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Labour hold Cardiff council and win third term increasing majority by 16 seats

06 May 2022 4 minute read
Labour leader in Cardiff Huw Thomas. Picture Alex Seabrook.

Alex Seabrook and Ed Barnes, local democracy reporters

Labour have held Cardiff council in the local elections, winning a third term in power in the Welsh capital.

The party won 55 seats out of a total of 79, gaining 16 seats across the city. They have been in power since 2012, and will now rule Cardiff until 2027.

Conservatives and Liberal Democrats both lost seats to Labour, with the Tory leader blaming the national picture and saying MPs needed to decide about whether to keep the prime minister.

Conservatives won a total of 11 seats, losing half of their previous count of 21. Liberal Democrats won 10 seats, losing one.

The alliance between Plaid Cymru and the Green party won two seats, after previously having zero. Propel won only one seat, losing two they held previously.


Labour leader Huw Thomas said: “I am genuinely delighted. I’m tired and emotional but it’s been a really great day for Welsh Labour in Cardiff, and by the sounds of it similar good results across Wales for the Labour party as well.

“We have a really strong track record of delivery here in Cardiff, from the education standards in schools to the council homes that we’re building, commitments on climate change, and the action taken on public transport. So people are physically seeing their communities getting better.

“Alongside that I think we ran a really strong campaign, highly organised, highly disciplined, taking nothing for granted in our safe seats, and being competitive in those areas that we thought we could challenge. That’s reflected in the fact that today we’ve taken seats off the Tories, Lib Dems, and Plaid Cymru.

“We campaigned in the manifesto to make Cardiff stronger, greener, and fairer. This is a historic third term. No other party, in the history of Cardiff council since it was established in 1995, has won a third term.

“So I think it’s a mandate to govern, to get on with our manifesto, to build more housing, to build more schools, to make sure that Cardiff’s economy works for our citizens and delivers for Wales.”

Cllr Adrian Robson, leader of the Conservative group in Cardiff, said MPs need to decide whether to keep Boris Johnson on as Prime Minister or face more election losses.

He said: “Conservative votes are splitting all over the place. I think the MPs in Westminster need to make a decision and decide what that decision is. It’s not up to me to say who the Prime Minister should be.

“It’s for the MPs to get together and say right, we’re going to back the current prime minister and come up with a strategy for how we’re going to win the general election, how we’re going to win the Senedd election, and how we’re going to win local elections in Wales.

“If they decide they can’t do that, then they need to make the change but we can’t have another two years of what we’ve had because that’ll just mean we’ll lose the general election and continue to haemorrhage councillors.

“It’s quite obvious that the national picture has had a massive impact on the voters here, and they’ve decided to stay at home or turn out to vote against the Conservatives in seats that we held going into this election. They’re sending a message.

“What was quite good in the last council was that Labour had a small majority but they were kept in check by different parties. My worry for the city is that rampant Labour will take us back to the administration that we saw pre-2017 when there were divisions and splits, and that won’t do any favours to the city at all.”

The turnout for the election was 39.1 per cent, a small drop from 2017, when the turnout was 43 per cent.

North Cardiff went from four Labour seats to 11 this election, with the biggest win coming in Whitchurch and Tongwynlais that saw Labour win all four previously Conservative-held seats there.

Anna McMorrin, MP for Cardiff North, said: “It’s been an incredible day with gains across north Cardiff and even where we didn’t win, we made serious inroads into previously solid Tory areas.”

She said people were not looking to the Conservatives and saw Labour as the party of solutions. However she said that some of the votes for Labour were a protest vote against the Conservatives. “We were hearing a lot about the national party on the door with life-long Conservative voters telling us they were not voting or voting Labour,” she said.

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