LYNNE Neagle has retained her seat in the Senedd.

Ms Neagle, who has represented Torfaen since the then-Welsh Assembly was established in 1999, secured her seat by a majority of more than 5,000 votes.

The Labour representative received 48 per cent of the vote – or 11,572 votes – the highest percentage she has received since the 2003 election.


“I’m really delighted with the result,” she said. “It’s been the honour of my life to represent Torfaen in the Senedd.

“It was a challenging election because of the pandemic, but I’m pleased that the people have put their trust in me.”

When asked about what is in store for the next five years, Ms Neagle said: “We’ve got to put young people front and centre because they have been hugely impacted by the pandemic.

“We’ve got to make sure their futures are secure and positive. We have also got to do everything to make sure, during this next Senedd term, we deliver in terms of mental health for both children and adults.”

This year saw a record number of votes cast in Torfaen, with a turnout of 24,097, beating the previous high – from the first Welsh Assembly election in 1999 – by 175 votes.

However this is still just a 37.5 per cent turnout, one of the lowest in Wales.

The turnout percentage was still shy of 1999’s figure, which stood at 39.2 per cent.

The Welsh Conservatives were confident in closing the gap on Ms Neagle, and were the ones keeping the closest eyes on the counters as the day progressed.

It was a key Conservative target to soak up the Ukip votes from previous elections – which had proved to be the case in England – and it seemed to somewhat pay off, with Gruff Parry gaining more than 2,300 votes more than his counterpart in 2016.

However, Ms Neagle also increased her share of the vote by almost 2,000 from the previous election.

Mr Parry said: “I’m disappointed, but I believe I have been able to increase our share of the vote, so I can take pride in that.

“It’s onwards and upwards now. We need to assess what mistakes we’ve made and what we’ve done well and take that forward into the council elections next year.”

During the count, Ms Neagle was asked about Labour's performance in England, and whether that had led to any concerns in Wales.

"The campaign was fought very much with Welsh Labour’s record and the Welsh Government’s record front and centre," she said. "One of the things the pandemic has done is brought home what devolution means and what the Senedd is for."