South West Wales

Vote 2012: Labour wins back Swansea and holds Neath Port Talbot

Labour has won back Swansea council and comfortably held onto Neath Port Talbot in the local elections.

Swansea was previously governed by a Liberal Democrat-led coalition, although Labour was the biggest party.

In Neath Port Talbot, one of only two councils where Labour won an overall majority in 2008, Labour strengthened its grip, winning 52 out of 64 seats.

Swansea was a big Labour target, and group leader David Philips hailed an "astounding" result.

"It has been a very, very strong message of support from people," he said.

Pembrokeshire council remained in the hands of independents.

Shadow Welsh secretary Peter Hain's office would not be drawn on speculation that he would quit in the wake of the election.

Asked if the Neath MP intended to stand down, a source close to him said: "Not straight away. We don't want to comment on what might happen when there's a reshuffle."

He added: "There's not going to be a reshuffle today or this weekend. All the reshuffle speculation is on [Prime Minister David] Cameron."

Most councils declared during the early hours, but others, such as Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, are being made later on Friday afternoon.

Former Wales and Llanelli rugby player Rupert Moon lost his bid to be elected as an independent candidate in the Gorslas ward of Carmarthenshire.

At the count for Carmarthenshire - a big target for Plaid Cymru - BBC Wales political editor Betsan Powys said it looked as though another coalition between Labour and the independents is a possibility, but with a reduced majority.

Carmarthenshire's independent leader Meryl Gravelle has retained her seat - by around 40 votes - but was booed at the count.

All the latest election results are available at bbc.co.uk/vote2012

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