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Labour loses second Cardiff council seat in two months

WHEN Plaid Cymru’s Tariq Awan won the Grangetown by-election on Thursday, Labour lost its second Cardiff council seat inside two months.

In September the party lost a Plasnewydd seat to the Liberal Democrats in an election caused by the death of Mohammed Javed.

Thursday’s result gave Plaid Cymru its first council seat outside Cardiff West.

Neil McEvoy, leader of the Plaid Cymru group on the council, said: “The result shows Plaid is the clear opposition to Labour across swathes of seats across Cardiff. After years of hard work people in Cardiff are rightly rejecting Labour and their votes are coming to us.”

The voting process at county hall during the Grangetown by election.

Democracy in action at the Grangetown by-election.

The losses have cut the Labour council majority to four. Labour holds 41 council seats, and the remaining 35 are split between the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives, Plaid Cymru, Independents and a single Heath Independent councillor.

Labour candidate Maliika Kaaba and Coun Awan both said they expected the Grangetown result to be very close, and they were right. Only 114 votes separated them.

Coun Awan won the seat with 42% from 1,163 votes. Ms Kaaba was the runner up with 38% from 1,049 votes. The result leaves Grangetown with two Labour councillors, and one for Plaid Cymru.

After the result,Coun Awan said: ““I feel shocked, but excited to begin.” He wasted no time in announcing his first surgery to be held this Friday in Grangetown.

Grangetown was a Liberal Democrat ward until 2012, when Labour swept all three seats during the council elections. This by-election was triggered by the death of Chris Lomax.

The candidates focussed on litter and local facilities during their campaigns.The future of the Channel View leisure centre was a flashpoint between Labour and Plaid Cymru. Coun Awan promised to secure the future of the leisure centre as part of his campaign, despite the Labour council denying it had ever been at risk.

Outside Cardiff, the Gibbonsdown by-election was held on the same night in the Vale of Glamorgan. Labour held onto its seat with 47.9% of the vote, compared to second-placed Plaid’s 19.1%.

The full Cardiff council make up following the by-election can be seen below:

Labour Liberal Democrat Conservative Plaid Cymru Independent Heath Independent
41 16 9 5 3
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