The red tide returns – Labour win big in Wales.

Labour won 10 of the 21 councils contested in Wales (there are a few issues on Anglesey delaying elections there until next year). Here’s the detail from the BBC.

Labour gained 231 seats to get to 576. All other major parties lost. Plaid lost 41 to fall to 158 seats, Tories fell 61 to 105 and the poor Lib Dems are down 66 to 71 seats.

On a technical point we don’t use PR and much of urban Wales has multi member first past the post wards. Under this system it’s common for a ward to switch from say 3 Plaid members to 3 Labour members. This system amplifies swings I think.  (Not an excuse – it’s worked to Plaid’s benefit in the past).

For instance in Cardiff Grangetown switched from 3 Lib Dems to 3 Labour, Plasnewydd from 4 Lib Dems to 4 Labour and Whitchurch from 4 Tories to 4 Labour. That’s 11 of Labour’s 33 gains in Cardiff there.

Any comfort for Plaid? Well, we came second with less losses than the others, remained fairly static in our stronger rural areas (Lost a seat in Ceredigion, a couple in Carmarthenshire and 3 in Gwynedd) and won every seat in the three wards of Carmarthen Town. Whilst we got battered in Caerffili and Rhondda Cynon Taf we were not wiped out, retaining a significant presence 0n both authorities.

You have to applaud Labour however. Admittedly the last election (2007) was a disaster  for them but this result is the best in local government since this set up was introduced in 1996.

Why? – well we’ve voted Labour for 90 years  and

1)  our GDP is a disgrace,

2) Our Education System is failing and

3) We are not controlling our charities.

Beats me…


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  • Drumlins Rock

    Dwi, was thinking of you yesterday 🙂

    I guessing it wasn’t just all Labour resurgence, the coalition parties obviously are getting punished for Westminster decision, but why is PC also suffering?

    North of the border the SNP result was also not that great, is the Nationalist tide receeding?

    On the voting, would you like to see Wales adopt STV? Would like to hear what the Scots think of it.

  • Dewi

    I would like STV in Wales – multi member FPTP seats is not a great system. In Scotland I’ve begun to hear that dreaded phrase “vote management”!
    I know it’s about expectations but the SNP result was their best result in local government in world history….it does look like the Lib Dem collapse went 6:4 in favour of Labour there though. Terrible day for Lib Dems and the party must now be totally skint.
    On reflection in Wales it’s the imminent prospect of thousands of public sector job cuts, the threat of regional public sector pay and, I hate to say it,but Carwyn Jones is an avuncular bloke and maybe Leanne should stop snubbing the Queen…not really a priority at the moment.

  • damon

    Let’s not overlook the dismal turnout – which shows how many people are turned off from all this political hocus pocus.

    This is how one Daily Telegraph blogger put it:

    ”A good night for Labour? Are you kidding me? Labour got roughly 39 per cent of the vote on an estimated turnout of 32 per cent. This means around 12 per cent of the eligible electorate voted Labour. To put it another way, 88 per cent of us – the heaving mass of society – did not vote Labour. If that’s a good night for Labour, I’d hate to see a bad one.”

  • michael-mcivor

    The Big Red Win-

    With less people voting labour make more gains- thats good politics from their point of view-

  • Funny how commentators so loudly decry low turn-out when their side does badly. Then there’s the other mantra: that Labour isn’t doing as well as Wee Willie Hague’s Tories did in 2000 or whenever — yet turn-out in 2000 was lower than this week. Agreed, last year’s figure was 42% — but that was achieved on the back of massive publicity for the simultaneous referendum. Oh, and David Cameron’s “smashing” victory (Huh?) in 2010 had the third lowest participation since universal suffrage.

    For the record, “Labour won big” more generally than Wales. Across the whole of GB, more Labour councillors were returned than all Tories, LibDems, SNP, PC — and a further 150 odds-and-sods — put together.

  • Dewi

    malcolm – the SNP won in Scotland.

  • Dewi @ 5:09 pm:

    Pray define “won” in that context.

    Is it “bums on seats”: 424 against 394? Wow! massive lead!

    Largest party in ten authorities, as opposed to Labour’s 14?

    Do you have the final %age vote, because I don’t?

    Nor does your view of “winning” chime with those of the Scotsman (note that the “comment” piece there is by Salmond’s special adviser) or the Herald. I quite like Iain McWhirter’s comment for the Herald: SNP in a spin as parties feast on the carcass of the LibDems — “it was a good day for penguins.” Ah, yes: spin.

    Like-for-like, the SNP vote seems to be down 14% on 2011. Labour kept hold of North Lanarkshire, and gained Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire. Labour took back Glasgow (and are now the largest party in Edinburgh). That’s four authorities to the SNP’s two: Angus and Dundee City. Be honest, which cities, in order of preference and even size, would Salmond like to boast as fiefdoms?

  • tyrone_taggart

    Malcolm Redfellow

    “Pray define “won” in that context.”

    The biggest part of the “victory” for the SNP is people are talking about the 2 big parties in Scotland. Scottish Liberal Democrats need to change things quickly.

  • Dewi

    “Won” means most councillors as always (or most MPs, TDs etc) with a winning margin of 30 seats.

  • Dewi @ 7:40 pm:

    Surely, on that definition, Michael Howard “won” the 5 May 2005 General Election (Labour -47, Tories +33).

    Simply counting local government seats does quite tally in the same way. Are we to equate a seat on Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (worthy as such a distinction may be, but with a “quota” of as few as 290) with — say — a Ward in one of cities, where the electorate may be a thousandfold greater?

    That was why I asked, and ask again, for a %age vote.

  • Jimmy Sands

    These elections are generally about management of expectations. SNP and Labour each gained about sixty seats but this was the election where the SNP was going to take Glasgow as a springboard to the referendum and Labour did it instead. I can see why they would try and push the “SNP won” meme, but it’s nonsense

  • Dewi
  • tyrone_taggart


    Thank you for the link.

  • damon

    Malcolm Redfellow
    ”Funny how commentators so loudly decry low turn-out when their side does badly”

    I didn’t have any side in those elections btw. I don’t vote as there’s nothing worth voting for.

  • Dewi
  • Nice selective quotation, Dewi @ 10:50 am. On the side, do you do those poster-blurbs outside London theatres?

    The whole sentence is: On the basis of analysis of first preference voting figures from 305 out of 353 wards, the SNP is projecting to have won 32.7% of the vote, ahead of Labour on 31.5%, meaning that the SNP is set to emerge with the largest share of the vote for the first time in its history.

    That last claim (“largest share .. in its history”) is contrary to the final figures for 2011: SNP constituency 45.4%, list 44%; Labour 31.7%, 26.3%. So, accepting those “projected” 2012 figures, just twelve months later, a swing to Labour of around 8%?

  • Dewi

    Ahh Malcolm – it’s you who are being devious – you can’t compare swings from a Parliamentary election to council elections. For starters you have piles of independents standing !!!
    The “largest history” obviously referred to a larger share than labour in local elections for the first time.

  • As a point of accuracy, Dewi, the comparison was with the Assembly election. For the record, in the last local elections (as far back as 2007) the two-party split was 28.1 — 27.9% in Labour’s favour, which amounted to a grand total of 4,200 votes across the whole of Scotland.

    So, even on those “projected” figures, hardly a great advance in the progress to self-government. And then there’s the penguin …

  • Dewi

    I know we are drowning in wonderful pedantry Malcolm but it’s a Scottish Parliament

  • Barry the Blender

    Funny how commentators so loudly decry low turn-out when their side does badly. Then there’s the other mantra: that Labour isn’t doing as well as Wee Willie Hague’s Tories did in 2000 or whenever — yet turn-out in 2000 was lower than this week.

    That contradicts you much more that the unnamed out criers

  • Dewi @ 12:30 pm and Barry the Blender@ 2:07 pm:

    I think I understood at least one of those. My numbers stand. But, sorry, can’t rise to the bait.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Dewi, the boys choir were great on Britians Got Talent btw. 🙂

  • Dewi

    just watched on you tube DR- did they win?

  • JR

    I wouldn’t ask DR, He has trouble telling the differance between winning and loosing. 🙂

  • Dewi

    Mi niece tells me that we got beat by a dancing dog. A. dancing. dog.