
1329 Betsan said she heard Plaid figures criticise their party's campaign in the Senedd last night. Plaid has been in government for four years, "but where has it left them as a party?" she asked. Why has the SNP managed to harness its record in government more effectively than Plaid? But sitting next to her in Cardiff Bay on BBC One Wales, Plaid big beast Lord Elis-Thomas said: "We are not comparing like with like at all. The political culture in Scotland is entirely different." Despite losses for his party, "none of these were seriously huge defeats", he said. He said he wants a "progressive alliance" of Plaid, the Lib Dems and Labour to govern Wales. Asked if he would like to continue to serve as Presiding Officer again, he said: "It's a matter for my colleagues what they would like me to do."

1320 RESULT Labour hold Wrexham

1315 RESULT Labour hold Alyn and Deeside

1313 Carwyn Jones has faced tough questions about the way his party has handled Wales's education system over the last 12 years. It follows some damning international evidence about how schools are performing. On BBC One Wales, Mr Jones said Labour knew there were "some parts of the education system that need improvement". Challenged by political editor Betsan Powys, he said: "If people were unhappy with the Welsh Labour Party then we wouldn't have done as well as we have. We've got five exciting years in government ahead of us."

1301 RESULT Plaid hold Ynys Mon

1255 As well as the customary round of thanks in her acceptance speech, the Tory AM elect for Aberconwy, Janet Finch-Saunders, thanked the people who chose her as the seat's candidate through an open primary. Her victory and that of Darren Millar in Clwyd West effectively end Labours hopes of reaching 31 seats.

1252 RESULT Conservatives gain Aberconwy

1242 Jenny Rathbone, Labour victor in Cardiff Central, is the third Jenny to win an election in the seat. She follows former Lib Dem AM Jenny Randerson and Lib Dem MP Jenny Willott. Voters in neighbouring Cardiff North have swapped a JM for a JM - Jonathan Morgan made way for Julie Morgan.

1239 If you felt the election campaign was somewhat flat, you're not alone. Political commentator Prof Laura McAllister tells BBC One Wales: "It hasn't been an exciting campaign. I think everyone would admit that. But it's worked extremely well for Welsh Labour." The failure of the campaign to capture people's imagination is a "pity for democracy".

1230 Sitting alongside Mr Andrews, Tory AM David Melding said he won't run for the leadership vacancy created by Nick Bourne's departure. "Our group is full of talented assembly members," he said. He advised his party to "take this slowly and do it properly".

1227 Speaking to BBC One Wales in the Senedd, the re-elected Labour AM for Rhondda, Leighton Andrews, said: "We expect to reach 30 seats today. Whether we are able to push beyond that is too early to say." The target of 31 was difficult, "given the vagaries of the electoral system in Wales", said Mr Andrews, a close ally of Carwyn Jones. "But I think we are delighted with the performance," he added. So what now? Coalition talks? "I think there will be a time for reflection over the course of the weekend," he said.

1217 RESULT Conservatives hold Clwyd West

1217 RESULT Plaid Cymru hold Arfon

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1215 North Wales results are coming in. Meanwhile, a north Wales MP laments the turnout across Wales. Regional turnout is 52.4% (down 1.3%) and constituency turnout is 41.6% (down 2.2%). David Jones, Tory MP for Clwyd West, tweets: "Turnout in Wales 42%. Disappointingly low."

1206 RESULT Labour hold Vale of Clwyd

1156 Some familiar faces fell during the night. Nerys Evans, Helen Mary Jones, Nick Bourne and Jonathan Morgan are among the prominent ex-AMs who will not be coming back to the Senedd. Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones paid tribute to the first two, as well as defeated colleagues Dai Lloyd and Chris Franks, "for their hard work and commitment to the party".

1150 Having paid tribute to departed leader Nick Bourne, the Welsh Tories will soon have to get down to the business of finding his successor. We understand the Welsh Conservative board will meet this weekend to appoint an interim leader. Conservative AMs will put forward nominations for leader in due course. Party members will vote to decide the ultimate winner. Who will it be?

1144 Here's the state of play, before the 13 north Wales results come in: Labour 25; Tories 10; Plaid Cymru 8; Lib Dem 4.

1141 After a bit of a break, we're braced for the first north Wales results imminently. Meanwhile, Carwyn Jones has been speaking at Welsh Labour's HQ in Cardiff. Addressing party workers at Transport House, he said they already had the largest share of the vote that Labour had ever had in an assembly election. It looked like they already had 30 seats and it was clear that the people of Wales wanted them to govern.

0918 Finally, RESULT South Wales Central regional list. Two Conservatives (Andrew RT Davies, David Melding) one Plaid Cymru (Leanne Wood) and one Lib Dem (John Dixon). Now our attention will turn to the north and dare we say, the results of the AV referendum

0830 Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan has paid fullsome tribute to Nick Bourne, the Tory leader in Wales, who has lost his regional seat. She said it was a "great loss". "Nick Bourne played a lead role in transforming the image and fortunes of the Welsh Conservative Party for more than a decade," she said. "His leadership, vision and courage have been central to the party's unprecedented levels of success in recent years."

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0810 As I keep writing, so glad to see you are still emailing us at newsonline.wales@bbc.co.uk. Peter Driscoll from Tonyrefail has this comment. "It is no use Labour winning a majority just to be the same old Labour. If they do then they must show the people of Wales that they can deliver the services we need. We must help show the rest of the country that Labour can lead and deliver for the future."

0757 So folks, after 10 hours of result watching you may or may not be surprised to learn we are nearly at the end of the road as far as the south, mid and west election results go. We are just waiting for the South Wales Central regional list results to come in. But give it another hour or so and the north will start their counts. So far, as Peter Hain, shadow Welsh secretary says: "It's a very good morning for Labour in Wales". Will it remain that way?

0740 RESULT South Wales East regional seats: William Graham and Mohammad Asghar, (Welsh Conservatives), Jocelyn Davies and Lindsay Whittle (Plaid Cymru) elected. Interestingly, of course, Mr Asghar switched allegiances from Plaid to Tory in 2009.

0718 RESULT Labour's Julie Morgan, wife of the former first minister Rhodri Morgan, takes Cardiff North from the Conservatives. Labour now has all four Cardiff seats

0718 RESULT Labour gain Cardiff Cental from Liberal Democrats. Jenny Rathbone is the new AM

0710 Ethnic minority AM - Vaughan Gething - says he hopes his relatively young age and background in employment law will bring something different to the Senedd. The 37-year-old "would like to be remembered not just for being the first of something, but for being good. That will be for the people to judge as we go down the line."

0703 RESULT Welsh Conservatives leader Nick Bourne loses his seat on the Mid and West Wales regional list. Joyce Watson (Labour), Rebecca Evans (Labour) William Powell (Liberal Democrat) and Simon Thomas (Plaid Cymru) all elected

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0658 Former Plaid Cymru MP and lead candidate on the Mid and West Wales list Simon Thomas has tweeted: "Bad night for Plaid Cymru; our highwater mark was winning the referendum, time now to learn and rebuild We can lead, but not yet, not yet"

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0637 Glad to see some people are keeping awake - like me - out there. An email from Martin in Church Village, who writes: "A surprise that Vale of Glamorgan has been held and with increased majority. It looks like Labour in the driving seat so they must use this opportunity to really fight for Wales".

0633 There's a bundles recount in Cardiff Central so there could be a way to go there


0623 RESULT: South Wales West regional. Suzy Davies (Welsh Conservatives), Bethan Jenkins (Plaid Cymru), Byron Davies (Welsh Conservatives), Peter Black (Liberal Democrat) are the four regional list AMs elected

0614 RESULT: Labour hold Cardiff West

0552 RESULT: Labour hold Cardiff South and Penarth

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0547 Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood, who is top of the South Wales Central regional list, tweets: "Been up 24 hours now. Just learned regional declaration not expected until 9am because of recounts in Cardiff."

0540 BBC Wales reporter Hugh Turnbull who says he has been at the Cardiff counts for an eternity already, predicts he could still be there at midday. He says there is no explanation as to why the capital is so late declaring its four seats, and there's not a recount in sight.

0535 It has been a very, very long night. Please keep emailing us your thoughts on the election results so far to newsonline.wales@bbc.co.uk. Huw Bryant in Cardiff has done just that. He writes: "When we will we have a vote on Welsh issues instead of being coloured by UK politics? Plaid Cymru need to speak up for Wales, the other parties have shown they have more interest in Westminster politics, not Wales"

0529 Newly re-elected Vale of Glamorgan AM Jane Hutt tells Radio Wales her "wonderful result" was about "being an activist locally as well as being a minister nationally". She said the Conservatives had thought they were going to "walk through Wales", but hadn't.

0524 Hello. As dawn is about to break over Wales, I'm Clare Gabriel, and I am taking over the live coverage of the assembly elections while Dan gets some sleep. Apart from the seats in the north, we are now waiting for the four Cardiff constituencies to declare.

0513 Big result for Labour in the Vale of Glamorgan. Jane Hutt's majority has increased from 83 to 3,775.

0512 RESULT. Labour hold Gower

0510 RESULT. Labour hold Vale of Glamorgan

0505 RESULT. Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

0501 RESULT. Labour hold Torfaen

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0500 Plaid's Leanne Wood pays tribute to defeated colleague Nerys Evans as a "big loss" to the Plaid assembly group and tweets: "Counting the regional vote in the #Rhondda now. And the birds are singing. Nice."

0453 Having comfortably held Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Plaid AM Lord Elis-Thomas can now claim to have represented this part of the world, in one form or another, since 1974.

0452 RESULT. Labour hold Bridgend

0450 Carmarthen West was a closely-watched three-way fight between the Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and Labour. Could the Tory victory stall Labour's progress towards a majority? Meanwhile, Plaid will be very disappointed to lose one of its stars, Nerys Evans. She has played a big part in the party's campaign, having given up a regional seat to fight this constituency.

Kirsty Williams
Kirsty Williams says it has been a tough campaign
0446 Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams said it has been a "tough campaign" when the party has found it difficult to get its message across. "We've seen some disappointing results tonight," she told BBC One Wales. "There's been a big challenge for us with our colleagues in Westminster in power for the first time. We're constantly being asked about the effects of the coalition impacting on our politics here."

0441 RESULT. Labour hold Rhondda

0442 RESULT. Conservatives hold Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire

0441 RESULT. Conservatives hold Monmouth

0441 RESULT. Labour hold Swansea West

0436 RESULT. Plaid Cymru hold Dwyfor Meirionnydd

0435 RESULT. Labour hold Caerphilly

0434 Let's take stock of where we are so far. Labour's share of the vote is up 11.1% on the last election, the Tories are up 2.7%, Plaid is down 3.7% and the Lib Dems are down 4%.

0429 RESULT. Plaid Cymru hold Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

0417 RESULT. Labour hold Ogmore

0414 Turnout is said to be 47.2% in Preseli Pembrokeshire and 48.15% next door in Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire South. Both are slightly down on last time.

0412 RESULT. Lib Dems hold Brecon and Radnorshire

0406 Here's some analysis from Aberystwyth university's Prof Roger Scully: Based on the results thus far, it is very difficult to see how Labour could possibly win fewer than 30 seats. An absolute majority must now be seen as likely, not merely as possible.

0400 RESULT. Labour hold Swansea East

0350 There'll be a big sigh of relief in Ceredigion from Plaid, where Elin Jones has held off the Lib Dems despite her vote falling 8%. That is a swing of 4% from Plaid to the Lib Dems. Political commentator Prof Laura McAllister tells BBC One Wales that Plaid will be happy to get a "big hitter" back in the assembly, especially having lost Helen Mary Jones in Llanelli. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems will be disheartened to have lost neighbouring Montgomeryshire to the Tories, and to have seen their share of the vote fall in places like Newport East (-8.7%), Newport West (-5%) and Pontypridd (-9.7%).

0348 RESULT. Labour hold Neath

0352 RESULT. Plaid Cymru hold Ceredigion

0348 RESULT. Labour hold Newport West

0346 RESULT. Labour hold Pontypridd

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0345 Labour MP Kevin Brennan tweets: "5 hours and 36 minutes after the polls close they are about to start counting the votes in Cardiff West."

0341 RESULT. Labour hold Aberavon

0337 RESULT. Labour hold Newport East

Helen Mary Jones
Helen Mary Jones said Plaid were swimming against the tide
0337 A former prominent Plaid Cymru campaigner, Sian Caiach, stood as an independent in Llanelli, polling 2,004 votes - votes that might have gone to Plaid. Plaid MP Jonathan Edwards told BBC Wales's election night programme for S4C that this was a big loss to the assembly and that he was surprised by the number of votes for Ms Caiach. Helen Mary Jones said her team swam against a strong tide, but it wasn't quite enough to bring them home

0329 RESULT. Conservatives win Montgomeryshire

0325 RESULT. Labour hold Cynon Valley

0320 The Llanelli result will boost Labour's hopes of winning a majority in the Senedd. But Labour will surely hope it doesn't lose a regional seat in mid and west Wales as a result of picking up Llanelli. Keith Davies has a majority of 80, overturning a Plaid majority of 3,884. Losing Helen Mary Jones is a blow for Plaid. She is the party's deputy leader in Cardiff Bay and one of the most recognisable AMs having long served as Plaid's health spokesperson.

0315 RESULT. Labour gain Llanelli

0313 RESULT. Labour hold Merthyr Tydfil

0305 Labour's Gower candidate and health minister Edwina Hart told BBC One Wales her party had not faced "a lot of hostility" during the campaign and added she was hoping for a "magic majority". "People have been very open to the message that we are presenting," she said.

0304 RESULT. Labour hold Islwyn

0249 Tory candidate Chris Davies in Brecon and Radnorshire says it's a close run thing, but he thinks his Lib Dem opponent, Kirsty Williams, has won.

0249 The Greens have been appealing for the regional vote of people in south Wales central. If the strategy works it would make Jake Griffiths the first Green AM. Asked whether he would support Labour in a coalition, he told BBC Wales he would be prepared to talk to anyone who might share his party's policy aims.

0247 The recount in Llanelli was called by election officers, BBC Wales's Rebecca John says. There are thought to be about 90 votes in it.

0237 There is a recount in Llanelli. Labour activists and candidate Keith Davies are hugging each other. The party made a big push to win the seat back from Plaid Cymru, including organising a visit by Ed Miliband. Plaid won with a 3,884 majority in 2007.

0230 Kirsty Williams told Jamie Owen on the election night programme that it had been a "difficult campaign for the Welsh Liberal Democrats from the outset", but dismissed suggestions the party had been "wiped out". She added that the focus on the UK government had led to a "baptism of fire for myself leading the party in this campaign". "It's disappointing we didn't get to focus on issues affecting Wales," she said. The Welsh Lib Dems would be willing to work with another party "to see what we could achieve together", adding: "I'm not ruling anything out".

0227 Llanelli declaration is 20 minutes away - and it's neck and neck, we hear.

0227 It doesn't look like good news for Plaid, the party's Carmarthen East candidate Rhodri Glyn Thomas has said. "We have been battling against an upsurge in support for Labour," he told BBC One Wales' election night programme. Plaid had a good story about the economy, "but we failed to communicate that to the electorate", he said. "I think we have to take a long look at ourselves after this election."

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0225 Labour MP Paul Flynn tweets: "Confidently predicting Newport West As 48 per cent Labour Tory 28 per cent."

0220 A chapter in Welsh political history has closed. Labour has regained Blaenau Gwent in the assembly and at Westminster. Labour lost both seats with the defection of former comrade Peter Law at the 2005 general election. The seat's new Labour AM Alun Davies is no stranger to the Senedd - he gambled his place as a regional member for mid and west Wales to win back Blaenau Gwent. Independent candidate Jayne Sullivan came second with a 19% share of the vote to Mr Davies's 64%.

0210 RESULT. Labour gain Blaenau Gwent

Betsan Powys
0207 More from Betsan on Ieuan Wyn Jones's verdict that a coalition with the Lib Dems is "inconceivable". "People have voted now," she tells BBC One Wales' election night programme. "Why choose this moment to say something so blunt?"

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0202 It's 0205 and still no results. Is this a record for assembly elections? Lee Jenkins emails from Caerphilly to say he thinks voting should be compulsory and asks why we can't vote online. "Surely that would speed up the counting process," he says.

0155 It's too close to call in Cardiff Central, BBC staff at the count hear from the Lib Dems. They won a majority of 6,565 there in 2007.

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0150 Labour Blaenau Gwent candidate Alun Davies tweets: "At the Blaenau Gwent count. We expect the declaration very soon."

0145 Although it has never won an assembly seat, the UK Independence Party has a foothold in Wales through MEP John Bufton. Ukip south Wales east candidate David Rowland said: "I think we're quietly confident. Campaigning has been going well for us." He said there is "utter dissatisfaction with the way the assembly has performed over recent years". Ukip wants to get rid of AMs and make MPs do their work.

Carwyn Jones
Carwyn Jones wants a majority in the assembly
0138 Carwyn Jones has declined to speculate on the final outcome. He told BBC One Wales' election night programme: "At the moment it's a bit like asking someone how a rugby game is going to go in the first half. Let's wait 'til the referee's blown the whistle." He added: "What I'd like of course is a functioning, arithmetical majority."

Vaughan Roderick
0130 Lib Dems may have lost deposits in a number of seats across Wales, BBC Wales' results programme for S4C hears. BBC Wales Welsh affairs editor Vaughan Roderick says it could be a disastrous night for the party. Political commentator Dr Richard Wyn Jones adds that potential results across the rest of the UK too are looking "terrible" for the party.

0130 There is a rumour doing the rounds at Newport, where ballots are still being verified, that Ukip could win a regional seat - its first in the assembly. Ukip leader Nigel Farage is expected at the count about 0500.

0125 Which constituency will declare first? BBC Wales told the turnout for Merthyr Tydfil was about 35%. Turnout last time was 38.9%. Vale of Glamorgan turnout around 40%, we hear.

0120 Ieuan Wyn Jones's comments at 0120 are getting some attention. Has he killed off any prospect of a rainbow coalition? He nearly became first minister in 2007 at the head of a three-way coalition between his party, the Lib Dems and Tories. During this campaign he's been saying a similar alliance would be difficult because of the actions of the UK government, but saying it is "inconceivable" takes his objection a step further.

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0108 Shadow Welsh secretary Peter Hain tweets: "Looking good for best ever Labour percentage result in a Welsh Assembly election."

0054 A Conservative source tells me: "We certainly don't see our number of seats decreasing."

Rhodri Morgan
Rhodri Morgan says he's not part of the facebook generation
0047 Rhodri Morgan laments that he is "not part of the facebook generation, but other people have adapted a bit better, including my wife". Remember his wife, Julie, is standing in Cardiff North, where she used to be the local MP. Mr Morgan told BBC One Wales that the battle between Mrs Morgan and the Tories has been "hard fought". The Lib Dems appear to have put their efforts into holding neighbouring Cardiff Central, he said.

0037 Plaid's Llanelli candidate Helen Mary Jones told BBC One Wales' election night programme that the party was received positively on the doorstep but that "we're facing a strong national swing towards Labour". "We're feeling positive but not counting our chickens," she said. Her Labour opponent Keith Davies said his party could re-take the seat from Plaid because voters were "hesitating between two socialist parties - Plaid Cymru and Labour".

0030 Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones told BBC One Wales' election night programme that he found it "inconceivable" that his party would go into coalition with either the Lib Dems or the Conservatives. He refused to be drawn on whether he might face a leadership challenge if Plaid does badly. Mr Jones resigned from the party leadership after a poor showing by Plaid at the 2003 election. He was later re-chosen as the leader of Plaid's assembly group and then as overall party leader.

0019 It could be a tight result in Cardiff North. A colleague in the Senedd says he's heard from a Conservative source that it looks like a Labour win. Meanwhile, another Tory source tells me that his party is optimistic about the seat, which it won last time around with Jonathan Morgan. Labour's candidate is former local MP Julie Morgan.

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0008 Labour MP Chris Bryant tweets: "Hearing good news in Wrexham, Newport, Merthyr and Caerphilly."

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0001 Please send us your thoughts at newsonline.wales@bbc.co.uk. We'll try to publish as many as we can. Chris Davies, in Swansea, writes to say that he does not feel anybody came looking for his vote. "First time in years I've struggled to place my cross next to a candidate," he says. "What a disappointing day for democracy."

2352 Plaid MP Hywel Williams told Radio Wales that the SNP ran a positive and confident campaign in Scotland, and perhaps his party could learn some messages from that. On Radio Cymru, Rhodri Morgan said a deal with the Lib Dems was not impossible, but it depends what the voters say.

2348 Baroness Randerson is swapping the assembly for the House of Lords. She is standing down as the Lib Dem AM for Cardiff Central. She told BBC One Wales' election night programme that it has been a "tough" campaign. "Unfortunately the campaign has been dominated by UK government issues and I really regret that. We have not talked about Welsh issues, issues that are within the power of the assembly," she said.

2336 BNP leader Nick Griffin is at Swansea's LC leisure centre for the counts for the city's seats. The leader of the local party has told BBC Wales that the BNP has had a "fabulous response" to its campaign.

2331 Labour sources are keeping the door ajar for a majority, but say it will be "incredibly tough". Former First Minister Rhodri Morgan, who has stood down as an AM at this election, told BBC Radio Cymru that Labour faced "an incredibly high mountain to climb" to get a majority.

2321 Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones tells BBC Wales' results programme for S4C that a good result for Labour would be an increase in the vote and more Labour seats. He says the Bank Holidays had cost the campaign some momentum but that he hoped for an increased turnout overall.

Vaughan Roderick
2318 BBC Wales Welsh affairs editor Vaughan Roderick says there is real unhappiness among some influential Plaid figures that the party has not used some of the strong arguments it could have used in its campaign to target weaknesses in rival parties. If Plaid has a bad night, difficult questions will be asked by powerful figures, he says. In Haverfordwest, Nerys Evans, Plaid Cymru's candidate in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, says the party has fought an energetic campaign in the area. Conditions have been hard, she says, and a good night for Plaid would be to retain its existing seats.

2315 Veteran historian Dr John Davies tells BBC Wales's Welsh-language results programme for S4C that he believes there could be fewer women AMs this time as parties move away from controversial policies to promote female candidates.


2310 Speaking on BBC One Wales' election programme, Labour MP Chris Bryant said: "I love all this talk of 'sources'. The truth is we haven't the faintest idea. It will be tough to get up to that magic 31 figure. On the telephone in the Rhondda, that's what people have been begging for." In case you're wondering why he's been on the phone instead of on the doorstep during the campaign, he broke his leg playing in a charity rugby match.


2305 It's worth asking what will happen to Tory assembly leader Nick Bourne if his party wins Montgomeryshire. Should the Conservatives make a net gain of constituency seats in the mid and west Wales region, the arithmetic of the assembly's electoral system could put his position as a regional candidate under pressure.

2300 Welsh Conservative sources suggest they're expecting to return more than the 12 seats they won in 2007. That was later increased to 13 by a defection. Could the Tories overtake Plaid to become the assembly's second largest party?

2247 BBC Wales's Gwenllian Grigg at the Newport count at the city's velodrome, tells BBC Wales' Welsh-language results programme for S4C that no upsets are expected in the constituency seats there. However, there are rumours that Ukip's Nigel Farage might be due at the count sometime during the night - possibly because the party might be expecting to pick up a regional seat - but that will not be known until about 0800 on Friday.

2247 Plaid Cymru's Jonathan Edwards tells BBC Radio Cymru it is looking like it could be a hard night for his party. But he condemns Labour's "arrogance" for assuming it could get a majority.

2245 Liberal Democrat peer Lord Roger Roberts tells BBC Radio Cymru that because of the coalition in Westminster, his party has had to do things it wouldn't have done if it was in government by itself, and that it may be punished for that. But he thought strong local candidates could work against that national trend, and he expected to see a growth in the Lib Dem vote in Aberconwy and Ceredigion. If the party wins seven seats he would go home "smiling from ear to ear", he says.

2231 The Welsh Liberal Democrats may not be facing the electoral collapse some recent opinion polls have suggested. But they look set to return their fewest number of AMs since the assembly was created. The party won six seats in each of the first three elections, but look set to lose Montgomeryshire. A Conservative source says: "We're getting some very positive vibes from Montgomeryshire."

2220 Plaid Cymru looks set to lose votes and seats, we understand. Party sources are admitting that it has been a very difficult campaign on the doorstep and they're "not expecting any gains" as the night unfolds. Plaid is also facing the prospect of being run close in the seats it won last time.

Betsan Powys
2220 Our political editor Betsan Powys has set out the scale of the challenge facing Labour on BBC One's 10 o'clock news. She pointed out that Labour has only managed to hold a majority of seats for two of the assembly's 12 years.

2216 Worth reflecting on what Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones said at the outset of the campaign. At Labour's first press conference of the campaign on 4 April, he said the party was taking nothing for granted. But based on the feedback Labour had received, he said a "comfortable working majority" was possible.

2213 As the polls close across the Wales, Labour party sources are suggesting that they may just fall short of the 31 seats needed to ensure an outright majority in the assembly. The party is expecting some gains and an improvement on the 26 seats it held in the last assembly, but not enough to govern without some kind of deal with another party in the Senedd.

2212 Welcome to the BBC's live page coverage of the result of the Welsh assembly elections. Votes are being counted in large areas of Wales while constituencies in the north will declare on Friday after counting begins there in the morning. I'm BBC Wales political reporter Daniel Davies and I'll be bringing you the results and all the latest updates.



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Welsh Labour notches up big gain
06 May 11 |  Wales

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