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No door-to-door canvassing allowed in Senedd campaign under new Covid rules

12 Mar 2021 2 minute read
Voting in Wales

Door-to-door canvassing will not be allowed when campaigning for the Senedd election under the new Covid-19 restrictions, the First Minister has said in a statement.

Leafletting will be allowed but those doing so will have to stick within the five mile ‘stay local’ restrictions, he said.

The Senedd election on May 6 is now definitely going ahead, however, Mark Drakeford confirmed.

Senedd members had previously discussed a new law to allow a postponement of up to six months.

“The review this week concluded the criteria for postponing the Senedd election have not been met,” he said. “Full preparations for 6 May will therefore continue.

“Guidance for election campaigning will be published on Friday and elements will be reflected in the regulations.

“The move to ‘stay local’ will mean leafletting will be able to resume on a local basis, but regulations will still prohibit door-to-door canvassing.”

The Welsh Government along with the Scottish and UK Governments released a joint statement Tuesday saying that elections would go ahead on 6 May.

The statement said that campaigning is important to ensure voters are well informed before going to the polls, and candidates must be able to communicate with the electorate.

“Campaigning activity, such as leafleting, will commence across the UK as COVID restrictions ease; the pace of this will vary between nations and campaigners in each nation will need to follow the guidance and regulations made by the relevant Government,” the statement said.

The statement said that emergency proxy voting rules will mean that voters who are self-isolating due to coronavirus exposure, testing or symptoms can still vote.

The Welsh, Scottish and UK Governments’ joint declaration said that despite the pandemic “we have seen elections delivered successfully across the globe”.

“National elections have gone ahead in many countries including Ireland, France, Italy, Portugal, Israel, South Korea and the United States,” it said. “Further elections are due to be held around the world between March and May.

“Voters will soon begin to receive their polling cards for these elections and we would like to reassure them of the extensive preparations that are being made to allow these polls to take place in a way that minimises the risk of spreading the coronavirus.”

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