Results, powers and keeping up with the Joneses

Conservative Craig Williams (l) became an MP holding off from Labour
Image caption Conservative Craig Williams (left) holds off Labour to win Cardiff North

It appears Leanne Wood was right.

The Plaid Cymru leader told Nick Servini last month: "I caution you against too many comparisons with Scotland. We're different countries and the SNP and Plaid Cymru are different parties and we're on different stages of our devolution journey."

A fair point, you might think, although it does make you wonder why Plaid then based their whole campaign strategy on demanding parity with Scotland.

Despite the SNP surge and the high UK-wide profile enjoyed by Ms Wood, Plaid ended up with a bog-standard election result for them - and, despite coming close in Ynys Mon, have fewer MPs now than they had when the Conservatives last won a majority in 1992. They finished fourth behind UKIP.

As recently as Monday, Plaid AM Rhun ap Iorwerth told Radio Wales: "I'll put my head on the block and say I'll be disappointed with three seats, I won't try to spin it any other way, it will be disappointing obviously."

Plaid, who at one time thought Leanne Wood would be spending today around a negotiating table at Westminster, now face the awkward challenge of making their voice heard in a Plaid/SNP/Green parliamentary group in which they have 5 % of the membership.

For Welsh Labour, losing one seat instead of making the expected gains, it was a fairly dark night, failing to take their top target of Cardiff North and losing the Vale of Clwyd and Gower to the Conservatives. It's the first time Gower has not sent a Labour MP to Westminster.

'Queen's Speech'

It was far, far worse for the Welsh Liberal Democrats, losing deposits in almost every corner of Wales despite Kirsty Williams's role as deputy chair of the party's UK campaign. She blamed tuition fees - she said voters had stopped listening.

Her deputy in Wales, Roger Williams, lost his Brecon and Radnorshire seat to the Conservatives who spent a lot of money in the constituency, paying for a wraparound of the local weekly newspaper.

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Media captionAdvice for the new 11 MPs as they arrive in Westminster - from old hand Newport West MP Paul Flynn, and retired MPs - Plaid's Elfyn Llwyd and Labour's Sian James

The Welsh Tories are understandably delighted at their best result for 32 years. Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb said it was "at the very top end of my expectations and ambitions".

He said his officials were currently writing legislation to transfer further powers to Wales, which I would expect to see included in the Queen's speech at the state opening of parliament later this month.

David Cameron said in Downing Street on his return from Buckingham Palace: "I will implement as fast as I can the devolution that all parties agreed for Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland."

That appears to confirm what George Osborne told us during his visit to Powys last week. The Scottish result will give impetus to the process, although the Welsh government is sceptical every time the prime minister mentions "respect" and the devolved institutions.

In other news, re-elected Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies has revealed how his majority was boosted by one vote.

"One voter decided to draw a detailed representation of a penis instead of a cross in my box on one ballot paper," said Mr Davies. "Amazingly, because it was neatly drawn within the confines of the box the returning officer deemed it a valid vote.

"Not sure the artist meant it to count, but I am grateful. If I knew who it was, I would like to thank him (or her) personally."

The results also reflect what Patrick Hannan described as the Welsh surname shortage - Wales has seven MPs called Davies, three Joneses and three Williamses. And Wales's 40 MPs include only two of the six politicians who took part in the Welsh leaders debates.