Wales politics

Tories lose ground in Monmouthshire and Vale of Glamorgan

The Welsh Conservatives have lost control of councils in two of their strongest areas of Wales.

Monmouthshire and the Vale of Glamorgan councils fell to no overall control. Labour made gains in both.

In Monmouthshire, the Tories fell three seats short of the 22 they needed to win outright control.

In the Vale of Glamorgan, former Conservative council leader Gordon Kemp lost his seat as his party was overtaken by Labour.

A Tory-led coalition in Newport was also swept aside by Labour.

The result in Monmouthshire left the Conservatives on 19 seats, down seven. Labour picked up four seats, taking its tally to 11.

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Media captionAndrew RT Davies was optimistic despite 'very disappointing' results

Conservatives represent the Monmouth constituency in the Welsh assembly and Westminster.

Labour took four seats from the Tories in the north Cardiff suburban ward of Whitchurch and Tongwynlais.

Labour won 22 seats in the Vale of Glamorgan - not enough to take outright of the council, but enough to dislodge the Conservatives who fell from 25 to 11 seats.

The Conservatives' leader in the Welsh assembly, Andrew RT Davies, said the Welsh Tories suffered a "setback" after "a very difficult six weeks of national headlines".

"We always knew this was going to be a tough election for the Welsh Conservatives and we have since lost some very capable and gifted colleagues," he reflected.

"All other parties have suffered at the hands of a national swing towards Labour. Despite this, we have our second best result since the local government reorganisation of the 1990s.

"Today's results now provide us with an opportunity to reflect, learn lessons, and map out a clear strategy to move forward in future elections as Welsh Conservatives."

"The message needs to be clearer, it needs to be crisper and people need to know that the job we are trying to undertake isn't something that can be done in the blink of an eyelid."

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said: "This was never going to be an easy election as we started from a record high base in Wales having made gains at successive elections.

"Labour in Wales has regained lost ground but people don't want triumphalism. They expect delivery."

Mr Kemp told BBC Radio Wales that his party's Westminster coalition government with the Liberal Democrats was taking some "difficult decisions", but was struggling to get its message across.

"It's the issue of presentation from Westminster that's the problem," he said.

"Not explaining issues, not getting the message across to the public."

On Twitter, Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns said: "Need to remember that David Cameron was most popular when he vetoed EU treaty. Lib Dems holding us back."

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