LABOUR held on to Wrexham and Clwyd South but in both cases with majorities which were slashed.

Ian Lucas was returned for a third time in Wrexham although his winning margin was cut from 6,819 in 2005 to just 3,668.

Once again it was Lib Dem contender Tom Rippeth who ran him a close second, with Welsh Conservative Gareth Hughes taking third place.

In Clwyd South Susan Elan Jones held the seat vacated by long-time incumbent Martyn Jones, who stepped down.

Mr Jones’ majority of 6,348 from 2005 was cut to 2,834 by Welsh Conservative John Bell, with Liberal Democrat hope Bruce Roberts beaten into third spot.

In both seats voter turnout was higher than at the last General Election.
Wrexham saw 64.9 per cent of electors register their votes, compared to 63.3 per cent five years ago.

In Clwyd South the figure was 64.7 per cent, compared to 62.9 per cent previously.

In Wrexham 81 per cent of postal votes were returned, and 82 per cent in Clwyd South.

Both results were declared within minutes of one another at the count in the sports hall at Glyndwr University.

A jubilant Ian Lucas said: “I am proud to be returned as the MP for Wrexham for the third time – Wrexham’s a great town.

“The election was fought in a good spirit and was very competitive.

“Wrexham is a town that has ambition, which has strength and a vision that needs to go forward.

“I intend to build on that vision over the next few years. Wrexham needs to become a city as it is already a premier centre for learning and industry.”

Lib Dem runner-up Tom Rippeth said: “We have cut Labour’s majority in half.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to win but there’s always next time.”

In her winner’s speech the new Labour MP for Clwyd South Susan Elan Jones said: “I am following in the proud traditions of Welsh Labour.

“I promise I will always be the voice of Clwyd South in Westminster of Westminster in Clwyd South.

“I hope to serve all the people of Clwyd South, including those who did not vote for me, in a spirit of humility.”

Outside the count her defeated Welsh Conservative opponent John Bell accused
Labour locally and nationally of having run a “dishonest and negative” campaign.

He said they had “frightened” voters with their claims about Conservative policies.

But Mr Bell added the fact that he had cut Labour’s majority had been an indictment of that party’s campaign approach.

Miss Jones said she disagreed with Mr Bell's claims about her party’s style of campaign.

Smaller parties did not make the breakthrough in either seat.

The United Kingdom Independence Party’s candidate in Wrexham notched-up just 774 votes, while the British National Party’s Melvin Roberts got 1,134.

In Clwyd South UKIP’s Nick Powell received 819, while the BNP’s Sarah Hynes got 1,100.