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Live Reporting

George Herd and Gemma Ryall

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye

    And that's the end of our coverage of the Welsh Parliament election for 2021.

    Sixty seats, winners, losers, some new faces and some more familiar.

    Thank you for staying with us.

    We will be back with more election news on Sunday when there are more counts - this time for the police and crime commissioners in Wales.

    Until then - goodbye from the whole election coverage team at BBC Wales.

  2. Wales has voted: How it played out

    Mark Drakeford

    There were 60 seats up for grabs in the Welsh Parliament election - a unique election under the unique circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Despite pledges to challenge all the way by Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives, it was Welsh Labour who emerged with half the seats, and pretty much a 40% share of the constituency votes.

    It means Mark Drakeford's party will retain power in the Senedd.

    Celebrating in Porthcawl, the Welsh Labour leader accepted the way they had dealt with Covid had been a "strong theme" on the doorstep.

    But he's also vowed to be "radical" and "ambitious".

    The only fly-in-the-ointment for Labour was the loss of the Vale of Clwyd to the Tories.

    Labour winners

    However, the Welsh Conservatives could not repeat their feat in the 2019 UK general election, and tear down the "red wall" of Labour seats in north-east Wales.

    At the end of the day, the Conservatives are the second largest party, with 16 seats.

    They also managed to take Brecon and Radnorshire off the Lib-Dems, and in Natasha Ashgar, they have the first women from a BAME background in the Senedd.

    Andrew RT Davies

    While Plaid Cymru's leader Adam Price has congratulated Mark Drakeford on the Labour victory, he has also acknowledged disappointment at their performance.

    They return in third place with 13 seats, but it comes at a cost - the loss of former leader Leanne Wood and the Rhondda seat.

    Leanne Wood

    The Liberal Democrats remain with a single Senedd member, in their Welsh leader Jane Dodds.

    The vote is over. And the work begins again next week, when the new Senedd will meet again - with some new faces, but ultimately, another Welsh Labour government.

  3. Fan of body boarding and red jumpers...who is Mark Drakeford?

    Drakeford with two new female MSs
    Image caption: Mark Drakeford headed to Porthcawl in the rain to celebrate the success of Labour in the election

    He's a fan of a red jumper, bodyboarding, spending time in his allotment, and well, cheese.

    Following the election Mark Drakeford will remain as our first minister, at least for a few years to come, after saying he will step down around his 70th birthday.

    But what do we know about this former university professor, and how did he end up in Wales' top job?

  4. Ups and downs of Wales' vote 2021

    Graph showing share of constituency votes in Welsh Parliament election 2021
  5. Welsh Labour 'keen' for role in any UK party review

    Labour's leader in Wales says he would be "keen" to participate in any review undertaken by Sir Keir Starmer.

    Mr Drakeford said the “biggest advantage” which Welsh Labour had was the fact that “we have been in government here in Wales, demonstrating what you can do for progressive causes”.

    “Whereas our colleagues in England, often being in opposition, are able to put forward ideas but they don't have that advantage of being able to point to the record of actual achievement that we can in Wales," he said.

    “So when we say in our manifesto that we will do other things for people in Wales in the future, people have a confidence of knowing that we've got a record of delivering on that."

    Mark Drakeford and Sir Keir Starmer
  6. Redrawing the political map

    Maps of election results 2016 and 2021
  7. First woman from BAME background elected to the Senedd

    View more on twitter

    The first woman from a BAME background has been elected into the Senedd, in its 22 year history.

    Natahsa Asghar, who won a regional seat in South Wales East, is the daughter of the late MS Mohammed Asghar.

  8. 'People feel they have been kept safe' says FM

    Mark Drakeford in Porthcawl

    Speaking on a rainy election visit to Porthcawl, First Minister Mark Drakeford said "people felt they had been kept safe" during Covid.

    Labour held onto power in Wales for the sixth term running, after securing 30 seats in the Senedd - just one short of a majority.

    Mr Drakeford said his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic had been a "strong theme" on the doorstep during the campaign.

    "People have been coming to the doorstep to tell us that they feel glad they've lived in Wales over the last 15 months,” he said.

    He said people felt they’ve been “kept safe here in Wales” and that was a “strong theme” in the election.

  9. 'Unconventional campaign' says Welsh Tory group leader

    "Incumbency and continuity" played a significant part in Labour's victory in the Welsh elections, the leader of the Welsh Tories in the Senedd has said.

    The Conservatives took the Vale of Clwyd from Labour on Friday night - but failed to turn a red wall in north Wales blue.

    Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, said he was thrilled to see his party "make history" after Natasha Asghar was elected to the Senedd.

    Andrew RT Davies

    Ms Asghar becomes the first female from a BAME background to be elected in to the Welsh Parliament in its 22-year history.

    Mr Davies said: "It's been an unconventional campaign and it's clear incumbency and continuity has played a significant part.

    "To that end, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour on a successful campaign."

  10. Plaid to 'look carefully' at Rhondda result

    Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams (pictured) said the party would have to "look very carefully" at what happened in Rhondda where Leanne Wood lost her seat to Labour.

    "You couldn't have more of a Rhondda girl than Leanne Wood," he said, adding she had worked "incredibly hard" for constituents and had helped to raise the party's profile nationally.

    Ms Wood had led the party during the 2015 and 2017 general elections and the 2016 Senedd election.

    Hywel Williams

    But on Friday night she lost her seat in the Senedd to Labour's Elizabeth Buffy Williams who secured a 5,497 majority.

    Arfon MP Mr Williams paid tribute to Ms Williams and Labour's campaign in the Rhondda but he told BBC Wales Today there was an "incumbency factor" with Labour already being in power in Wales during the pandemic.

  11. Number of women in Senedd fall

    Jane Dodds
    Image caption: Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds was elected to the Senedd

    Back in 2003, the Senedd was declared the most diverse parliament in the world, with equal numbers of men and women.

    Following the election on Thursday, the number of female Members of the Senedd has fallen, to just 43%.

    Six of the 19 new MSs are women.

    Before the election women held 48% of seats in the chamber, with 29 women and 31 men.

    After the 2016 election, 42% of the Welsh Parliament were women but numbers rose after four women were sworn in.

    There had been fears that Thursday's vote could be a "massive step back" for diversity, after polls suggested just 34% of female candidates had been in winnable seats.

    A number of key female figures in Welsh politics stood down ahead of the election.

  12. Labour will feel no need for coalition, says ex-Plaid leader

    The former Plaid Cymru leader and deputy first minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said he felt Welsh Labour will carry on in government without a coalition.

    Mr Jones, who led his party when Plaid went into coalition with Labour's Rhodri Morgan in 2007, said with 30 seats Mark Drakeford could "naturally run the government without support of any party".

    But he said that could always be "dangerous", noting that between 2003-07 Labour lost two member "and couldn't rely on their votes".

    Ieuan Wyn Jones and Rhodri Morgan

    On Plaid's own performance, Mr Jones said it had been "Covid election" with all three governments in Scotland, England, and Wales benefitting.

    He added: "Why was it that there was such a strong performance from Plaid in its heartlands, increasing its share of the vote there, but not doing so well in other areas?

    "I think that's partly down to organisation and ability to mobilises support on the ground."

  13. Two days of highs and lows: How the election unfolded

    It's been an election unlike any we have seen before.

    Instead of the normal overnight count, after two days of counting, all the results are in.

    Welsh Labour has retained control of the Senedd and Mark Drakeford remains first minister.

    Labour has been in power since the birth of the Senedd in 1999, but has never secured a majority.

    Vaughan and his son at the count

    It needed just one more seat to gain the first-ever majority, but failed to achieve it.

    So how did the two days unfold, what where the highs and lows on the way to the final result.

    Here's the story of the pandemic election.

  14. Plaid congratulates Labour on Senedd victory

    View more on twitter

    Adam Price has congratulated Mark Drakeford on “securing a mandate” to lead the next Welsh government, adding that he was “disappointed” at Plaid Cymru’s election showing.

    In his first Senedd election as party leader, Mr Price saw Plaid Cymru gain one seat, but slip back into third place behind Labour and the Conservatives.

    With Labour holding half the seats, pre-election talk of a Labour-Plaid coalition has all but evaporated.

    Mr Price, in his first public comments since the final results were announced, wrote on Twitter: "We will be a constructive but forensic opposition as we enter a crucial period of pandemic recovery.”

    He paid tribute to predecessor Leanne Wood, who lost her Rhondda seat to Labour, saying the Senedd would be “poorer without one of Wales’ most remarkable politicians”.

  15. 'This one's for you'

    Plaid Cymru's Delyth Jewell, who secured one of two seats for the party in the regional list for South Wales East, paid tribute to late politician Steffan Lewis during her acceptance speech.

    She said she would share her seat with Mr Lewis, who had held it until his death in 2019.

    "This one's for you," she said.

    Delyth Jewell
  16. 'There are no no-go areas' for Greens

    Amelia Womack

    The Wales Green Party failed to win a seat in the Senedd elections but they say they recorded their highest-ever result in Wales.

    Leader Anthony Slaughter said the “results demonstrate the appetite for change” across Wales.

    Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, said: "We seem to be getting votes from all of the parties and support on that regional list as people increase their knowledge of the voting system."

    People had two votes at the polls; one for a constituency seat and a second for a regional candidate.

    Asked about voters, Ms Womack said they were a mix of people from all walks of life in different communities.

    "There are no no-go areas for the Green Party," she told BBC Wales Today.

  17. Radical pledge from Welsh Labour leader

    Mark Drakeford has his photo taken by a supporter

    Mark Drakeford has vowed to be "radical" and "ambitious" in government as his party remains in power in Wales.

    Labour has equalled its best-ever Senedd election result by winning 30 seats - just one short of a majority.

    He said he would continue with his cautious approach in government when it came to coronavirus.

    "But on other matters, our manifesto is a radical manifesto with a host of ideas that are ambitious for Wales," he said.

    "I'll be very keen to ensure that we give that the most powerful sense of momentum behind it to get those things happening here in Wales."

  18. Labour to stay in power as all results declared

    Final vote graph

    So that's it - Welsh Labour is the largest party in the next Welsh Parliament.

    Mark Drakeford has led his party to the best performance since the start of devolution - falling just short of an overall majority by one seat.

    The party has been in power in Wales - either in coalition or a minority - for the past 22 years.

    Their performance sets them up for another four more years leading the country.

    The Welsh Conservatives are the second largest party, with 16 seats.

    But they failed to take more of their target "red wall" seats in north-east Wales - only winning one, the Vale of Clwyd.

    Two final seats in the South Wales Central region gave Plaid Cymru 13 seats, but their former leader Leanne Wood lost Rhondda to Labour.

    The Liberal Democrats have just one seat, with their Welsh leader Jane Dodds taking a regional seat.

    Drakeford says Covid response kept Wales Labour

    Mark Drakeford

    Mark Drakeford is set to stay as first minister after Labour won the most Senedd election seats.

    Read more
  19. What's the secret behind Labour's success in Wales?

    Adrian Browne

    BBC Wales political reporter

    Welsh Labour leader Mark Drake and UK leader Keir Starmer

    While Labour in England is licking its wounds after losing its traditional heartland seat of Hartlepool in a by-election and the Conservatives made significant gains in local elections, Welsh Labour appears to be living in a parallel universe.

    While UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is facing all sorts of questions, Welsh Labour leader and First Minister Mark Drakeford is riding the crest of a wave.

    He is set to retain power for a sixth term of Labour-led government in Wales after matching the party's best-ever Senedd election result and winning half of the 60 seats in the Welsh Parliament.

    Why then was the Welsh party so much more successful?

    Before the pandemic the prevailing wisdom was that Mr Drakeford would struggle against the charisma and passionate speech maker of Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price.

    Then came the pandemic. Suddenly the Welsh government had huge power over the lives of the three million people living in Wales.

    And many people in Wales appreciated what's often been described as the careful, thoughtful, earnest approach that Mark Drakeford took to the challenge.

    You can read the full analysis here.