Welsh government publishes plans for 36 more Senedd members and elections every four years | UK News

The Welsh government has published its plans for 36 more Senedd members.

The Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill outlines proposals to increase its size to 96 members.

According to the Welsh government’s own figures, the bill as a whole will cost up to £120 million to implement over an eight-year period.

The Welsh Conservatives, the largest opposition group in the Senedd, say people in Wales don’t want any more politicians.

But the government argues the Senedd will be better equipped to hold ministers to account, scrutinise policy and engage with the electorate.

Wales currently has fewer members than the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

There are 90 members in the Northern Ireland Assembly and 129 in the Scottish Parliament.

Mark Drakeford (left) and former Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price announcing their co-operation deal in November 2021

At Westminster, the number of Welsh constituencies is set to drop from 40 to 32 at the next election after a boundary review.

These will be paired to form 16 constituencies for Senedd elections.

Each of these constituencies will elect six members from closed lists, using a formula which has been used to elect the Senedd’s regional members.

Under the D’Hondt formula, the number of votes cast for each party is divided by the number of seats that party has already won, plus one.

All candidates for Senedd elections must live in Wales and Welsh voters will head to the polls every four years instead of five, if proposals are approved.

Wales’s first minister would be given the ability to appoint 17 government ministers instead of 12, in addition to the counsel general.

The number of ministers could be increased to 18 or 19, but that would require further approval from the Senedd.

Senedd members would also have the flexibility to elect a second deputy presiding officer.

Read more:
More Senedd members among top priorities for year ahead
First Minister to quit Senedd at next election
Why has the default speed limit changed to 20mph in Wales?

To pass, the bill needs a super majority of the Senedd – 40 of its 60 members.

It’s likely to receive that level of support as the plans are backed by Plaid Cymru, which has formed a co-operation agreement with the Labour government to support them on a number of policies including Senedd reform.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GreenLeaf Tw2sl