GREEN Party officials remained "quietly confident’’ of securing their first AM in the Welsh Assembly.

The party is targeting 7% of the vote in the South Wales Central region in order to see the election of leader Jake Griffiths.

At the Cardiff count, which got under way just after 11pm yesterday, Green insiders say they have seen ballot papers cast for them range between 4% to 25%.

A source said: "We are quite hopeful. It is still early in the count, but we are quietly confident Jake will be elected.’’ If Mr Griffiths succeeds in becoming an Assembly member it will mark another milestone for the party - which saw the election of Caroline Lucas as its first MP.

Meanwhile, Labour members face a nail-biting day to see if they can get past the 31 seats mark needed to give them an overall majority.

Party sources say they expect Labour may "fall short’’ of the figure but expect to make gains on the 26 seats it won in the 2007 election, which resulted in it forming a coalition with Plaid Cymru.

Plaid and the Lib Dems are understood to be bracing themselves to lose seats, while the Conservatives look to move up into second place - opening the possibility of ousting Labour by forming their own coalition.