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Last Updated: Friday, 11 June, 2004, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Labour loses heavily in Swansea
Lawrence Bailey
Labour leader Lawrence Bailey has seen the council lose control
Labour has suffered a heavy defeat in Swansea after losing 13 seats, leaving the authority under no overall control.

The winners on the night were the Liberal Democrats who gained eight seats which gives them a total of 19 members.

Lib Dem leader Chris Holley said he was surprised, but not shocked, at the result which ended Labour's rule of 30 years.

Elsewhere, Pembrokeshire is still under Independent control, despite the party losing two seats including one previously held by leader Maurice Hughes.

Swansea's Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Chris Holley faces another election on Friday as his party members hold their annual leader election.

"I am delighted with the result in Swansea," said Cwmbwrla Councillor Holley.

"I am extremely pleased with the way the Swansea nearly doubled the number of councillors from 11 last time to 19."

He added that an electorate backlash against the state of Swansea's leisure centres was to blame.

"I also think there is an element of Rhodri Morgan's snubbing of the Normandy landings which people didn't like and the Iraq war," he said.

Mr Holley predicts the parties will be in a state of flux over the next 48 hours - or longer - as they begin to get down to council business.

Lawrence Bailey, leader of the Labour group in Swansea Council, said he is 'bitterly disappointed' with the results".

"This is unchartered territory, we feel we are the victim of some national issues as a result of what is proving to be a deeply unpopular foreign policy in Iraq and combined with local issues, plus the wild card element of the European elections," he said.

Swansea result
Labour 32
Independents 12
Liberal Democrats 19
Plaid Cymru 5
Conservative 4

Helen Mary Jones, Plaid Cymru AM, south west Wales said: "A very bad night for Labour indeed. This is a reaction to the war in Iraq. People are feeling they simply can't trust the Labour Party, that they were lied to about Iraq, what else have they been lied to about?

"I certainly think that Rhodri Morgan not going to the D-Day celebrations made a huge difference at the very last minute."




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BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS

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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:
Labour loses Swansea council
11 Jun 04  |  Wales
Local elections: Wales analysis
25 May 04  |  Politics
Bad night at the polls for Labour
11 Jun 04  |  Politics
Choppy waters in property hotspot
17 May 04  |  South West Wales



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