CONSERVATIVE candidate Nick Ramsay is contemplating a second four-year term in Cardiff Bay following his re-election as AM for Monmouth.

Mr Ramsay retained the seat with a reduced majority of 6,117, more than 2,300 down on the 2007 election, but still comfortable, given he commanded a little over half of the 30,001 votes cast.

After the result was announced, he said the protection of public services and support for small and medium-sized businesses are key messages that the Conservatives must stress during the next Assembly.

"It is very important that we protect the NHS budget, which is the largest budget the Assembly commands, and also, we simply need to make more money in Wales," he said.

"Not enough is being done to help small and medium-sized businesses develop and thrive, to provide the growth, jobs and money-making potential that Wales needs."

He was very pleased the Conservative vote in Wales was not suffering as many pundits had predicted it would, and said the party has a key role to play in holding the Welsh Assembly Government to account.

He also said he will be pushing for more help for Monmouth from Cardiff Bay.

"The area needs a better deal from the Assembly. It is funded in a very poor light compared to other parts of Wales," he said.

Defeated Labour candidate Mark Whitcutt said he was pleased to have been able to cut Mr Ramsay's majority, while increasing the Labour vote by more than 2,000 on 2007.

The Liberal Democrats were the biggest winners in the constituency four years ago in terms of increasing vote share, but were the biggest losers this time around, with Labour picking up most of the deserters.

"Bringing the Conservatives' majority down is a major step forward for my party in Monmouth," said Mr Whitcutt.