South East Wales

Vote 2012: Labour retake control of councils

Labour's Huw Lewis
Image caption Huw Lewis said Labour's win in Merthyr was the result of a "great grassroots campaign"

Labour has taken overall control of seven councils in south east Wales.

The party performed strongly, winning a majority of seats in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Torfaen.

Labour secured Cardiff and Liberal Democrat council leader Rodney Berman lost his seat after a second recount in his Plasnewydd ward.

The Conservatives lost control of the Vale of Glamorgan and lost their majority in Monmouthshire.

Labour kept hold of Rhondda Cynon Taf, but its leader on the council, Russell Roberts, lost his seat.

The victory in Cardiff was a big scalp for Labour, where the party came from third place at the last elections in 2008 to take the capital from Lib Dem/Plaid control.

The Tory council leader in the Vale, Gordon Kemp, lost his seat, as Labour became the largest party but without an overall majority.

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Media captionBallots were drawn in Greenmeadow, Torfaen, after candidates were in a dead heat

The Conservatives won 11 seats, down from 25 in 2008, while Labour took 22.

Labour said it did not know whether it would try to govern alone or form a coalition with one of the smaller parties.

The election saw the first UKIP (UK Independence Party) councillor in the Vale.

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

Successful night

But a party spokesman said that "given the difficult situation inherited by the coalition in Westminster and the tough decisions that must be taken, we recognise that this may not be an easy night in parts of the country".

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Media captionJohn Dixon lost his Lib Dem seat in Adamsdown in Cardiff

It proved to be a successful night for Labour.

The Labour AM for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, Huw Lewis, said of the party's win in Merthyr: "Labour group leader Brendan Toomey has led the charge in a great grassroots campaign.

"This result is a testament to his leadership and that of hard working candidates across the borough."

Labour more than doubled their tally of seats from 10 to 23 in Merthyr. Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives do not have any seats in the council, although UKIP has one.

In Caerphilly, former Labour Welsh Secretary Ron Davies, now representing Plaid Cymru, lost his seat on Caerphilly council.

The Plaid leader of the council, Allan Pritchard, also lost his seat as Labour looked to take overall control from the Plaid/Independent coalition.

Labour won comfortably in Torfaen - although the party was also helped by a highly unusual tie in the the Green Meadow ward.

There was a recount for the second seat, and both candidates had to draw lots, with the Labour candidate emerging victorious.

Most councils are declaring during the early hours, but others, such as Rhondda Cynon Taf, did not declare until the afternoon.

Despite keeping control of the council, Labour lost its leader in Rhondda, Russell Roberts.

He was one of a number of seats from all parties to lose seats as the political make-up of Welsh authorities changed.

Labour gained control in Newport from the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition and one of its new councillors is comedy rap group Goldie Lookin' Chain member Rhys Hutchings.

In Bridgend, Labour education portfolio holder Alana Davies lost her seat to Independent Brian Jones.

There were claims the Conservatives and Lib Dems chose not to stand to maximise the Independent vote.

A row over the location of a local skatepark was partly blamed for Ms Davies's defeat.

All the latest election results are available at

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