2021 Senedd election
The next Senedd election is due to be held on Thursday 6 May 2021 to elect 60 members to Senedd Cymru – the Welsh Parliament. It will be the sixth general election since the (formerly named) Assembly was established in 1999. The election is due to be held alongside the 2021 United Kingdom local elections and Scottish Parliament election.
All 60 seats to Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
31 seats needed for a majority
It will be the first election in which 16 and 17 year olds and legally resident foreign nationals are allowed to vote in Wales, the largest extension of the franchise in Wales since 1969. Both changes were a result of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020.
Five parties had Assembly Members (AMs) elected at the last election: Welsh Labour, the Welsh Conservatives, Plaid Cymru, the UK Independence Party, and the Welsh Liberal Democrats. Seven political parties are currently represented in the Senedd. These being the five aforementioned parties and two parties that gained AMs who were elected for - and moved from - other political parties. The Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party gained two AMs that were elected for UKIP in 2016, and the Welsh National Party gained an AM elected for Plaid Cymru in 2016.
In elections for the Senedd, each voter has two votes in the additional member system. The first vote is for a candidate to become the Member for the voter's constituency, elected by the first past the post system. The second vote is for a regional closed party list of candidates. Additional member seats are allocated from the lists by the D'Hondt method, with constituency results being taken into account in the allocation. The overall result is approximately proportional.
In accordance to the Wales Act 2014, a candidate is allowed to stand in both a constituency and a regional list. However, holding a dual mandate with the House of Commons is illegal, meaning a Member of the Senedd cannot also be an MP.
This will be the first election where 16 and 17 year olds can vote, following the introduction of a new law in January 2020.
The 2019 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom was the last of its kind. The newly formed Brexit Party came out on top in Wales. Plaid Cymru, who support full Welsh independence, came second, marking the first time it had beaten Labour in a Wales-wide election. The Brexit Party also formed a parliamentary group in the Assembly made up of the four ex-UK Independence Party members, led by Mark Reckless. A snap general election was called for 12 December 2019. Welsh Labour suffered an 8% drop in their vote and they were completely wiped out of North Wales, apart from in Alyn and Deeside. Labour ended up losing six parliamentary seats to the Welsh Conservatives in Boris Johnson's victory. These seats included Bridgend, which has been represented on the assembly level by former First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones since the 1999 election. The Conservatives also picked up Brecon and Radnorshire from the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds.
On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union. This followed a referendum on the matter in which Wales voted to leave the EU. South Wales has been highlighted by many as evidence that Brexit was a cross-party issue, as those areas typically vote overwhelmingly for Labour. Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, and Caerphilly all voted overwhelmingly in favour of Brexit, but are all represented in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom by Labour MPs.
Plaid campaigned for a remain vote in the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the EU. Plaid later supported, during the final stages of Brexit process, a second referendum on the matter. Plaid argued that there should be a referendum on Welsh independence after Brexit, so that Wales could apply for EU membership. A June 2020 YouGov/ITV Cymru poll concluded that 25% were in favour of independence and 54% opposed. The same poll found that 22% of respondents wanted no devolution in Wales, and that 25% were for abolition of the Senedd, with 48% opposed to abolition. A follow-up YouGov poll in August 2020 concluded that support for Welsh independence had risen to 32%.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said to ITV Wales on 17 May 2020 that it is "possible" that 2021 Senedd Election may not be allowed to happen, because of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. First Minister announced on 29 June 2020 that a group with representatives from all of the main parties will look at the arrangements that might have to be in place for the election if COVID-19 restrictions are still required. It will look at campaigning and voting, gathering "views over the summer so that by September, any changes the group feels would be beneficial can be considered and taken forward".
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Welsh government messaging and law has deviated from the UK government, this has made the Welsh public more conscious about devolution. The Welsh government only let businesses access the Economic Resillience Fund devolved to them by Westminster if they officially recognised a trade union so they could recruit in those workplaces. The Welsh government announced a two-week lockdown as a means of reducing the prevalence of the virus- which they called a "firebreak"- in line with the other devolved administrations and distinct from the national government.
The following MSs will not run for re-election:
|Bridgend||Carwyn Jones||Welsh Labour|
|South Wales Central||David Melding||Welsh Conservatives|
|Dwyfor Meirionnydd||Dafydd Elis-Thomas||Independent|
|Camarthen West and South Pembrokeshire||Angela Burns||Welsh Conservatives|
|South Wales West||Bethan Sayed||Plaid Cymru|
Below are listed all the constituencies which require a swing of less than 10% from the 2016 result to change hands.
|Rank||Constituency||Winning party 2016||Majority||Swing to gain||Labour's place 2016||Result|
|2||Camarthen West and South Pembrokeshire||Welsh Conservatives||3,373||5.75||2nd|
|3||Preseli Pembrokeshire||Welsh Conservatives||3,930||6.8||2nd|
Plaid Cymru targetsEdit
|Rank||Constituency||Winning party 2016||Majority||Swing to gain||PC's place 2016||Result|
|Rank||Constituency||Winning party 2016||Majority||Swing to gain||Con's place 2016||Result|
|1||Vale of Glamorgan||Labour||777||1.05||2nd|
|2||Vale of Clwyd||Labour||768||1.55||2nd|
Liberal Democrat targetsEdit
|Rank||Constituency||Winning party 2016||Majority||Swing to gain||LD's place 2016||Result|
NB: MSs in office (i.e. incumbents) before the election are bolded. Winners are highlighted with party colours.
The constituency vote is shown as semi-transparent lines, while the regional vote is shown in full lines.
- Neither of the party's two representatives in the Senedd were elected for the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party. Gareth Bennett was elected for UKIP in 2016, before leaving to become an independent, then joined the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party in 2020. The party's other representative in the Senedd, Mark Reckless, was also elected for UKIP, before becoming an independent in 2017, then becoming a member of the Brexit Party in 2019, before joining the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party in 2020.
- The party's sole representative in the Senedd, Neil McEvoy, was elected as a member of Plaid Cymru in 2016, before leaving the party to become an independent, then created the Welsh National Party in 2020.
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A vote for Plaid Cymru in the European elections on 23 May will be a vote for Wales to stay inside the European Union
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- "Our Senedd candidate for Cardiff South & Penarth, @Nazplaidcymru told us of the impact of the #BlackLivesMatter movement". Twitter. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
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- 16 April 2020, Posted on; Pm, 4:06. "Rhys ab Owen - Cardiff West". Plaid Cymru Cardiff. Retrieved 12 July 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
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