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Last Updated: Friday, 2 May, 2003, 07:04 GMT 08:04 UK
Status quo in mid Wales
Elin Jones
Elin Jones makes her acceptance speech this morning

The three Welsh assembly members who won constituency seats in the 1999 election were returned to office by the electorate last night.

Plaid Cymru candidate Elin Jones regained the Ceredigion seat with a 4,618 majority despite a massive 16.4 per cent rise in votes by second placed Liberal Democrat candidate, John Davies.

But Liberal Democrats Mick Bates in Montgomeryshire and Kirsty Williams in Brecon and Radnor were again victorious.

However, both Liberal Democrats had their majorities slightly reduced by their second-placed Conservative opponents.

It's been pretty tough out on the stump at times because the party has had a rough time from farmers in our heartlands
Mick Bates, Liberal Democrat

Elin Jones said she was delighted to hold onto her seat despite having her majority cut from 10,000 in 1999 to about 4,600.

Nevertheless, her percentage share of the vote was only reduced by 2.7 per cent to 45.1 per cent.

Constituency results
Ceredigion-Elin Jones wins again
Brecon and Radnorshire-Kirsty Williams wins again
Montgomeryshire-Mick Bates wins again

"I am delighted that we have retained our percentage share of the vote and that the people of Ceredigion are solidly behind us," she said.

"I want to ensure that Ceredigion is a seat that Plaid Cymru can hold on to well into the future."

Montgomeryshire

Mick Bates held onto the Montgomeryshire seat despite having his percentage of the vote cut by eight per cent from 1999.

It is an unsurprising result - the area has been a Liberal parliamentary stronghold for a century, apart from one term under the Conservatives between 1979 and 1983.

Mick Bates
Mick Bates won with a reduced majority

Mr Bates gained 7869 votes, representing 40% of the vote, and giving him an 11.8% majority over Conservative Glyn Davies.

A jubilant Mr Bates said he had experienced an exciting month's campaigning.

"It's been pretty tough out on the stump at times because the party has had a rough time from farmers in our heartlands," said Mr Bates.

He added that the problem of late payments of farmers' subsidies had been a particular bone of contention when he hit the campaign trail.

Mid and west Wales list members
Nick Bourne-Conservative
Glyn Davies-Conservative
Helen Mary Jones-Plaid Cymru
Lisa Francis, Conservative

"I was also worried because the last time the Liberals were in a Lib-Lab pact we lost the Montgomeryshire parliamentary seat to the Conservatives in 1979," he said.

Second placed, Glyn Davies, though, was elected to the assembly as one of four members elected by the regional list votes.

Brecon and Radnorshire

Kirsty Williams retained the Brecon and Radnorshire constituency seat she won for the party in 1999.

Ms Williams share of the vote was 49.6 per cent a rise of 5.1 per cent from four years ago.

Kirsty Williams
Kirsty Williams won nearly half the vote

But, the Conservatives, in the guise of Welsh party leader Nick Bourne also raised their share of the vote to claim 29.9 per cent of the vote.

The three constituencies are part of the eight mid and west Wales constituencies which also provide four list candidates for the assembly.

Despite losing out in the Brecon and Radnor constituency election, joins Glyn Davies as two of the four mid and west Wales regional list winners.

They will be joined by Conservative Lisa Francis and Helen Mary Jones of Plaid Cymru.





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