Well, that's it. After weeks of campaigning, some lively debate, a marginally better voter turnout and what would anywhere else be significant shifts in the popular vote, the hybrid first-past-the-post, semi-proportional electoral system decreed for Wales has left things pretty much as they were. It's five more years of Labour, minus the over-inflated ego of Leighton Andrews.
Writing in this morning's Guardian Professor Richard Wyn Jones notes, "the operation of this system meant that a drop in Labour’s constituency
level support from 42% in 2011 to 35% in 2016, and in regional list
support from 36.9% to 29%, resulted in the loss of only a single seat".
In another piece written ahead of the election, he described the voting system as "sticky" and perverse, giving Labour a big in-built advantage. "Huge shifts in the patterns of party support at the ballot box have very little impact in terms of the make-up of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay", and yet the operation of the regional list system also manages to be unfair to Labour voters, and this time round, for example, those who put a cross in the Labour box on the regional list in the North unwittingly secured the election of the appalling Nathan Gill and a non-entity called Michelle Brown for Ukip.
Ironically, and more by accident than design, the system delivered seven regional seats for Ukip, reflecting the 13% of the popular vote they achieved across Wales. The winners include Gareth Bennett who thinks that migrants are "unhygienic", Neil Cash-for Questions Hamilton and this idiotic woman reading very badly from a script who thinks that the EU is preventing the police from getting out on the beat, and that her job as an AM is to secure more powers for Westminster.
Two of the Ukip crop do not even live in Wales. If you want to be a community councillor, effectively an unpaid volunteer prepared to mow grass, pick up litter and deal with dog mess, you must by law live in or within a few miles of the small town or village you represent. The Senedd must be one of the few legislatures in the world where you can become a member without bothering to live in the country whose laws you help shape. If you bother turning up, of course.
Neil Hamilton's response to questions about his home address was to say that he lives "near the M4".
If that was not perverse enough, we have lost the services of two of the most able and widely respected former AMs in the shape of William Powell and Aled Roberts (both LibDem).
It was a disastrous night for the LibDems, deservedly so in Ceredigion where their candidate Elizabeth Evans ran one of the most dishonest and negative campaigns anywhere in the country.
The Tories also had a pretty dire time of it, and have thankfully been relegated to third place. In Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Matthew Paul saw his party's share of the vote drop from 20% to 15%. Writing in this week's Carmarthenshire Herald he spends a lot of time talking about Hitler's astrologer before going on to compare Adam Price to the bonkers David Icke. Er, no.
Matthew notes that his own Daily Mail horoscope predicted that "doors that have been firmly shut will spring open this week".
The only thing that opened for Matthew was a trap door.
Plaid had a mixed night. The fantastic outcome in the Rhondda and stonking victories in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr and Ceredigion were balanced by disappointing results in Aberwconwy (close), Llanelli (even closer) and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire (a poor third).
Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire must surely qualify as one of the most unnatural constituencies in Wales, bringing together places as diverse as Tenby and Carmarthen, Saundersfoot and Llanboidy, and the result is that most of its voters are effectively disenfranchised, no matter which party wins.
The C Factor
Llanelli is a special case all on its own. Helen Mary Jones and her team worked incredibly hard and nearly pulled it off. Her quiet dignity and good humour were characteristic after what must have been for her a bitterly disappointing defeat.
There were a number of factors at play here. First, Helen Mary was unlucky to be up against a strong Labour opponent. Lee Waters is young, bright and has strong local roots. In a party dominated by the likes of Kevin Madge, Tegwen Devichand and Kerry Thomas, Lee cuts a lonely figure.
On his blog he tells us that he has "an intolerance for mediocrity". If he is true to his word, he is likely to burst more than a few blood vessels as he settles down to life with Llanelli Labour.
A second factor which won't have helped Helen Mary is Carmarthenshire County Council, until recently led by Labour in coalition with the evergreen poison ivy Independents who have managed to maintain their stranglehold on the new Plaid-led administration.
It seems like only yesterday that Kevin Madge was robustly defending decisions on sports pitches and parks in the south of the county, only for Lee Waters to blame the mess on Plaid.
Last but not least, Plaid's prospects were probably sunk once again by the presence on the ballot paper of Siân Caiach.
Siân is a brave, principled and obstinate force of nature, and unlike any other county councillor in Carmarthenshire, she has a large personal following. The tragedy for her and for Plaid in Llanelli is that what began largely as a personality clash has been allowed to fester for so long and cause so much damage.
Almost for sure, that is not how Siân would see things, but she is one of those people it was always going to be better having in the tent. At which point the analogy breaks down for biological reasons and the law of gravity.
If a repeat is to be avoided next time round, personal animosities and resentment need to be set aside, and an olive branch offered from inside the tent.
As far as the rest of us are concerned, a priority must now be to tackle the absurd voting system. Labour will for obvious reasons be uninclined to want change, but the looming reorganisation of Westminster constituencies which will see Wales reduced from 40 to 29 seats should be the catalyst. No political party in its right mind wants to end up fighting elections on constituency boundaries which differ wildly from year to year.
And looming over all of that is the NHS. After 17 years of Labour in control, the service is moving ever closer to meltdown.
It was obvious from the leaders' debates that health is by far the most important issue for most voters, and yet Labour is in denial. The NHS will be an even hotter topic at the next election, for sure.
The last word goes to Lyndon Rosser who had this to say on Twitter: