PROSPECTS for a badger cull to combat bovine tuberculosis in Wales could be left hanging by a thread following the Welsh Assembly elections.

Elin Jones – who as Welsh Rural Affairs Secretary has been among the cull’s most ardent supporters – was re-elected by voters in Ceredigion.

But it remains to be seen whether the Plaid Cymru politician will retain responsibility for rural issues.

Although Ms Jones retained her seat, her share of the vote fell by about 8%.

And it has been a bad night for her party.

Labour is closing in on the 31 seats that would see it able to ditch Plaid as its coalition partner in the Assembly.

The Welsh Labour Party might not reach the winning post, but even so Ms Jones could still find herself given a new role by Plaid.

Plaid deputy leader Helen Mary Jones – a member of the assembly since it was formed in 1999 – lost her seat by just 80 votes to Labour’s Keith Davies.

The defeat means a Plaid reshuffle is on the cards – whatever the election outcome later on Friday (6 May).

And a new job for Ms Jones could be a serious set-back for Welsh farmers desperate for badger cull to combat bovine TB in their herds.