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How people voted in North Wales county councils elections 2017

SO much has changed in the world since the 2017 election, but how did things pan out last time around? The Local Democracy Reporting Service looks at how the vote went in Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Flintshire, and Wrexham five years ago.


The last election was dubbed ‘Independence Day’ in Wrexham. The independents held the majority of the seats after the electorate cast their votes, capturing 25 seats – three down from before the election – but still the largest majority.

The Conservatives were the other winners almost doubling their seats from five to nine.

Breakaway Labour councillors turned independent after an internal row and formed an alliance with the Conservatives and other independents to take over the helm.

Labour failed to increase their share and remained on 12 seats. Plaid Cymru gained one seat, ending up with three councillors. The Lib Dems lost three and found themselves with just two seats.


2017 saw Labour hold onto their majority in Flintshire County Council, but the party were two seats short of having overall control, securing 34 of 70 seats.

One of the big stories from the Flintshire ballot was the return to local politics of a councillor banned for two and a half years for bullying and harassment.

Patrick Heesom stood without affiliation to any party in Mostyn ward and edged to victory by 23 votes, ousting Independent David Roney and defeating Labour rival Pamela Banks.

Mr Heesom, a former leader of the council’s Independent group, was barred from standing for office after being found guilty of 14 breaches of the councillors’ code of conduct in 2013.

The Conservatives and Lib Dems lost a seat each to return six and five respectively, and Plaid Cymru disappeared from the county’s political map entirely.

Two winners not listing party affiliations meant independent representation on the council was the only category to increase – from 22 to 25 councillors.


The Conservatives reigned victorious in Denbighshire, gaining eight new seats, and with 16 seats, the Tories won 34% of the vote, uprooting Labour, who lost six seats, bringing them down from 19 in 2012 to 13.

Notable losses were Win Mullen-James, who stood as an independent candidate after being “ousted” from the Labour party.

Labour’s Stephen Ellison, who contested the veteran councillor’s seat, missed out by seven votes to Conservative Brian Jones.

In Prestatyn North, two new Conservative councillors – Tony Flynn and Rachel Flynn – were elected, replacing Labour’s Jason McLellan and Janet Szabo.


TV personality James Lusted was among those to win a seat for the Conservatives on the council, making history as the first Conwy councillor with dwarfism.

Mr Lusted pledged to fight for people with disabilities and on issues like better roads.

Seats in 32 of Conwy’s 38 wards were contested for the 59-member council.

Conservative seats dropped from 16 to 13, while independent and Plaid Cymru seats were slightly up.

Deputy leader Ronnie Hughes fought off a strong campaign by Carol Marubbi, the then-mayor of Llandudno, to retain his Tudno seat by 20 votes.


Plaid Cymru finished on 14 seats, with 13 independents, two Labour members and one Liberal Democrat.

Popular independent member Jeff Evans lost his seat in Ynys Gybi to Labour’s John Arwel Roberts.

Former council leader Bryan Owen also made a dramatic return, having lost his seat in Canolbarth Mon in 2013. Mr Owen won the election in the Bro Aberffraw ward, securing a majority of just six votes over Dilwyn Griffiths of Plaid Cymru, who won 539 votes.


The Plaid Cymru heartland saw a challenge from the Llais Gwynedd group – the party which formed in reaction to the Plaid-run council closing rural schools. 

But 39% of the vote went to Plaid Cymru and 39% to independent councillors. 12% of the votes went to Lais Gwynedd, and Labour councillors received 8% of the vote and the Liberal Democrats 2%.

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