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Welsh Labour back increasing the size of the Senedd at party conference

12 Mar 2022 2 minute read
Former First Minister Alun Michael speaks in support of expanding the Senedd at the Welsh Labour conference.

Welsh Labour’s conference has voted unanimously in favour of increasing the size of the Senedd to between 80 to 100 members.

Expanding the Senedd from its current 60 members was included as part of the Plaid Cymru cooperation agreement with the Welsh Government.

However, there is no agreement as of yet about how those Senedd members will be elected. The current system includes a mix of 40 constituency and 20 proportionally elected members on regional lists.

Among those calling for a larger Senedd was  Police Crime Commissioner for South Wales Police, Alun Michael, who said it would be needed to be able to devolve powers of criminal justice and policing.

“Having served in parliament for 20 years, having served as the first First Minister, I’m conscious more perhaps than anybody have the importance of the role of the backbencher and it is important, as has already been said that holding to account, but there are other things as well,” he said.

“On committees. That’s the place where consensus can be built and where questions can be asked.

“A lot of things are happening to prepare the way for the devolution of criminal justice and policing – it will happen. And my belief is it will happen sooner than we think. Because it’s right.

“The expansion of the Senedd is essential because the journey of devolution is not yet complete. There is more to come. And the capacity needs to be there for those backbenchers to do the job of holding to account that you rightly said, cannot be done by to smaller number of representatives.”


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I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
6 months ago

Another small step forward, but a significant one.

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
6 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

One small step for ‘Welsh’ Labour. One giant leap for Welsh democracy. (We hope.)

Leigh Richardss
Leigh Richardss
6 months ago

A very welcome and significant development in the continuing evolution of Welsh parliamentary democracy! I hope Welsh Labour will now work with Plaid Cymru to ensure the most democratic voting system – the Single Transferable Vote system – is adopted for elections to our expanded Senedd.

Richard
Richard
6 months ago

Y plaid werdd hefyd os bosib ✊🏼

Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
6 months ago

I also favour the Single Transferable Vote system for future Senedd elections but it might be a slight exageration to describe it as the most democratic system available, especially if 3-member constituencies are used. The German Bundestag system ensures precise party proportionality but the number elected varies unpredictably from election to election, which in my opinion would not suit Wales. My preference for Wales would be 16 5-member STV constituencies arrived at by pairing up the 32 new Westminster constituencies. If 80 MSs is considered too low then 96 could be elected by having 6-member constituencies.

Leigh Richardss
Leigh Richardss
6 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Meagher

STV is certainly an improvement on what we have now Adrian, and with STV literally every vote counts so would hopefully encourage a better turnout in senedd elections

Richard
Richard
6 months ago

A big moment I feel here for Wales – da Iawn Llafur 👏🏼 Ymlaen at y gwaith rwan – cydeithio plîs I cael y cam nesa.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

I remember in the early 2010s Peter Hain was calling for the “Assembly” (as it was called then) to be elected by first past the post, which would have meant that Wales would be a one party state. This sounds promising but at the same time be wary.

Richard
Richard
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

We live in a one party state unfortunately – but thankfully not a one party country here in Wales

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Peter Hain rose on the A.A. thing in South Africa. Was a shock when he dissed us?

hdavies15
hdavies15
6 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Hain developed his supremacist side when he settled in UK.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

This is a no-brainer. Our Senedd Cymru needs more Senedd members, less Welsh Conservatives. Positive politics is needed to remove the Conservative canker that blights our society.

Last edited 6 months ago by Y Cymro
Argol Fawr!
Argol Fawr!
6 months ago

As Welsh Gov’s influence and budgets dwindle, they become more bureaucratic and spend what they get on themselves instead of the Welsh people. Yeh! Give me some.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
6 months ago

STV indeed has its merits. However, my concern is with the issue of large constituencies where the AS may seem very remote from the lives of his/her constituents. My suggestion, if anyone would like to consider it, is that there should be 80-100 smaller constituencies electing a single AS, so that the AS is closer to the people she/he represents and knows them better. Perhaps a system that could be used for this is supplementary vote (as used with police and crime commissioners). This system ensures link with the community, ensures that the AS has at least 50% of the… Read more »

R W
R W
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Not for me. That would barely be better than first past the post. Give me STV any day of the week.

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