Wales politics

Leanne Wood says Plaid Cymru will rebuild after 'difficult' council elections

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Media captionPlaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood: Election night was a "mixed bag"

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood says the party must rebuild after what she called "a difficult night" at the local elections.

A Labour revival cost Plaid its leadership of Caerphilly in the south Wales valleys.

During the campaign, Plaid played down the prospect of making big gains under recently-elected leader Ms Wood.

Results for Gwynedd and Carmarthenshire, both Plaid targets, are due later on Friday.

Plaid failed to take overall control of Ceredigion, winning 19 seats, down one from 2008. However, it remains the biggest party on the council and defeated the authority's former Independent leader.

Writing on Twitter, Ms Wood said: "A difficult night for #plaidcymru. Great to see some fantastic councillors re-elected.

"Sorry to see some great ppl go. Time to re-build now."

Speaking later to BBC Wales, Ms Wood said her party's results came against the background of having done particularly well against Labour in 2008.

She said: "It was always likely that Labour was going to come back."

Ms Wood said Plaid Cymru had not shared the "bounce" that Labour had enjoyed from voters because the election had been seen as a "UK election fought on London politics".

She said: "Our challenge is to make sure that elections are fought on a Welsh context.

"I'm under no illusion that we've got a huge amount of work to do in Plaid Cymru in terms of rebuilding the party."

Plaid's elections director Ian Titherington said the results were "not entirely unexpected" and followed its "best ever" election in 2008.


In the run up to polling day, the party said the election came too early in Ms Wood's tenure to be seen as a verdict on her. She took up the reins on 15 March.

Her predecessor Ieuan Wyn Jones stood down after poor results for Plaid at last year's Welsh assembly election.

Mid and West Wales AM Simon Thomas, who ran against Ms Wood for the leadership, was defiant.

"I'm living in a Plaid Cymru ward represented by two Plaid Cymru councillors for the first time," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"But, to be fair, it's a bit like the weather itself, it's mostly drizzle with some outbursts of sunshine and we've got to look for the success I think we will have by the time all the votes are counted."

He said the party had enjoyed "some successes" but on the whole it had been "a disappointing night".

He said Ms Wood could not be blamed "one way or the other" because she had only been in the job for six weeks.

Mr Thomas admitted it had "tipped down" in Caerphilly after its leader Allan Pritchard was ousted.

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