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6 May 2011

Labour miss out on majority in Wales

Wales fails to provide any consolation for Ed Miliband, as Labour miss out on majority by one seat.

By Duncan Robinson

UPDATE: Labour have failed to gain a majority in the Welsh Assesmbly. With 30 seats, Labour fell one short of a total majority. Looks like Ed Miliband’s day is not going to get much better.

Labour’s struggles in Scotland and the Liberal Democrats’ battering in England will dominate the news today. In Wales, however, the election is on a knife edge.

With nine constituencies still to declare, Labour is seven seats away from a clear majority and being able to dump its coalition partner, Plaid Cymru. Surprise Conservative gains have, however, put these hopes on ice.

The results in Wales seem to be a microcosm of attitudes towards the coalition. While the Liberal Democrats have fallen out of favour, the Conservatives have quietly made gains. The Liberal Democrats have taken all of the flak at the ballot box, and the Teflon Tories have got away with it.

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Any gains in Wales are a relatively surprising bonus for the Tories. They won’t care, though. Labour’s defeat in Scotland, and winning the AV vote, are both far more significant for the Conservatives’ cause. For Labour, on the other hand, Wales is the last ray of hope for today.

A Welsh majority, however, will do little to heal the damage of the party’s failure in Scotland. But on a day like today – with a very poor showing in Scotland, a looming defeat on AV and so-so results in council elections – Ed Miliband will take what he can get.