General election 2010: Early Plaid Cymru gain in Arfon

By Sasjkia Otto

Plaid Cymru has gained its first seat of the night in Arfon.

Boundary changes in this new constituency had replaced the Plaid base with a traditionally strong Labour area in the city of Bangor, but Plaid emerged victorious with 36 per cent of the vote and a 3.7 per cent swing from Labour.

Labour lost the overall majority it gained after the boundary changes with 30.4 per cent of the vote while the Tories received 16.9 per cent.

The boundary changes have significantly altered the demographic make-up of the small constituency, which has a population of less than 57,000.

In the far north-west of Wales, the town of Caernarfon is home to a large number of native Welsh speakers and is the seat of a great deal of Welsh nationalist feeling.

More than four fifths of the adult population speak Welsh while an astonishing 97.7% of ten- to 14-year-olds are fluent.