Most Disastrous Performance of the Day
Not only was Carmarthenshire County Council one of the minority of Welsh councils not to count overnight, but it was clearly woefully badly prepared to handle the results when they did come. Any member of the public turning to the council website to find out the election results will have gone away disappointed. For almost the entire count, the council website was to all intents unavailable.
Press coverage during the count was also sporadic.
Bearing in mind that the council still has one of the largest press offices in Wales, nothing was made available on the council's "Newsroom", and tweets announcing the names of successful candidates referred anyone interested in more detail back to the crashed website.
The chief executive who doubles up as returning officer and also has departmental responsibility for the press office deserves a kick up the backside.
There has been a lot of scratching of heads about this, but the finally count would seem to be:
Plaid Cymru 36 (+8)
Labour 22 (-1)
Independent 16 (-7)
This is by some margin Plaid's best every result, but it is still 2 short of an overall majority. The results in Llanelli will have been very disappointing for the party, and there are clearly still plenty of voters willing to put a cross in the Labour box no matter what -as we saw back in 2012 when Keri Thomas, the chronically ill and near-moribund Labour candidate was returned for another 5 years, having been absent for a large chunk of the previous 4 year term.
Replacing Maryl Gravell who has stepped down is Dr Kim Broom (PC).
Carmarthen West 2.17
Congratulations go to Alan Speake (PC, re-elected) and new arrival Emlyn Schiavone (PC).
After a recount in Glanymor, Labour has taken another seat previously held by Plaid (Winston Lemon, who has stepped down). Tyisha gets two Labour councillors,
Edward Thomas (Ind) has been re-elected.
Congratutlations to Liam Bowen (Plaid) who becomes the youngest councillor to be elected.
Labour has won the double, with both Rob James and Shahana Najmi elected.
A short break, and a lot has happened since the last update. Plaid have performed particularly strongly in the Amman and Gwendraeth Valleys. In Gorslas, Darren Price (PC) is now joined by Aled Owen (PC) in this two member ward, and Saron will now be represented by two Plaid councillors, Carl Harris and Alun Davies.
Emlyn Dole was returned as expected in Llannon, and Kim 'Apartheid' Thomas lost out to her fellow Labour candidate, Dot Jones.
Over in Hengoed, meanwhile, Penny Edwards (Lab) has been re-elected, and joining her is Susan Phillips (PC), replacing Siân Caiach, that perennial thorn in the chief executive's side. Keith Price Davies (Lab) becomes the second former AM not to win a council seat.
Whitland has stuck with Sue Allen (Ind), and Pembrey has again returned Shirley Matthews (Lab) and Hugh Shephardson (Ind).
Llandybie 1.08 (corrected)
Anthony 'Whitey' Davies (Ind) and Dai Nicholas (PC) are both returned, with Plaid defeating Anthony Jones (Lab). The figures were:
Anthony Davies (Ind) 744
Dai Nicholas (PC) 725
Anthony Jones (Lab) 500
Karen Davies (PC) 451
Sandra Morgan (Con) 451
Nigel Humphreys (UKIP) 128
Pat Jenkins (Ind) 108
Sharen Davies and Fozia Akhtar returned for Labour. Fozia Akhtar takes over from Theressa Bowen (Ind) who left Labour shortly after being elected in 2012. The campaign in Llwynhendy was one of the nastiest anywhere, and this result puts paid to any hopes of a change of course for Labour.
Burry Port 12.53
John James and Amanda Fox retain this two member ward for Labour. Amanda Fox takes over from Pat Jones who has retired.
Swiss Valley 12.49
The Independents' Giles Morgan retains Swiss Valley. He is the Official Youth Wing of the Independents as he does not yet qualify for a free bus pass.
Llanboidy and Kidwelly 12.48
Dorian Philips takes Llanboidy for Plaid, and Jeanette Gilasbey (PC) has taken Kidwelly from Labour.
The lugubrious Labour leader, Jeff Edmunds, and Eryl Morgan (also Labour), both returned, Eryl Morgan is 80.
Tycroes and Laugharne 12.41
Labour holds Tycroes with Tina Higgins taking over from Calum. In Laugharne Jane Tremlett Ind), another former Executive Board member, holds on to her seat.
Gareth Thomas (Plaid) returned.
Manordeilo and Salem 12.35
Joseph Davies (Ind) has held on against a strong challenge from Dr Rhys Thomas. Frustratingly, the council's official results page has now been unavailable for almost two hours.
Veteran Independent Huw Richards loses to Labour's Bill Thomas (not the deselected Bill Thomas who was booted out of Lliedi by his own party). This is Labour's third gain.
Cenarth (Newcastle Emlyn) and Llanfihangel Aberbythych
Hazel Evans (PC) and Cefin Campbell (PC) both returned comfortably.
Dai Thomas takes over from his better half, Siân Thomas, who says her ambition now is to become a professional couch potato.
Running totals 12.12
The council website is currently showing 22 for Plaid, 7 Independents (including one unaffiliated member) and 5 for Labour. We are not quite half way through.
Peter Hughes Griffiths (Plaid and Ken Lloyd (Lab) returned. This is Labour's second gain from Plaid.
Jim Jones (Ind), another former Executive Board member, returned.
St Ishmael 12.05
Former Executive Board member Mair Stephens (Ind) returned.
Carmarthen South and Penygroes 12.03
Llongyfarchiadau gwresog i Alun Lenny (PC), Gareth John (PC) yn Ne Caerfyrddin a Dai Thomas (PC) ym Mhenygroes.
Three more for Plaid.
St. Clears 11.59
Philip Hughes (Ind) has seen off a challenge from Rhodri Glyn Thomas (Plaid), one of two former AMs standing for the county council, the other being Keith Davies (Lab) in Hengoed.
Update - Just 17 votes separated David Jenkins (Plaid) 430 from David Jenkins (Lab.) on 413.
Gwyneth Thomas returns for Plaid, along with Gary 'Poumista' Jones for Labour. This appears to be the first Labour gain.
Running total 11.47
The council website is currently only fitfully available, but the current totals showing are:
Independents (including 1 unaffiliated member) 5
Pontaman, Elli and Cynwyl Elfed 11.36
Despite his argument with a fox, Colin Evans (Lab) has been returned again, and as expected John Jenkins (Unaffiliated) has won again in Elli ward. Irfon Jones (Ind) has seen off a Plaid challenge in Cynwyl Elfed.
Bynie - Bynea 11.30
Congratulations to Derek Cundy (Lab) who saw off a strong challenge from Ian Wooldridge (Plaid). Lab. 539, Plaid 373.
No, it's not in Carmarthenshire, but brilliant news from Crymych where Cris Tomos (Plaid) has defeated deputy leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Keith Lewis.
Kevin Madge (Lab) returned as expected in Garnant. Let's hope he does not give an acceptance speech.
Llanegwad and Llangyndeyrn
Congratulations go to Mansel Charles (Plaid) and veteran Tyssul Evans (Plaid) in Llangyndeyrn. The council web page which displays the actual results and votes is currently not accessible.
The council website is currently showing a total of 17 councillors for Plaid, 4 Independents and 1 for Labour.
Cynwyl Gaeo 11.20
Congratulations to Eirwyn Williams (Plaid) on his re-election.
Glanaman, Llangeler and Llansteffan 11.14
Results coming in thick and fast now, and the council website seems to be in serious trouble.
David Jenkins (Plaid) is re-elected in Glanaman. Ken Howell has been returned again in Llangeler (Drefach Felindre), and Carys Jones has taken Llansteffan for Plaid. Llansteffan was previously held by Daff Davies, aka Elmer Fudd, who stepped down this time.
And the winner is Thomas Davies (Ind) 307 with Maria Carroll (284) second and Matthew Paul (Fox Botherer) third on 199. There was no Plaid candidate.
Ding dong. Tegwen Devichand has lost to Rob Evans Paramedic (Ind.) who has worked incredibly hard and won a richly deserved victory.
Ammanford and Llangadog
The rubber bands which keep the County Council's website running appear to be struggling to keep up with the pressure, but Deian Harries (Plaid) has held Ammaford, and Andrew James (Ind) stays in Llangadog.
Plaid have taken Llandovery, previously held by Independent Ivor Jackson, with a stunningly good result for Handel Davies (583). In second place was David Long (Lab) on 240.
Quarter Bach 10.30
Glynog Davies (Plaid) returned with thumping victory over Labour. Plaid 626, Lab. 398
Congratulations to Dorian Williams (Plaid) who has comfortably taken Abergwili, Pam Palmer's old ward, in a two-way contest against TV cook Lisa Fearn. Plaid 622, Ind. 448
Llongyfarchiadau gwresog i Dorian.
Congratulations go to Betsan Jones (Plaid) who has defeated incumbent Ryan Bartlett (Lab) who it has to be said never looked cheerful at the best of times. Plaid 402. Labour 309.
Turnout across the county averaged a respectable 46.81%.
Well, while we're waiting, let's nip over the border to Pembrokeshire where Cris Tomos (Plaid) is trying to unseat Keith Lewis in Crymych, and Hefin Wyn wins the prize for this year's best election poster:
Hefin Wyn swept all before him at last year's Eisteddfod Llandudoch with Colli neu ennill? But will Wyn win in Maenclochog?
Vote is said to be very close. Still no official results.
Turnout figures for all the wards are not yet available, but for those that are there are some huge variations. In general outside Llanelli turnout is in the 45%-55% range, which is better than usual for a council election. Cilycwm clearly loves an election. Having last gone to the polls in the autumn of 2016, turnout this time round is a staggering 67.85%. For the Llanelli wards where we have figures, turnout is hovering around the 35% mark.
No results have been declared so far, but early indications are that Carmarthenshire will follow the pattern established elsewhere in Wales, with the Labour vote generally holding up better than expected. Plaid does not seem to be on course for an overall majority, and as in Ceredigion, advances in some areas are likely to be offset by losses in others. The Tories are not expected to make any headway, and the UKIP vote seems set to collapse.
Labour is said to have done particularly well on postal votes, and its campaign was almost certainly helped by the beginning of the UK general election campaign, with the mainstream media always portraying politics as a two horse race between the Tories and Labour.
Crucially, in many wards the vote is said to be on a knife edge.
Emlyn Dole is expected to be returned comfortably in Llannon, with the second seat, held by Kim 'Apartheid' Thomas, understood to be a very close three-way fight.
Carmarthen, which saw a remarkable clean sweep for Plaid in 2012, could see the loss of one or two seats, but those could be offset by gains in wards such as Abergwili and even Llandovery, both previously Independent.
Counting will get underway at 9.30, with seats expected to be declared in alphabetical order, beginning with Abergwili and Ammanford.
While we wait for Carmarthenshire to wake up and start counting, Ceredigion has already finished.
The overall result, with the 2012 seat totals in brackets, is as follows:
Plaid Cymru 18 (19)
Independent 15 (15)
LibDem 7 (7)
Labour 1 (1)
The vacant seat is for the ward of Llandyfriog where the death of one of the candidates means that the election has been postponed. It is likely that the ward will stay with Plaid Cymru, meaning that the overall tally of seats will be unchanged.
Behind those numbers a few wards changed hands, including Llandysul where the Independents retook the ward from Plaid, while in Aberporth Gethin Davies (Plaid) defeated Gethin James (UKIP, but standing as an Independent). Endaf Davies (Plaid) took Aberystwyth Rheidiol ward from the Independents.
Congratulations go to fellow blogger Alun Williams who retained Aberystwyth Bronglais for Plaid.
No LibDem breakthrough, therefore, and the most likely outcome is that Plaid will continue to run the council in coalition with the Independents and Hag Harris, Labour's veteran loner in Lampeter.