BOTH the Conservative and Plaid Cymru won two seats in the South Wales Central region.
Rhys ap Owen and Heledd Fychan were elected for Plaid, with Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies retaining his seat in the region, along with Joel James.
Neither Mr Davies nor Mr Jones attended the count at the Barry Memo Arts Centre today, despite the Welsh Conservatives securing their best ever Senedd result – winning 16 seats.
On the party’s overall result, Mr Davies said: “Firstly, I’d like to say a huge thank you to our outstanding set of Welsh Conservative candidates, activists and staff who’ve worked incredibly hard throughout this campaign and secured the party’s best ever Senedd result.
“The team has gone above and beyond and deserve great credit for the positive campaign we’ve run right across Wales, and I am thrilled to see Natasha Asghar make history in South Wales East by becoming the first female from a BAME background to be elected to the Senedd.
“As a party we are also delighted to have secured constituency seats in the Vale of Clwyd and Brecon and Radnorshire, and increased seats on the regional lists, resulting in our highest ever representation in the Senedd with 16 members.
“It’s been an unconventional campaign and it’s clear incumbency and continuity has played a significant part. To that end, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour on a successful campaign.
“The election has been fought in good spirit by political parties in Wales and I would like to pay a final word of thanks to the many officials across the country who’ve allowed this election to take place in a safe and effective manner.”
Plaid Cymru gained an extra seat this election, which was occupied by Ukip in 2016, secured 13 seats in the Senedd in total and meant Labour fell short of a majority in Wales.
Speaking on the win, Heledd Fychan of Plaid Cymru said she feels “incredibly honoured, humbled and excited” and that there will be a lot of “reading and preparing in the coming days.”
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“I know the first thing that I want to focus on in the Senedd is fighting for independent inquiry into the 2020 floods that devastated communities from the Vale of Glamorgan right to the Cynon Valley.
“So that’s definitely one of my first priorities.
“Given that we weren’t able to campaign until April 12 or knock any doors I’m extremely proud that we’ve achieved an increase in number of members we have in the Senedd.
Heledd Fychan of Plaid Cymru after being elected to the Senedd for the South Wales Central seat at the Senedd election count at Memo Arts Centre in Barry. Picture: Huw Evans Picture Agency
“Personally in Pontypridd we raised the vote by four percent, which I was incredibly proud of and I think the fact that we have so many new, fresh faces coming to the Senedd means that there is a lot of excitement about what we will be able to achieve as a group.”
Mr ap Owen added: “It’s sinking in now slowly. It always looked likely that we were going to get regional seats here in South Wales Central but we don’t quite believe it until it actually happens.”
Rhys ap Owen of Plaid Cymru after being elected to the Senedd for the South Wales Central seat at the Senedd election count at Memo Arts Centre in Barry. Picture: Huw Evans Picture Agency
He says that campaigning during the coronavirus pandemic has been “difficult” and “unusual.”
“Usually we would be knocking doors for well over a year before an election and we haven’t been able to do that so it has been a very different election to any I have experienced.”
The full results are below:
- Welsh Labour – 102,611
- Welsh Conservatives – 56,622
- Plaid Cymru – 46,478
- Wales Green Party – 14,478
- Welsh Liberal Democrats – 11,821
- Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party – 8,396
- Propel – 5,552
- Ukip – Scrap the Assembly/Senedd – 3,127
- Reform UK – 2,244
- No More Lockdowns – 1,298
- Gwlad – The Welsh Independence Party – 1,098
- Britain’s Communist Party – 602
- Alan Coulthard (Indepedent)– 580
- Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition – 519
- Workers Party – 411