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Labour savours success in Wales
Labour aims to use its local council success in Wales as a springboard for the next UK general election.
The party won 10 of 21 unitary authorities in the principality.
Its major victories included winning the "big three" of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport - completing a hat-trick over rivals the Liberal Democrats, who suffered a torrid time in the polls.
Labour also managed to snatch the Vale of Glamorgan from the Conservatives - where PM David Cameron recently went on the campaign trail - as well making gains from Plaid Cymru.
First Minister Carwyn Jones and shadow Welsh secretary Peter Hain joined supporters in their celebrations by the statue of one of the party's most famous sons and founder of the NHS - Aneurin Bevan.
Speaking at the event in Cardiff's Queen Street, Mr Hain said: "We saw gains right across the city - from Tories, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and from Independents.
"This was replicated right across Wales. We did better than we have done in Wales for a long, long time.
"This was not just a national message to send a message to Cameron and Clegg, this was a grassroots campaign and a new type of refounded Welsh Labour.
"It shows we are well on the way to getting a good result in the next general election."
Today's results were the best Labour has achieved since local government was reorganised in 1996.
As well as rejoicing over winning Cardiff, the party returned to power in Wales's second city, Swansea, following eight years of a Lib Dem-led coalition.
Meanwhile, the Welsh Conservatives lost their majority in Monmouthshire, falling three seats short of the 22 they needed to secure outright control.
And they also lost control of the Vale of Glamorgan, with Labour now the largest party but without an overall majority, and its leadership of Newport.
The Conservatives' leader in the Welsh Assembly, Andrew RT Davies, said the Welsh Tories suffered a "setback" because of a "difficult national backdrop".
The biggest scalp of the election however was when Cardiff Council leader Rodney Berman saw his party ousted in the Welsh capital before losing his own seat.
"I think Labour are inheriting a lot of our good work over the past eight years," he added. "Was I disappointed with the result? Of course, but it's swings and roundabouts.
"We made gains when Labour were in power in Westminster and they have done the same now we are part of the UK coalition Government."
Another surprise result saw Goldie Lookin Chain rapper Rhys Hutchings, who stood as a Labour candidate, win a seat in Newport's St Julians ward.
He told BBC Wales: "Some people recognise me and some people don't and that's fine.
"I am not out there running as Rhys from GLC but at the same time I think the fact I am from GLC will maybe help to get things done in Newport for the people of Newport."