Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 11:40 UK

Analysing Wales' election facts and figures

By Professor Roger Scully
BBC Wales election analyst

Number crunching the election in Wales
Professor Roger Scully analysed the results in Wales

While the ultimate consequences of this election for who governs Britain remain unclear, we can already be certain that, in Wales, it has been an important and even historic election in several ways.

For Labour, which has been Wales' dominant party for decades, 2010 was very much a mix of the good and the bad.

As at every election since 1922, Labour won more votes in Wales than any other party.

But Labour's 36.2% share of the vote in Wales was its lowest since 1918 - 1.3% worse even than it achieved under Michael Foot in the disastrous 1983 election.

The party retains the clear majority of Welsh seats, 26 out of 40, but it does so on an increasingly slender basis of public support.

More votes

The Conservatives undoubtedly had a good night in Wales.

They won more votes, seeing their popular support rise by 4.7% to 26.1%, and they are now clearly the second party in terms of Welsh parliamentary representation, with eight MPs.

That actually equals their performance in the 1987 election.

The last time the Tories had this many Welsh MPs, they had a parliamentary majority of over 100.

So their failure to win an overall majority cannot be blamed on Wales, which has more than played its part.

After the highs of the campaign period, the Liberal Democrats will be very disappointed that their share of the Welsh vote rose by only 1.7%, to 20.1%.


But it must surely be even more disappointing that, thanks to the shock Welsh result of the night in Montgomery, and the Lib Dems' failure to convert strong local swings in several other places into actual wins, they emerge from the election with one fewer Welsh MP than they began.

That is a result that few could possibly have anticipated.

Mark Williams's spectacular triumph in Ceredigion will be of rather little consolation.

Plaid Cymru also had a difficult night. For the second successive election, their share of the Welsh vote was down, to 11.3%.

The party did manage to maintain its standing in terms of MPs, once again winning three seats.

But despite vigorous local campaigns, Plaid were humiliated in their top target seat of Ceredigion, and also lost ground in Ynys Mon.

This is hardly the springboard for the 2011 assembly elections that they would have sought.

The 'other' parties increased their share of the vote in Wales once again, as 6.3% of voters cast their ballot for parties other than the big four.

But Dai Davies comprehensively lost his seat in Blaenau Gwent, and no other independents or candidates from other parties came close to winning.

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