The impression of a bumbling coalition government in London certainly has not helped but the main reason for the good showing of Labour is a curious phenomenon: although most relevant issues are decided by the Labour Government in Cardiff, the Westminster government seems to get a lot of blame for the deterioration of health services and education where Wales has slumped into the last position amongst the home nations.
Be that as it may, we now have to live with a Labour Cardiff Council which we faced last time in 2004. At that time, the Labour vote collapsed due to allegations of corruption and mismanagement in City Hall under Russell Goodway. Although I am not a LibDem supporter, I am sad to see the local councillors go since they have done a great deal more for Grangetown than Labour. Under the LibDem council, recycling had been introduced, and the tricky issue of school reforms had been tackled.
I have no doubt that Labour will do in Cardiff Council what it does best wherever it is in power: precious little. The default position of Labour in Wales has always been not to confront difficult decisions and instead to sit problems out as long as possible. We will see where that takes Cardiff.