Welsh Assembly election roundup: Labour fall short of majority and UKIP celebrate seven new region seats

Labour fell short of a Welsh Assembly majority while UKIP celebrate unprecedented success as the final regional seats were announced this morning.

Despite a 7.5% drop in the constituency vote share since 2011, Welsh Labour secured 29 seats, two less than the 31 required for a majority.

Nigel Farage’s UKIP has gained a foothold in the assembly, with seven regional seats and a 12.5% increase in the constituency vote share since 2011, despite opposing its existence until 2013.

They are the first outside party, who were not there at the formation of the assembly, to gain assembly members since it was established in 1998.

The second largest party has been hotly contested with Plaid Cymru just beating the Conservatives with 12 seats challenging the Tories’ 11.

There was shock success for the Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood as she defeated the Labour cabinet member Leighton Andrews to claim the Rhondda seat with a swing of 24%.

The Liberal Democrats have faced disappointment as they retained just one of the five seats they previously held.

Of Wales’ 40 constituencies Labour secured 27, with the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru each winning six and the Liberal Democrats holding on to one seat.

Unlike Westminster, Wales’ constituencies are grouped into five regions, each with an additional four elected assembly members.

In a surprising regional result, seven seats have gone to UKIP, six to Plaid Cymru, five to the Conservatives and just two for Labour.

In the absence of a majority the Welsh Assembly have 28 days to nominate a First Minister.

Speculation has already started as to whether Labour will form a minority government as in 2007 when Rhodri Morgan led the party into power with just 26 seats, later forming a Coalition with Plaid Cymru.

The prospect of a coalition would be a difficult one for Labour as Plaid Cymru publicly rejected the idea before the elections when public services minister Leighton Andrews dubbed a deal between the two over local government reform a ‘cheap date’.

Image courtesy of the Andrew Marr Show via YouTube, with thanks

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