Great Britain

Labour retains control of the Welsh Parliament, matching its best-ever result

Labour has retained control of the Welsh Senedd, matching its best-ever result of 30 seats out of 60 after all votes were counted.

Mark Drakeford will remain first minister with an effective majority at Cardiff Bay, as the presiding officer does not vote.

Labour’s performance in Wales was in marked contrast to the party’s fortunes in England, where Keir Starmer lost the Hartlepool by-election and shed more than 180 councillors.

The difference may reflect voters’ approval of Mr Drakeford’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, in which he has repeatedly taken an independent line from the UK government.

Labour gained one seat to match the tally of 30 which it previously achieved in 2003 and 2011.

Conservatives gained five seats, leapfrogging Plaid Cymru to become the second-largest party at Cardiff Bay with 16 MSs. Plaid gained one seat to end on 13, while Liberal Democrats took just one.

Ukip was left with no representation in the Senedd, losing all seven seats it won in 2016 in the run-up to the EU referendum, including that of party leader Neil Hamilton.

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