Yes campaigners have celebrated the first victory of the day in the referendum on giving new law-making powers to the Welsh Assembly.
Blaenau Gwent voted “Yes” to the tune of 11,869, with the “No” vote trailing at 5,366 votes.
The positive outcome in the first of 22 county area results was quickly followed by Denbighshire, with 15,793 Yes votes against 9,734 for the No campaign.
The first result was declared at the Senedd in Cardiff just before midday, following the start of the count at around 9am. Later Wales’ second city Swansea saw 38,496 voting Yes and 22,409 No.
Just after 2pm the Yes vote had passed the halfway mark with its 100% record intact – with 17 out of 17 declared results being in favour of the principality having direct law making powers.
The figures are in keeping with the most recent YouGov poll, which predicted that Yes voters outnumbered their No counterparts by 2 to 1.
Turnout was announced as being 35.2% – a reduction of more than 20 percentage points compared with the 1997 referendum.
Following two further successes – in Wrexham and the Isle of Anglesey – at around 1.10pm on Friday, Say Yes For Wales described the signs as very encouraging.
Vice chair Lee Waters said: “We are pleased with the turnout, which is better than people had predicted and more than the last mayoral elections in London.
“I think we will be celebrating a Yes win tonight.”