2021 Senedd election

The next Senedd election is due to be held on Thursday 6 May 2021[1] 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.

2021 Senedd election

← 2016 On or before 6 May 2021 2026 →

All 60 seats to Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
31 seats needed for a majority
Leader Mark Drakeford Paul Davies Adam Price
Party Labour Conservative Plaid Cymru
Leader since 6 December 2018 6 September 2018 28 September 2018
Leader's seat Cardiff West Preseli Pembrokeshire Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
Last election 29 seats 11 seats 12 seats
Current seats 29 11 10
Seats needed Increase2 Increase20 Increase21

Leader Richard Suchorzewski Neil Hamilton Jane Dodds
Party Abolish the Welsh Assembly UKIP Liberal Democrats
Leader since 11 June 2020 26 September 2016 3 November 2017
Leader's seat not in Senedd Mid and West Wales not in Senedd
Last election 0 seats 7 seats 1 seat
Current seats 2[a] 1 1
Seats needed Increase29 Increase30 Increase30

Leader Neil McEvoy
Party Welsh National Party
Leader since 15 January 2020
Leader's seat South Wales Central
Last election New party
Current seats 1[b]
Seats needed Increase30

Incumbent First Minister

Mark Drakeford

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.[2]

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.

Electoral systemEdit

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.[2]


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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] Plaid later supported, during the final stages of Brexit process, a second referendum on the matter.[8][9] Plaid argued that there should be a referendum on Welsh independence after Brexit, so that Wales could apply for EU membership.[10] 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.[11][12] A follow-up YouGov poll in August 2020 concluded that support for Welsh independence had risen to 32%.[13]

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.[14] 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".[15]

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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]

Retiring membersEdit

The following MSs will not run for re-election:

Constituency/Region Departing MS Party
Bridgend Carwyn Jones[19] Welsh Labour
South Wales Central David Melding[20] Welsh Conservatives
Dwyfor Meirionnydd Dafydd Elis-Thomas[21] Independent
Camarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Angela Burns[22] Welsh Conservatives
South Wales West Bethan Sayed[23] Plaid Cymru

Target seatsEdit

Below are listed all the constituencies which require a swing of less than 10% from the 2016 result to change hands.

Labour targetsEdit

Rank Constituency Winning party 2016 Majority Swing to gain Labour's place 2016 Result
1 Aberconwy Welsh Conservatives 1,609 3.35 3rd
2 Camarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Welsh Conservatives 3,373 5.75 2nd
3 Preseli Pembrokeshire Welsh Conservatives 3,930 6.8 2nd
4 Rhondda Plaid Cymru 3,459 7.35 2nd
5 Monmouth Welsh Conservatives 5,147 8.2 2nd

Plaid Cymru targetsEdit

Rank Constituency Winning party 2016 Majority Swing to gain PC's place 2016 Result
1 Llanelli Labour 382 0.65 2nd
2 Blaenau Gwent Labour 650 1.55 2nd
3 Aberconwy Welsh Conservatives 754 1.7 2nd
4 Cardiff West Labour 1,176 1.85 2nd
5 Caerphilly Labour 1,575 2.9 2nd
6 Neath Labour 2,923 5.75 2nd

Conservative targetsEdit

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
3 Gower Labour 1,829 3.05 2nd
4 Wrexham Labour 1,325 3.25 2nd
5 Cardiff North Labour 3,667 4.9 2nd
6 Clwyd South Labour 3,016 6.8 2nd
7 Delyn Labour 3,582 7.7 2nd
8 Bridgend Labour 5,623 10.45 2nd

Liberal Democrat targetsEdit

Rank Constituency Winning party 2016 Majority Swing to gain LD's place 2016 Result
1 Cardiff Central Labour 817 1.55 2nd
2 Ceredigion Plaid Cymru 2,408 4.1 2nd
3 Montgomeryshire Welsh Conservatives 3,339 7.05 2nd

Constituency nominationsEdit

NB: MSs in office (i.e. incumbents) before the election are bolded. Winners are highlighted with party colours.

Constituency Conservative Labour Plaid Cymru Lib Dem Brexit Party UKIP Green Others
Aberavon David Rees
Aberconwy Janet Finch-Saunders Aaron Wynne Rhys Jones[24]
Alyn and Deeside Jack Sargeant Chris Twells
Arfon Siân Gwenllian
Blaenau Gwent Alun Davies Peredur Owen Griffiths[25] Calen Jones[26]
Brecon and Radnorshire Kirsty Williams
Bridgend Sarah Murphy[27] Caroline Jones [28]
Caerphilly Hefin David Delyth Jewell
Cardiff Central Jenny Rathbone Wiliam Rees Rodney Berman[29]
Cardiff North Joel Williams Julie Morgan Rhys Taylor[30]
Cardiff South and Penarth Vaughan Gething Nasir Adam[31] Alex Wilson [32]
Cardiff West Mark Drakeford Rhys ab Owen[33] Heath Marshall [34] Neil McEvoy
(Welsh National Party)
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Adam Price Leena Farhat
Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Rhys Thomas[35] Alistair Cameron [36]
Ceredigion Elin Jones Cadan ap Tomos [37]
Clwyd South Ken Skates
Clwyd West Darren Millar Elin Walker Jones
Cynon Valley Vikki Howells
Delyn Hannah Blythyn Andrew Parkhurst
Dwyfor Meirionnydd Mabon ap Gwynfor[38] Steve Churchman
Gower Rebecca Evans John Davies
Islwyn Rhianon Passmore Rhys Mills[39]
Llanelli Lee Waters Helen Mary Jones[40] Chris Passmore Sian Caiach (Gwlad)
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney Dawn Bowden
Monmouth Nick Ramsay Jo Watkins[41]
Montgomeryshire Russell George
Neath Jeremy Miles Sioned Williams
Newport East John Griffiths John Miller[42]
Newport West Jayne Bryant Mike Hamilton[43]
Ogmore Huw Irranca-Davies Luke Fletcher[44]
Pontypridd Mick Antoniw Heledd Fychan[45] Steven Rajam[46]
Preseli Pembrokeshire Paul Davies Cris Tomos[47]
Rhondda Elizabeth Buffy Williams [48] Leanne Wood
Swansea East Mike Hedges
Swansea West Julie James Dai Lloyd Chloe Hutchinson
Torfaen Lynne Neagle
Vale of Clwyd Gareth Davies Ann Jones
Vale of Glamorgan Jane Hutt Sally Stephenson [49] Karl-James Langford (Gwlad)
Wrexham Lesley Griffiths Carrie Harper Tim Sly
Ynys Môn Rhun ap Iorwerth

Opinion pollingEdit

The constituency vote is shown as semi-transparent lines, while the regional vote is shown in full lines.

Graph of the evolution of the opinion polls for the 2021 Welsh Parliament election (the right border represents the last possible day for the election to be held). Lines represent local regressions (LOESS) with a span of 0.5.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.


  1. ^ "Wales Bill (Dates)" (PDF). publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b "16 and 17 year olds get right to vote - a historic day for democracy in Wales". Senedd Cymru. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Brexit Party tops European poll in Wales". 27 May 2019 – via www.bbc.com.
  4. ^ "Assembly members join forces with Farage". BBC News. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Tories claim big scalps in Wales election results". 13 December 2019 – via www.bbc.com.
  6. ^ Perraudin, Frances (22 September 2019). "English people living in Wales tilted it towards Brexit, research finds" – via www.theguardian.com.
  7. ^ "Plaid: Stay in EU to solve its problems". BBC. 10 February 2016. Archived from the original on 31 May 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Welsh Senedd votes to back a People's Vote". Plaid Cymru (The Party of Wales). Archived from the original on 12 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Plaid Cymru: European Election Manifesto 2019" (PDF). Retrieved 26 May 2019. A vote for Plaid Cymru in the European elections on 23 May will be a vote for Wales to stay inside the European Union
  10. ^ Mosalski, Ruth (26 April 2019). "'Wales should have an independence vote' say Plaid Cymru". WalesOnline. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  11. ^ Awan-Scully, Roger (5 June 2020). "With Welsh independence polling higher than ever it is no longer a fringe movement". Nation.Cymru.
  12. ^ Shipton, Martin (6 June 2020). "Quarter of voters in Wales now in favour of Welsh independence". WalesOnline.
  13. ^ Evans, Harri (27 August 2020). "New poll shows highest ever support for Welsh independence". Daily Post.
  14. ^ ""Possible" Senedd elections may not happen next May says health minister". ITV News. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  15. ^ Williams, James (29 June 2020). "Covid-19 impact on 2021 election to be discussed". BBC News. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  16. ^ Fouzder, Monidipa. "Wales 'more conscious' of devolution due to Covid-19 laws". Law Gazette. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  17. ^ Mortimer, Josiah (3 October 2020). "Let trade unions in, Welsh Government tells employers receiving public cash". Left Foot Forward. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  18. ^ Morris, Steven (19 October 2020). "Wales to go into national two-week 'firebreak' Covid lockdown". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones to leave assembly in 2021". BBC News. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Wales' Welsh Conservative David Melding to stand down at 2021 Senedd election". BBC News. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Lord Elis-Thomas vows not to stand in 2021 election". BBC News. 12 April 2020. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Senior Conservative steps down from Senedd". BBC News. 16 July 2020. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Plaid Cymru member won't stand again in 2021 – Senedd not 'family friendly'". Nation.Cymru. 28 August 2020.
  24. ^ "Rhys Jones". Welsh Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  25. ^ "Candidate - Peredur Owen Griffiths". Blaenau Gwent - Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  26. ^ "Calen Jones - Announcement Video" – via www.facebook.com.
  27. ^ "Sarah Murphy 🌹 (@sarah4bridgend) | Twitter". twitter.com.
  28. ^ "From Carwyn to Caroline? MS who left Brexit Party over anti-Senedd stance will stand in Bridgend as independent". Nation.Cymru. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  29. ^ Berman, Rodney. "Rodney Berman selected to fight Cardiff Central for the 2021 Senedd elections". Cardiff Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  30. ^ "Cllr Rhys Taylor". Welsh Liberal Democrats.
  31. ^ "Our Senedd candidate for Cardiff South & Penarth, @Nazplaidcymru told us of the impact of the #BlackLivesMatter movement". Twitter. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  32. ^ "Alex Wilson". Welsh Liberal Democrats.
  33. ^ 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)
  34. ^ "Selection Tracker". Welsh Liberal Democrats.
  35. ^ "Dr Thomas, who was chosen as the Plaid Cymru candidate to fight the Carmarthen West and South Pembs constituency at UK and Welsh level". Tenby Today. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  36. ^ "Alistair Cameron". Welsh Liberal Democrats.
  37. ^ "Cadan ap Tomos to fight for Ceredigion for Welsh Lib Dems". Welsh Lib Dems. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  38. ^ "Plaid Cymru pick Gwynfor Evans' grandson to contest Dwyfor Meirionnydd". BBC News. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  39. ^ "Plaid Cymru announce Rhys Mills as candidate for Islwyn". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  40. ^ "Helen Mary Jones selected as Plaid-Cymru's Llanelli candidate". Llanelli Online. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  41. ^ "Jo Watkins". Welsh Liberal Democrats.
  42. ^ "Newport East". Welsh Liberal Democrats.
  43. ^ "Mike Hamilton". Welsh Liberal Democrats.
  44. ^ "Parties begin selection process for 2021 Senedd Election". Oggy Blog Ogwr. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  45. ^ "2021 Campaign Launch". The Party of Wales Pontypridd. 23 May 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  46. ^ https://twitter.com/Steven4PontyWLD/status/1305430222674722816
  47. ^ "Cris selected as Plaid's Preseli Pembrokeshire Senedd and Westminster candidate". County Echo. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  48. ^ "👏 Llongyfarchiadau @buffywills — selected as our @WelshLabour candidate for Rhondda in next year's @SeneddWales elections". Twitter. 13 July 2020.
  49. ^ "Sally Stephenson".