Wales politics

Vote 2012: Polls closed in Welsh local council elections

A polling station in Whitchurch, Cardiff
Image caption Polls closed in the local elections at 22:00 BST on Thursday

Voting has closed in elections for all but one of Wales' local councils.

Some 1,200 seats are being contested in 21 of the 22 unitary local authorities, as well as for community and town councils.

Elections in Anglesey, where ministers have put commissioners in charge after years of political infighting, have been postponed until next year.

The new political make-up of councils will emerge when results are declared on Friday.

Most councils are expected to declare during the early hours, but others are not due until the afternoon.

Labour is defending about 340 seats, Plaid Cymru almost 200, the Conservatives 165 and the Liberal Democrats 140. The rest were filled by independents or small parties.

Opinion polls have suggested Labour is poised to make gains after losing ground in heartland areas at the last local elections in 2008.

Among the councils to watch are Cardiff and Swansea where the Lib Dems, who have led both authorities, will hope to hold back challenges from Labour.

More than 90 seats for the unitary authorities have already been filled by unopposed candidates.

Local authority elections on Anglesey will be held next year. In the meantime, the boundaries of electoral divisions on the island are being redrawn.

Ministers will soon receive proposals from the Local Government Boundary Commission which will cut the number of councillors from 40 to 30.

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