Page last updated at 18:37 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 19:37 UK

Labour fails to win back Swansea

Swansea's Guildhall
Labour lost control of Swansea at the last council elections in 2004

Labour has failed to win back control of Swansea, the city which the party lost at the 2004 election.

Labour remains the biggest party with 30 of 72 seats, but lost two, while Liberal Democrats gained three to increase their total to 23.

That makes it likely the city will once again be ruled by a coalition led by the Lib Dems.

Labour held Neath Port Talbot, and independents remained the main groups in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

In 2004 Labour lost control of Swansea, the city it had controlled since the early 1980s, when it was ousted by a coalition of Lib Dems and independents.

WHO RAN COUNCILS IN THE SOUTH WEST FROM 2004-2008
Neath Port Talbot: Labour
Pembrokeshire: independent
Swansea: Lib Dem / independent
Carmarthenshire Labour / independent

Earlier on Friday Lib Dem leader Chris Holley said it was disappointing that not all the results were complete and his group would meet on Saturday.

"We will make our decision after that. Our preferred partners would be the independents in an administration, but that does not mean that we would exclude others as well."

Labour leader Dave Phillips said Swansea had seemed to have bucked the national trend which had seen Labour doing badly.

"I am very pleased because I do believe the party [locally] has turned itself around in the past four years. I wished we had done better.

I have certainly fought elections in more benign and propitious circumstances
Andrew Davies AM, Swansea West

"As for what happens in the next couple of days, we are going to have to wait and see."

Local Tory leader Rene Kinzett said it had been a good night for his party nationally and locally.

"We will be using the influence we have to have an impact on who runs Swansea. We are not going to rule in or rule out any deals."

Plaid's Darren Price conceded that although the result was not official, the party had lost its three Cockett councillors. "Obviously, we are highly disappointed," he said.

"We are in the situation where I am the lone Plaid Cymru councillor in Swansea. We will stick to the manifesto commitments we had going into the election, and there are a number of these I would like to think we can see in Swansea."

Labour gained a seat in Neath Port Talbot, increasing its majority from six to 10.

The independents also retained control of Pembrokeshire with 42 of the 60 seats, and they remained the largest grouping in Carmarthenshire, where Plaid had 14 gains, and Labour 14 losses.

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WELSH COUNCIL ELECTIONS 2008

  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
LAB -124 342 -6 2
CON 63 174 1 2
PC 31 205 -1 0
LD 21 162 0 0
OTH 9 381 0 0
NOC - - 6 18
22 of 22 councils declared.

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