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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
Forward Wales breakthrough fails
Votes are counted in Wrexham
Counting got underway quickly in Wrexham
The Forward Wales party founded by former Labour MP and AM John Marek has failed to make an impact on Wrexham Council.

The party won just one seat on the local authority when David Bithell took the Johnstown ward by 492 votes to 444 from Labour.

However, it could have been very different - Wrexham Labour leader Shan Wilkinson just hung on to her Bryn Cefn seat by 14 votes after a challenge from Forward Wales.

The council has no overall ruling party in control and talks will now begin to try and form a coalition.

Previously the ruling group was made up of Labour and the Radicals - including Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors.

John Marek
John Marek, founder of Forward Wales, was at the count

Thursday's vote returned three conservatives, 17 Independents, 19 Labour councillors, 10 from the Liberal Democrat Party, two non-aligned and one Forward Wales councillor.

David Bithell said he was "honoured" to be the first Forward Wales councillor elected in Wrexham.

He said: "We've pushed Labour very, very hard and we're not disappointed not to have made further breakthroughs - if you look at the Minera ward, the result was very close and we lost by just six votes."

Dr Marek, who is still the Forward Wales AM for Wrexham, left Labour after he failed to be selected by the party at last year's assembly election.

He said he was "disappointed" not to have won more seats on the council.

Turnout

Shan Wilkinson, visibly moved, said she "absolutely knew it was very close" after she retained her seat in the council.

"I knew that there would be a significant vote against me," she said.

"I knew from the start it was going to be a difficult contest but I'm sorry that we'll be saying goodbye to some very good councillors."

Labour have held onto Flintshire - with 37 of the 70 seats.

Under the new results Plaid Cymru have one seat, Liberal Democrats 10, Independent Party 18 and The Conservative Party four.

However, an early result saw outspoken Green councillor Klaus Armstrong-Braun lose his Saltney Stonebridge seat to the Labour candidate Terence Walker.

Counting of the votes cast in Denbighshire got underway just after 1230 BST on Friday.

Forty five per cent of the population turned out to register their vote on Thursday.

The turnout was higher than the turnout recorded at last year's Welsh Assembly elections.




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BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS

FIND YOUR COUNCIL
 
PARTY LINKS
 
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  Councillors Councils  
PARTY +/- TOT +/- TOT  
LAB
-64
478
0
8
PC
-28
172
-2
1
CON
39
109
1
1
LD
37
148
0
0
After 22 of 22 councils

SEE ALSO:
Local elections: Wales analysis
25 May 04  |  Politics
New party adds twist in Wrexham
17 May 04  |  North East Wales
Union backing for Forward Wales
20 Mar 04  |  Wales
Flintshire supports 'golden goodbyes'
04 Nov 03  |  North East Wales
Group to fight BNP challenge
15 Dec 03  |  North East Wales



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