Plaid Cymru held off the charge of Ukip in Carmarthenshire to help ensure the Welsh nationalists maintained a seat at the European Parliament following last week’s election.

Naigel Farage’s Ukip made staggering gains across the UK and it was no different in south-west Wales where the party forced Labour into second and claimed just 2,822 votes less than Plaid.

Carmarthenshire East and Dinmefwr AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas, Plaid’s campaign director for the European elections, said: “"On behalf of Plaid Cymru throughout the county I would like to thank the residents of Carmarthenshire for once again putting their trust in Plaid Cymru. I can promise we will continue to work all year around on their behalf to ensure Carmarthenshire residents continue to have a strong voice representing them at all levels of government."

“"Retaining a Welsh seat in the European Parliament is a tremendous result for Plaid Cymru which follows six months of the national media writing us off.

"This result is in no small part down to the strong vote Plaid Cymru received throughout Carmarthenshire where we topped the poll by more than 2,000 votes over UKIP and more than 3,000 thousand votes over Labour. The voters of Carmarthen East and Dinefwr in particular delivered a substantial vote for Plaid Cymru where our ballot sampling showed us taking 42 per cent of the constituency vote. It is a fact that only Plaid Cymru can beat UKIP in Carmarthenshire.”

The result means Wales’ four MEPS are as follows: Derek Vaughan (Labour), Nathan Gill (UKIP), Kay Swinburne (Conservatives) and Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru).

Main Carmarthenshire results:

Plaid Cymru 15,281

UKIP 12,459

Labour 11,793

Conservatives 6,686

Greens 1,889

Liberal Democrats 955