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Campaign launched to change voting for Senedd elections

25 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Senedd in Cardiff Bay.

A new campaign group has launched a petition calling for a change in how Senedd elections work.

Wales For Democracy started the petition following the announcement of new Senedd reforms announced last week.

Under the system proposed by the bill supported by Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour, from the 2026 Senedd election, the D’Hondt formula will be used (this formula has been used to determine the Senedd’s regional list Members).

16 new Senedd constituencies will be created by pairing the 32 new UK Parliamentary constituencies for the 2026 Senedd election. Six Members will subsequently be elected from closed lists, in each of the 16 constituencies, with parties having the power to decide which order candidates would be elected in.

This means that voters will vote for the party, not the candidate.

Wales For Democracy wants the elections to use single transferable votes (STV), which would mean voters ranking candidates based on their preference.

To get elected, a candidate needs a set amount of votes, known as the quota. The people counting the votes work out the quota based on the number of vacancies and the number of votes cast.

Each voter has one vote. Once the counting has finished, any candidate who has more number ones than the quota is elected. Extra votes over the quota are then moved to each voter’s second favourite candidate.

If no one reaches the quota, the least popular candidate is removed and votes allocated to them are moved to their second favourite candidate. This process continues until every seat is filled.

Support

Both Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats have previously expressed their support for a system such as this along with a number of Labour Senedd members.

Wales For Democracy has encouraged “all democrats” to sign their petition and hope to have discussions with MS’s over the coming months and work with relevant organisations.

Ewan Chappell, Wales For Democracy Head of Campaigns said: “While we welcome the long overdue end of first past the post in Wales, we believe now is the opportunity for us to go even further and introduce a truly representative voting system.”

“Both Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats are fully supportive of STV along with many Labour MS’s, there is no need for us to compromise on such an important issue.”

“Of course STV has its disadvantages but compared to first past the post and the closed list system being proposed it’s clearly the best option.”


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NadineD
NadineD
8 months ago

Link?

Mark Mansfield
Admin
8 months ago
Reply to  NadineD

Sorry, the link was broken. It’s working now.

Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
8 months ago

My personal choice of preference would be STV but unlike closed lists with mandatory zipping, STV cannot guarantee equal numbers of men and women being elected. It is incumbent on those agitating for STV to come up with proposals to make STV gender-friendly.

Rob
Rob
8 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Meagher

Most people don’t care about the gender of the candidates. It is the ability to represent the electorate and to do the job properly is what matters most.

hdavies15
hdavies15
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Correct. Making it a male or female issue is a big distraction. Both males and females have the capacity to be good representatives. They are also well represented among the ranks of the easily distracted!

Paul
Paul
8 months ago

The good thing with the proposed change to PR is that the Senedd are trying to improve the system. Rather than holding firm to FPTP with all its faults. Yes the system will not be perfect. There are better ways to do PR, for instance treat the whole country as one constituency. But this is a good evolution rather than complete revolution of the system .

wayne
wayne
8 months ago

New System is flawed from the start, an independent doesn’t stand a chance! and the party decides on the order of the donkeys and the electorate are stuck with an Eoh, Eoh, based on the donkey vote.

I think that the electorate should have a say in what system they want. A period of time to allow the Electorate to propose systems. Followed by a vote by the electorate on what system they wish to have.

CapM
CapM
8 months ago
Reply to  wayne

I’d prefer a STV system. “an independent doesn’t stand a chance!” However a party that doesn’t stand a chance of winning or is under represented in a FPTP system has a much greater chance of gaining seats through the d’Hondt system in a multi seat constituency. Labour are the block to STV. In 2011 the UK electorate voted two to one to reject an Alternative Vote system so the FPTP based system remains(for general elections). Probably because of – Believing they wouldn’t be able to cope with a system any more complicated that putting one cross in one box. Believing… Read more »

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