Last Thursday's by-elections in Gwynedd (Wales) went very well for Plaid Cymru as they were victorious in both of them. They held on to the Penrhyndeudraeth ward and finally won an election in Diffwys a Maenofferen at the third time of asking. They were unopposed there in 2004 but the local party Llais Gwynedd (Voice of Gwynedd) gained the seat in the 2008 local elections and held it in a by-election last May.
The by-election last July was as a result of the sitting Councillor's resignation for attacking his wife. Llais Gwynedd held on by just four votes back then but they couldn't prevent Plaid Cymru gaining this seat last week. Although this resignation was due to, less controversial, work and family commitments Llais Gwynedd still appear to have suffered for causing two by-elections in 14 months.
Plaid Cymru's Mandy Williams-Davies enjoyed an 8.4% swing to comfortably win the seat, 57 votes ahead of the Llais Gywnedd candidate in a straight fight.
Diffwys a Maenofferen
Mandy Williams-Davies (E)
Plaid Cymru were the defending party in the other Gwynedd by-election and the reason for the vacancy would not have aided their campaign. The sitting Councillor in Penrhyndeudraeth Dewi Lewis resigned after he admitted to stealing £53,000 as a sub-postmaster. This didn't seem to affect Plaid too much though as Gareth Thomas eased to a comfortable victory. This was largely thanks to the drop in Llais Gwynedd's support in this ward, which does not stand them in good stead ahead of next May's full Council elections.
Gareth Thomas (PC)
Rhian Jones (LlG)
Dafydd Thomas (Ind)
Plaid Cymru could have lost control of Gwynedd if these by-elections hadn't gone their way but as it is they are likely to take small majority into the elections next spring.
Gwynedd County Council