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Voting Labour could ‘hand seats to anti-democracy party Abolish’, says campaign group

07 Apr 2021 3 minutes Read
Picture by Rossographer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Voting Labour could hand seats to Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party, according to a campaign group.

Vote Future Wales claims 277,221 voters wasted their vote in the 2016 Senedd election by voting for Labour on the regional ballot because they handed seats to UKIP and the Tories.

This time around it fears that people casting their votes for Labour on the regional list could help, Abolish, which it has called an “anti-democracy party”, win seats in the national parliament it wants to scrap.

The non-party campaign group is pushing for Labour voters to give their second vote, which is on the regional list, to other progressive parties, such as the Wales Green Party, Plaid Cymru, and the Liberal Democrats instead.

The Senedd elects its members through a two-ballot voting system, the first of which is known as the Constituency Ballot, and it picks its 40 members using the First Past the Post electoral system.

This means the candidate with the most votes in each constituency wins the seat.

The second ballot is the regional, where 20 members are elected across the five electoral regions through the Additional Member System. Instead of voting for candidates, people vote for a political party.

The votes are then put through a complicated mathematical formula to work out which parties get any seats.

Under this system, parties that pick up a lot of constituency seats, such as Labour, usually do not win many on the regional ballot.

‘Most important’ 

Andrew Creak, Campaign Manager for Vote Future Wales, said: “The upcoming election will be one of the most important in Wales’ devolution history, with 16 and 17 year olds finally being given the right to vote, as well as the growing support of independence and the dangerous anti devolution movement becoming the far right’s new obsession to replace Brexit.

“Labour will lose seats, and one single Liberal Democrat will not keep them in power, the most likely outcome of next month’s election will be a Labour-Plaid coalition.

“But despite Labour being predicted to lose several constituency seats, they will not gain any more seats on the regional ballot, but Labour continues to urge its supporters the throw away their second vote on them to help maintain their vanity.

“In 2016 277,221 voters wasted their vote in four of the five regions, which gave seats to the conservatives and UKIP. Now in 2021, it is predicted that these wasted votes will hand seats to the anti-democracy party ‘Abolish the Welsh Assembly’.

“It’s time for Labour supporters to put party politics aside and vote for progressive alternatives on the regional list who can support a Labour coalition government but still hold it to account, which a Labour government desperately needs in order to survive and adapt since it has become a party so out of touch with its electorate after feeling safe in government since 1999.

“If Labour voters use their second votes on parties like The Greens, Plaid Cymru, Lib Dem’s and other progressive parties who have a chance of gaining extra seats through the d’hont system, Labour will be in a stronger position to create progressive and real change in Wales.”

More information can be found at https://votefuture.wales/

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