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General Election 2024: Everything you need to know as the polls close

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Polling stations were open from 7am to 10pm, with the much-anticipated exit poll expected at shortly afterwards. This election is critical not only for the nation as a whole but also for Wales, where key battles are being fought across several constituencies.

Party leaders at polling stations earlier today (Images: BBC Newshub/Sky News)

Key figures await results

Following the exit poll, Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will be eagerly awaiting results from the nation’s 650 constituencies. Opinion polls throughout the six-week campaign have consistently predicted a significant Labour majority, with some suggesting Sir Keir could surpass Tony Blair’s historic victory in 1997. In Wales, Labour’s stronghold is under scrutiny, with the party looking to maintain or even expand its influence.

In a potential blow to the Conservatives, a recent Telegraph poll indicated that Mr. Sunak could become the first sitting Prime Minister to lose his seat in a general election. The impact of such an event would be felt across the UK, including in Wales, where Conservative seats are also at risk.

Tracking the results

Results will start to trickle in from around 11.30pm, with most constituencies declaring their outcomes in the early hours of the next day. The first declaration in 2019 came at 11.27pm from Newcastle City Council. This year, Blyth and Ashington is expected to be the first to announce around 11.30pm, followed closely by Houghton and Sunderland South at 11.45pm.

In Wales, results will be closely watched in constituencies such as Cardiff North, a seat that has seen significant campaigning from both Labour and the Conservatives. Early results here could indicate broader trends across the country.

Key Welsh constituencies to watch

Several Welsh constituencies will be key indicators of the election’s outcome. In Cardiff North, Labour’s Anna McMorrin is defending a majority against a strong Conservative challenge. In Wrexham, the Conservatives are hoping to retain the seat they won in 2019 for the first time in history.

Other significant Welsh constituencies include:

  • Swansea West: Traditionally a Labour stronghold, any significant shift here could signal wider changes in voter sentiment.
  • Ceredigion: Held by Plaid Cymru, this seat is a battleground for multiple parties, reflecting the unique political landscape of Wales.
  • Monmouth: A Conservative seat since 2005, Labour is hoping to make gains here, reflecting a broader strategy to win back seats lost over the past decade.

Constituencies to watch across the UK

Key results will be eagerly anticipated, particularly around 4am when Rishi Sunak’s Richmond and Northallerton seat results are expected. Predictions indicate he may face an unprecedented defeat. Similarly, Sir Keir Starmer’s result in Holborn and St Pancras is expected shortly after.

Top Tory figures such as Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, Grant Shapps, and Jeremy Hunt will also learn their fates during the night. Jeremy Corbyn, now standing as an independent in Islington North, will discover if he retains his seat.

Detailed timetable

  • 11pm: Blyth and Ashington, Houghton and Sunderland South.
  • Midnight: Basildon and Billericay, Broxbourne, Sunderland Central, Swindon South.
  • 1am: First results from Scotland, providing an early indication of SNP’s performance.
  • 2am: Results from key constituencies including North West Essex, Burnley, and Redcar.
  • 3am: Major declarations from Tory strongholds and Labour’s contested seats.
  • 4am: Critical results for Rishi Sunak, Sir Keir Starmer, and key Reform UK candidates.

Major political movements

This election could reshape the political landscape, with Reform UK making significant strides. Notable figures like Nigel Farage and Richard Tice will find out if their efforts have secured them a seat in the Commons. In Wales, the influence of Reform UK and other smaller parties like the Green Party and Liberal Democrats will be under the spotlight, particularly in areas where they have focused their campaigns on local issues and dissatisfaction with the main parties.

Welsh political landscape

Wales has traditionally been a Labour stronghold, but recent elections have shown an increasing willingness among voters to explore alternatives. The Conservatives made significant inroads in 2019, capturing seats like the Vale of Clwyd and Wrexham. This election will test whether these gains were temporary or indicative of a longer-term shift.

Plaid Cymru, advocating for Welsh independence and greater autonomy, remains a significant force, particularly in rural and Welsh-speaking areas. Their performance in this election will be crucial in determining the future political direction of Wales.

Welsh voter sentiment

Voter sentiment in Wales has been shaped by a range of issues, including economic recovery post-COVID, healthcare, and local governance. The impact of Brexit, while less dominant than in previous elections, still plays a role in voter decision-making, especially in border constituencies.

The response to the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by both the UK and Welsh governments is also a key factor. The Welsh Labour government’s distinct approach compared to the UK government’s policies will be scrutinized by voters as they head to the polls.

Potential upsets and final declarations

As dawn approaches, the final results will reveal whether Labour’s projected success holds true and if the Liberal Democrats can achieve any last-minute upsets in traditionally Conservative areas. In Wales, attention will focus on whether Labour can reclaim seats lost to the Conservatives in 2019 and if Plaid Cymru can expand its influence.

The Liberal Democrats are hoping for a resurgence in places like Montgomeryshire, a seat with a history of Liberal representation. Meanwhile, the Greens are targeting constituencies where environmental issues are particularly resonant.

Conclusion

Stay tuned to herald.wales and pembrokeshire-herald.com for live updates and comprehensive coverage of this pivotal election night. With the potential for significant shifts in both the UK and Welsh political landscapes, this election promises to be one of the most consequential in recent history. As results come in, the political future of Wales and the UK will become clearer, setting the stage for the next phase of governance and policy direction.

Community

Sumatran tiger cub named Zaza is first ever born in a Welsh zoo

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MANOR WILDLIFE PARK said this week that it is thrilled to announce the birth of a Sumatran tiger cub, named Zaza, marking a momentous occasion as the first tiger cub to be born in a zoo in Wales. Born on the May 25, Zaza is a symbol of hope and a critical addition to the global effort to conserve this critically endangered species.

The birth of Zaza represents a significant milestone not only for Manor Wildlife Park but also for wildlife conservation in Wales. The Sumatran tiger, one of the world’s most endangered tiger subspecies, faces severe threats from habitat loss and poaching. Zaza’s arrival brings renewed focus to the importance of protecting these majestic creatures and their natural habitats.

Rick Newton, the Animal Manager, expressed his excitement and pride, saying, “We are overjoyed to welcome Zaza to our family. This birth is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our team, who have worked tirelessly to create an environment where these magnificent animals can thrive. Zaza’s arrival is a beacon of hope for the conservation of Sumatran tigers, and we are committed to ensuring she grows up healthy and strong.”

The birth was monitored closely by the park’s veterinary and animal care teams to ensure both mother and cub received the best possible care. Zaza has been thriving under the watchful eye of her mother, Terima, and the two have been bonding beautifully since the birth.

Visitors to Manor Wildlife Park will now have the opportunity to see Zaza as she begins to venture out of her den and explore her surroundings. The cub will be viewable to the public during regular park hours, allowing visitors to witness this historic moment and learn more about the park’s ongoing conservation efforts to protect Sumatran tigers.

The park’s conservation programme is dedicated to supporting global efforts to preserve endangered species through breeding initiatives, habitat conservation, and public education. Zaza’s birth is a hopeful reminder of the impact that dedicated conservation work can have on preserving our planet’s wildlife.

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Community

Tenby Town Council demands urgent action from Welsh Water

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TENBY TOWN COUNCIL says its members were horrified at the pollution caused by failures of the sewage infrastructure which recently caused pollution warnings to be issued to the public.

They have called for Dwr Cymru to take urgent action to replace the rising main (pipe) that keeps failing.

The Mayor, Cllr. Dai Morgan , has written to the Chief Executive of Dwr Cymru outlining concerns and asking for action to be taken. A copy of the letter together with a statement from the Mayor is in the comments.

Tenby Town Council said on social media: “We are not new to this issue, We are not just reacting to events. 18 months ago we formed a Safe Seas Working Group led by Cllr Whitehurst. This group has brought together Dwr Cymru, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and PCC to examine all aspects of sewage management in and around Tenby. Detailed analysis has shown when there has been spillages or releases and looked into the reasons why. It is in this group that, following

“Tenby Town Council raised the issue, that it was acknowledged that this pipe needed to be replaced.

“Cllr Whitehurst has formed a formidable working relationship with all parties and we hope this relationship will help to bring the timescale forward to replace the rising main.

“We will continue to press all agencies to fulfil their responsibilities and will soon be meeting with all parties. In the meantime we are saying loud and clear that this pipe needs replacing quickly.

“Our wonderful clean seas, our blue flag beaches and our precious environment are too important to those who live here, those that visit and to the economy of not only Pembrokeshire but the whole of Wales.”

Tenby’s Mayor Cllr Morgan released a statement on Friday (Jul 12). Cllr Morgan said: “The recent fracture of the rising main to Tenby Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) has once again brought to light the critical nature of infrastructure maintenance and the dire consequences of its failure. This incident, marking the second such occurrence in as many years, has not only resulted in environmental pollution but has also cast a shadow over the safety of local recreational waters, with advisories against swimming in the sea—a blow to the community’s spirit and its tourism-driven economy.

“Tenby Town Council’s meeting with representatives from Dŵr Cymru, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), and Pembrokeshire County Council earlier this year had concluded with assurances that the rising main was on the radar as a high-risk site. The commitment to include it in the programme of works, was a step in the right direction. However, the recent pollution incident underscores the need for a more immediate response.

“The council’s call for Dŵr Cymru to expedite the replacement of the rising main is a testament to the urgency of the situation. The potential for future bursts poses a significant threat not only to the environment but also to the economic vitality of Tenby, a jewel in Wales’ tourism crown. The council’s proactive stance and its appeal for decisive action reflect a broader understanding that environmental issues require prompt and effective management.

“The relationship fostered over the years, mainly because of the hard work of Cllr Duncan Whitehurst, between the council and Dŵr Cymru has been pivotal in ongoing efforts to safeguard and enhance water quality. This partnership is now being leaned upon to navigate this issue efficiently. The council’s request is clear: immediate commencement of the replacement works, with a definitive completion date, is imperative.

“Tenby’s case serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of our ecosystems, economies, and communities. It highlights the importance of maintaining robust infrastructure, the need for vigilance in environmental monitoring, and the power of collaborative relationships resolution. As the situation unfolds, the actions taken today will resonate far into the future, shaping the legacy of Tenby’s environmental stewardship and its commitment to the well-being of its residents and visitors alike.”

Pictured above with North beach newly awarded blue flag are, Cllr Duncan Whitehurst, Mayor Cllr Dai Morgan and,.Town and County Cllr Sam Skryme Blackhall.

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Community

Neyland Carnival 2024: A resounding success

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THIS year’s carnival dazzled spectators and participants alike today, marking one of the most memorable events in recent years. Thousands flocked to the streets to witness an extraordinary procession of floats and walkers, showcasing the community’s creativity and unity.

Pembrokeshire County Councillor Simon Hancock was present to award the prizes, expressing his admiration for the event. “What a privilege to present the prizes at Neyland Carnival 2024,” Hancock said. “The ingenuity and creativity on show in the floats and walkers were truly extraordinary. Thousands saw the procession which must have been the biggest seen in Pembrokeshire these days. My congratulations to the hardworking committee which made everything possible. Well done! A wonderful day all round.”

The celebration extended to local venues, including The Legionnaire Neyland, a popular pub that joined in the festivities with enthusiasm. In a heartfelt message on social media, the pub’s team shared their gratitude and joy: “What an awesome carnival! I’d like to thank the staff and customers, and extend huge congratulations to Rebecca Charlton for making the Best Pub win happen. A huge thank you to Roy and Jane for providing awesome food at a reasonable rate. Thank you to Pembrokeshire Metal Recycling for the use of their lorry and Mike Otterbein for driving the route for us once again. Also, congratulations to the committee for their success—they nailed it. I hope the local businesses who sponsored the carnival benefited as much as we did today, as the after-party is going strong. Thanks to Upton Farm for donating 100 bottles of water to keep everyone hydrated at no charge. The Neyland community stands strong!”

The event highlighted the community spirit, with local businesses playing a crucial role in supporting the carnival. Their contributions, from providing essential resources to sponsoring various aspects of the event, ensured its success and demonstrated the strong bond within Neyland.

As the sun set on this vibrant day, the after-party continued, cementing Neyland Carnival 2024 as a cherished memory for all who participated and attended. The celebration underscored the strength and unity of the Neyland community, promising even greater events in the future.

Thank you everyone who sent their photos in from the event!

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