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Local Elections in Wales since 2017

I very much hope that all of you lovely blog readers have enjoyed a few days’ rest over the glorious Easter long weekend.

As you know, psephology never rests, and I have been spending some of the last few days thinking about the European Parliament elections that, it appears, we are now likely to get in late May. More on that to follow in various blog posts soon.

In the meantime, my friend Harry Hayfield (@HarryHayfield on Twitter) has been in touch with an update on local council by-elections in Wales in the two years since the 2017 local elections. Across the twenty-two principal local authorities in Wales, there have been – Harry informs me – eleven by-elections since May 2017. (This total, and the numbers below, do not include town and parish councils). In these eleven by-elections, the number of votes and seats won by each of the parties have been as follows:

Independent candidates: 3,314 votes (30%, +7% on 2017) winning 4 seats (+2 on 2017)

Labour: 3,142 votes (28% -7% on 2017) winning 2 seats (-3 on 2017)

Plaid Cymru: 2,277 votes (20% +3% on 2017) winning 3 seats (+1 on 2017)

Conservatives: 2,015 votes (18% +5% on 2017) winning 2 seats (unchanged on 2017)

Liberal Democrats: 237 votes (2% -5% on 2017) winning 0 seats (unchanged on 2017)

Green Party: 95 votes (1% unchanged on 2017) winning 0 seats (unchanged on 2017)

UKIP: 33 votes (0%) winning 0 seats (unchanged on last time)

We should clearly be cautious about drawing conclusions from a relatively small number of by-elections. It is also the case that parties do not stand in all contests. But that is, in itself, telling. And these figures do suggest a few conclusions that can be drawn. They attest to the continued strength of the independent tradition in Welsh local government.

The results also reinforce that there are now only three major parties in Welsh local government. Of those parties, Labour remain the largest. But their votes in the ballot box, just as with their opinion poll rating, is now clearly in retreat. Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives show some evidence of advance; no other parties have played a significant role.

Harry – to whose dedicated tracking of local by-elections we are all greatly indebted – also informs me that there are three by-elections pending for seats on principal local authorities. These are the following:

Morfa Nefyn on Gwynedd (Plaid defence), to be held on May 23rd

Resolven on Neath and Port Talbot (Labour defence), to be held on May 23rd

Llanbadarn Fawr, Sulien on Ceredigion (Plaid defence), yet to be scheduled.

UPDATE: Harry has helpfully provided, in a comment, a detailed listing of all the seat changes. To make sure that it reaches a wider audience, I think it is worth listing all of them in full:


Gurnos on Merthyr Tydfil (Ind GAIN from Lab) on a swing of 3.5% from Lab to Ind


Gwynfi on Neath and Port Talbot (Ind GAIN from Lab) on a swing of 35% from Lab to Ind

Pembroke, St. Mary’s North on Pembrokeshire (Ind GAIN from Con) on a swing of 32.5% from Con to Ind

Yscir on Powys (Con GAIN from Ind) on a 22% swing from Ind to Con

Ely on Cardiff (Plaid GAIN from Lab) on a 12.5% from Lab to Plaid

Cyfartha on Merthyr Tydfil (Ind GAIN from Merthyr Tydfil Independents) on a swing of 36% from Merthyr Tydfil Independents to Independent

Comments

  • Alun Thomas

    Bore da Diolch thanks for all your super blogs Roger
    Just a matter of numbers on this one !!
    If Labour lost 3 seats
    Independent gained 3 seats
    Plaid gained 1 seat
    No other party lost a seat all unchanged
    We have one seat too many!!!!!
    Just something first thing in the morning!!!!
    Diolch

  • Harry Hayfield

    For those who are interested the gains are:
    Gurnos on Merthyr Tydfil (Ind GAIN from Lab) on a swing of 3.5% from Lab to Ind
    Gwynfi on Neath and Port Talbot (Ind GAIN from Lab) on a swing of 35% from Lab to Ind
    Pembroke, St. Mary’s North on Pembrokeshire (Ind GAIN from Con) on a swing of 32.5% from Con to Ind
    Yscir on Powys (Con GAIN from Ind) on a 22% swing from Ind to Con
    Ely on Cardiff (Plaid GAIN from Lab) on a 12.5% from Lab to Plaid
    Cyfartha on Merthyr Tydfil (Ind GAIN from Merthyr Tydfil Independents) on a swing of 36% from Merthyr Tydfil Independents to Independent

  • Paul Rowlinson

    Plaid Cymru candidate elected unopposed for Morfa Nefyd and Edern.

  • Lynne Jeanette Sherratt

    Hello,

    Having recently registered to vote in the area of Kinmel Bay North Wales and noting that local elections are not taking place on 2nd May ,i am keen to know when Wales will host its own local elections.
    I have struggled to find any information to that effect . Are you able to enlighten me please.

    Thanking you,
    Lynne Sherratt

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