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Friday, 8 June, 2001, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK

Few poll surprises for Wales

Despite a night of high tension the political map in Wales virtually looks the same as before Thursday's general election.

A total of 40 seats were fought over in Wales and for most of the night there were few suprises with the first two results, Wrexham and Vale of Clwyd, going as expected to Labour.


Seats held in Wales

  • Labour 34
  • Plaid Cymru 4
  • Liberal Democrats 2
  • Conservatives 0
  • Others 0

    Then came the political bombshell for Plaid Cymru as they lost Ynys Mon to Labour but they in turn snatched Carmarthen East from Labour.

    But the low turnout of just 61.6% in Wales had little effect on the constituencies, with all the parties ending up with exactly the same number of seats as they had before.

    Labour retained their overwhelming majority of 34 seats and kept a tight rein on the heartlands of Wales.

    In the Rhondda, Chris Bryant confounded his critics by winning the traditional Labour seat and sweeping away Plaid's challenge.

    Mr Bryant had a majority of more than 16,000 over Plaid's Leanne Wood.

    "In the end the people of the Rhondda made their minds up on who was going to get the best deal for the Rhondda," said Mr Bryant.

    Meanwhile Plaid Cymru failed to initiate the political turnaround that they were hoping for.

    They took Carmarthen East and Dinefwr from Labour in their only gain of the election.

    Plaid's Adam Price defeated the former Labour MP, Dr Alan Williams polling 16,130 votes against 13,450 in an 8% swing.


    " This is a disappointing result for the party but one thing is for certain, the Welsh Conservative Party will bounce back bigger and stronger "
    Welsh Conservative leader in the Assembly, Nick Bourne

    In the end the party only managed to notch up four seats across the whole of Wales.

    The Tories on the other hand were even less successful. For the second general election in a row, they failed to gain any seats in Wales.

    Any hopes of them winning back the Monmouth seat were dashed after Labour held on to the seat by just 384 votes.

    That small majority was enough to push the Conservatives off the political map in Wales.

    Fight back

    Welsh Conservative leader in the Welsh Assembly, Nick Bourne, has insisted that they will learn from their defeat.

    He said: "This is a disappointing result for the party but one thing is for certain, the Welsh Conservative Party will bounce back bigger and stronger.

    "We will be considering the lessons to be learned, the fightback has already begun," he said.

    The results were not much better for the Liberal Democrats - they failed to increase their tally of two Welsh seats in Brecon and Radnor, and Montgomeryshire.



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