Welsh election serves up mixed bag for Labour

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Labour has suffered a number of losses in the Welsh Assembly election, but remains the largest party and could remain in power.

There were gains for Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives, whose candidate for Clwyd West unseated former culture minister and Labour candidate Alan Pugh.

Conservatives also took Preseli Pembrokeshire, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire and Cardiff North from Labour.

First minister Rhodri Morgan said Labour was still set to be the largest party and told the BBC that his party had "proved the doom-mongers wrong".

But the other parties in Wales argued that the results pointed towards a public opinion of not wanting one party to win a majority in the assembly.

Ieuan Wyn Jones, leader of Plaid, said the results indicated a positive night for his party and acknowledged that the parties must now come together to form a stable government for Wales.

Labour won the key seat of Wrexham from John Marek, a former Labour MP and assembly member.

The party also fought off a number of other challenges from Plaid and defeated strong independents such as former Welsh secretary Ron Davies.

In the last election in 2003 Labour won 30 seats to form a majority government and it seems likely that Mr Morgan's party will win enough seats this time around to possibly renew a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

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