First result of Senedd election sees Tories hold Montgomeryshire
The first result of the 2021 Welsh Parliament election has seen the Tories hold Montgomeryshire in North Wales
Incumbent Russell George, who has held the seat since 2011 and was the most recent shadow economy and transport minister for the Welsh Conservatives, received 48.08% of the vote, beating his 2016 performance when he received 41.84%.
But it was a 0.75% swing to Plaid Cymru candidate Elwyn Vaughan which came as the biggest surprise when the results were announced on Friday afternoon.
Runner-up Mr Vaughan received 17.95% of the vote, improving on Plaid’s 2016 performance where it came in fourth place with just 10.21%.
It put him ahead of Liberal Democrat Alison Alexander on 16.84%, who will be disappointed to have received some 2,500 votes fewer than her party’s 2016 candidate Jane Dodds.
Counts are under way across Wales, with most results for the constituency areas expected late afternoon into the early evening.
Changes to ensure social distancing at count venues mean the counting process did not begin soon after polls closed at 10pm on Thursday, and instead started at most venues at 9am on Friday.
The final make-up of the next Senedd may not be confirmed until the weekend if results in some constituencies are close and recounts are called.
No party has ever won an outright majority in Wales, meaning the party which has won the most seats will be expected to enter into talks with other parties or independent members in order to form the next Welsh Government.
Voters will elect 40 members to represent constituencies, and 20 members to represent the five Welsh regions.
Members of the new Senedd will meet next week to elect a new presiding officer.
It is the first election since Wales’ legislature was renamed from the National Assembly of Wales, and the first to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote.