Elections in Wales


There are four types of elections in Wales: elections to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, elections to the devolved Senedd (Welsh Parliament; Welsh: Senedd Cymru), local elections to the 22 principal areas, and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, in addition to by-elections for each aforementioned election. Elections are held on Election Day, which is conventionally a Thursday. Since the passing of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 for general elections, all four types of elections are held after fixed periods, though early elections to the UK parliament can occur in certain situations, with devolved elections being postponed to avoid elections to the UK parliament and Senedd coinciding with each other. The four electoral systems used for elections in Wales are: first-past-the-post (for UK elections and local elections), the additional member system (for Senedd elections) and the supplementary vote (for Police and Crime Commissioner elections).

Local government elections


The results of the most recent local elections, showing control party by council (left), and largest party by ward (right).

There are elections to 22 unitary authorities across Wales every four years, most recently on 4 May 2017. The electoral system used is First Past The Post. The largest unitary authorities in Wales are Cardiff, Newport and Swansea councils, which all lie in the southern coastal belt.

Devolved parliament elections


There have been five elections to the devolved parliament of Wales, based in Cardiff Bay since 1999. These elections are held every five years to elect sixty Members of the Senedd (MSs; formerly Assembly Members, ASs). Voters have two votes: forty MSs are elected by the First Past the Post system in individual constituencies, and a further twenty MSs are elected by a regional top-up system in which voters vote by region. The regions are: Mid and West Wales, North Wales, South Wales Central, South Wales East and South Wales West, whereas the constituencies are the same used for elections to the UK parliament. Each region elects four MSs, to achieve approximately proportional representation overall, with every individual in Wales being represented by five MSs in total, their local constituency MS and four regional MSs. Between its inception in 1999, it was known as the 'National Assembly for Wales'. Legislation was passed in 2020, for a name change on 6 May 2020 to its current name, 'Senedd Cymru' or the 'Welsh Parliament' (or simply 'Senedd') to fully reflect its constitutional status as a law-making and tax-setting parliament.[1] It is based in Cardiff Bay, initially (as the Assembly) in Tŷ Hywel from 1999 to 2006, until it moved to the Senedd building, which opened on 1 March 2006, where the Assembly and now Senedd has been based since 2006. The elections were held every four years from 1999, but were increased to five years following the Wales Act 2014 for the 2016 election.

The 2021 Senedd election on 6 May 2021, was the first election to the devolved parliament since its name change. The election took place akin to previous elections when it was known as the National Assembly for Wales.

as Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament

Elections to the institution prior to 2020, with the last being in 2016, were done under the previous name the 'National Assembly for Wales' (see below). Following legislation in 2020, any subsequent elections, from the 2021 Senedd election will be under its new name.

2026

The next Senedd election is due to be held on Thursday 7 May 2026.

2021

It was the sixth general election since the establishment of the institution in 1999. It was held along with the other 2021 United Kingdom local elections and was the first election where 16 and 17-year-olds were allowed to vote in Wales, which is the largest extension of the franchise in Wales since 1969. Both changes were a result of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill 2019.[2]

as the National Assembly for Wales (1999-2020)

Elections to the then 'National Assembly for Wales' occurred from its first election in 1999 up until the 2016 election (with any subsequent elections being as the 'Senedd'). This follows the 1997 devolution referendum where Welsh voters narrowly approved the formation of the devolved institution. The institution is now known as the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) (see above).

2016


Overall turnout: 45.3%

2011

Overall turnout: 42.2%

2007

Overall turnout: 43.7%

2003


Overall turnout: 38.2%

1999

Overall turnout: 46%

Past elections and referendums

UK parliament elections


Map of the 2019 election results.
Map of the 2017 election results.

Wales has been eligible to send MPs to Westminster since the Laws in Wales Act 1535. Between then and 1885, most constituencies were categorised as county or borough constituencies; each sent one MP to Westminster. As the Industrial Revolution took hold there were many calls for reform (particularly in towns such as Merthyr Tydfil). Parliament eventually[when?] allowed the new towns to vote, and this introduced the first Labour MPs. The first leader of the Labour Party in Parliament, Keir Hardie, was one of the two MPs for Merthyr Tydfil. The following table shows the composition of Wales' Westminster MPs since 1885.

Year Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat/
Liberal
Plaid Cymru Independent Liberal Unionist Independent Labour Others
1885 4 - 29 - - - - 1
1886 6 - 26 - - 1 - 1
1892 3 - 30 - - - - 1
1895 8 - 24 - - 1 - 1
1900 6 1 26 - - 1 - 1
1906 - 1 28 - - - 1 -
Jan 1910 2 5 27 - - - - -
Dec 1910 3 6 26 - - - 1 -
1918 4 10 19 - - - - 20
1922 6 18 2 - - - 1 9
1923 4 19 11 - - - - 2
1924 9 16 11 - - - - -
1929 1 25 10 - - - - -
1931 6 15 5 - - - 1 9
1935 6 18 8 - - - - 4
1945 3 25 7 - - - - 1
1950 3 27 5 - - - - 1
1951 5 27 3 - - - - 1
1955 5 27 3 - - - - 1
1959 6 27 2 - - - - 1
1964 6 28 2 - - - - -
1966 3 32 1 - - - - -
1970 7 27 1 - - - 1 -
Feb 1974 8 24 2 2 - - - -
Oct 1974 8 23 2 3 - - - -
1979 11 22 1 2 - - - -
1983 14 20 2 2 - - - -
1987 8 24 3 3 - - - -
1992 6 27 1 4 - - - -
1997 - 34 2 4 - - - -
2001 - 34 2 4 - - - -
2005 3 29 4 3 1 - - -
2010 8 26 3 3 - - - -
2015 11 25 1 3 - - - -
2017 8 28 - 4 - - - -
2019 14 22 - 4 - - - -

Detailed breakdowns

2019
Party[3] Seats Votes
Total Gains Losses Net +/-  % seats Total  % Change
Labour 22 0 6 6 55 632,035 40.9 8.0
Conservative 14 6[lower-alpha 1] 0 6 35 557,234 36.1 2.5
Plaid Cymru 4 0 0 10 153,265 9.9 0.5
Liberal Democrats 0 0 0[lower-alpha 2] 0 92,171 6.0 1.5
Brexit Party 0 0 0 0 83,908 5.4 new
Green 0 0 0 0 15,828 1.0 0.7
  Independents 0 0 0[lower-alpha 3] 0 6,220 0.4 N/A
  Gwlad Gwlad 0 0 0 0 1,515 0.1 new
Cynon Valley 0 0 0 0 1,322 0.1 new
Monster Raving Loony 0 0 0 0 345 0.0
Christian 0 0 0 0 245 0.0 new[lower-alpha 4]
SDP 0 0 0 0 181 0.0 new[lower-alpha 4]
Socialist Alternative 0 0 0 0 88 0.0 new[lower-alpha 5]
Total40 1,544,357 Turnout 66.6
  1. Not including Brecon and Radnorshire and Aberconwy, which the Conservative Party won in 2017 but did not control when parliament was dissolved.
  2. Not including Brecon and Radnorshire, which the Liberal Democrats won in a 2019 by-election.
  3. Not including Aberconwy, previously controlled by the independent Guto Bebb who lost the Conservative Party whip in 2019.
  4. Party entered candidates in the 2017 general election but not in any Welsh seats.
  5. Party has entered candidates in past general elections but not the 2017 general election.
Popular vote
Labour
40.9%
Conservative
36.1%
Plaid Cymru
9.9%
Liberal Democrats
6.0%
Brexit Party
5.0%
Greens
1.0%
Parliament seats
Labour
55%
Conservative
35%
Plaid Cymru
10%
2005
Party Candidates Seats Seats
change
Votes  %  %
change
Labour 29 5 594,821 42.7 5.9
Conservative 3 3 297,830 21.4 0.4
Liberal Democrats 4 2 256,249 18.4 4.6
Plaid Cymru 3 1 174,838 12.6 1.7
UKIP 0 20,297 1.5
Green 0 7,144 0.5
Forward Wales 0 3,461 0.2
Legalise Cannabis 0 1,772 0.1
BNP 0 1,689 0.1
Socialist Labour 0 1,605 0.1
Veritas 0 1,437 0.1
Respect 0 643 0.0
Liberal 0 605 0.0
Socialist Alliance 0 557 0.0
Communist 0 440 0.0
Yourself 0 284 0.0
Bean Party 0 159 0.0
Independent 1 1 28,888 2.3
Turnout: 1,392,719 62.4
2001
Party Candidates Seats Seats
change
Votes  %  %
change
Labour 40 34 666,956 48.6 6.1
Conservative 40 0 288,623 21.0 1.4
Plaid Cymru 40 4 195,893 14.3 4.4
Liberal Democrats 2 189,254 13.8 1.5
UKIP 0 12,552 0.9
Green 0 3,753 0.3
Socialist Labour 0 2,805 0.2
Socialist Alliance 0 2,258 0.2
ProLife Alliance 0 1,609 0.1
Communist 0 384 0.0
BNP 0 278 0.0
Others 7,959 0.6
Turnout: 1,372,324 61.6

European Parliament


Wales was a constituency in European Parliament elections. Following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union on 31 January 2020, Wales no longer elects representatives to the European Parliament.

2019

[4]

European Election 2019: Wales[5][6]
List Candidates Votes % ±
Brexit Party Nathan Gill (1)
James Wells (3)
Gethin James, Julie Price
271,404
(135,702)
32.46 32.46
Plaid Cymru Jill Evans (2)
Carmen Smith, Patrick McGuinness, Ioan Bellin
163,928 19.60 4.34
Labour Jacqueline Jones (4)
Matthew Dorrance, Mary Wimbury, Mark Whitcott
127,833 15.29 12.86
Liberal Democrats Sam Bennett, Donna Lalek, Alistair Cameron, Andrew Parkhurst 113,885 13.62 9.67
Conservative Daniel Boucher, Craig Lawton, Fay Jones, Tomos Davies 54,587 6.53 10.90
Green Anthony Slaughter, Ian Chandler, Ceri Davies, Duncan Rees 52,660 6.30 1.76
UKIP Kristian Hicks, Keith Edwards, Thomas Harrison, Robert McNeil-Wilson 27,566 3.30 24.26
Change UK Jon Owen Jones, June Davies, Matthew Paul, Sally Anne Stephenson 24,332 2.91 2.91
Turnout 836,195 37.1 5.6
2019 opinion polls
Date(s) Polling organisation/client Sample Lab UKIP Con Plaid Green Lib Dems Brexit Change UK Others Lead
16–20 May 2019YouGov/ITV1,00915%2%7%19%8%10%36%2%0%17%
10–15 May 2019YouGov/Plaid Cymru1,13318%3%7%16%8%10%33%4%0%15%
2–5 April 2019YouGov/ITV1,02530%11%16%15%5%6%10%8%1%14%
22 May 20142014 EU election results733,06028.2%27.6%17.4%15.3%4.5%4.0%N/AN/A3.2%0.6%

2014

European Election 2014: Wales
List Candidates Votes % ±
Labour Derek Vaughan
Jayne Bryant, Alex Thomas, Christina Rees[7][8]
206,332 28.15 +7.9
UKIP Nathan Gill
James Cole, Caroline Jones, David Rowlands[8][9]
201,983 27.55 +14.8
Conservative Kay Swinburne
Aled Davies, Dan Boucher, Richard Hopkin[8][10]
127,742 17.43 3.8
Plaid Cymru Jill Evans
Marc Jones, Stephen Cornelius, Ioan Bellin[8][11][12]
111,864 15.26 3.3
Green Pippa Bartolotti, John Matthews, Chris Were, Rosemary Cutler[8][13][14] 33,275 4.54 1.0
Liberal Democrats Alec Dauncey, Robert Speht, Jackie Radford, Bruce Roberts[8] 28,930 3.95 6.7
BNP Mike Whitby, Laurence Reid, Jean Griffin, Gary Tumulty[8] 7,655 1.04 4.4
Britain First Paul Golding, Anthony Golding, Christine Smith, Anne Elstone[8] 6,633 0.9 0.00
Socialist Labour Andrew Jordan, Katherine Jones, David Lloyd Jones, Liz Screen[8] 4,459 0.61 1.2
NO2EU Robert Griffiths, Claire Job, Steve Skelly, Laura Picand[8] 2,803 0.38 0.9
Socialist (GB) Brian Johnson, Richard Cheney, Ed Blewitt, Howard Moss[8][15] 1,384 0.19 0.00
Turnout 733,060 31.5 +1.1

2009

European Election 2009: Wales[16][17]
List Candidates Votes % ±
Conservative Kay Swinburne
Evan Price, Emma Greenow, David Chipp
145,193 21.2 +1.8
Labour Derek Vaughan
Lisa Stevens, Rachel Maycock, Leighton Veale
138,852 20.3 12.2
Plaid Cymru Jill Evans
Eurig Wyn, Ioan Bellin, Natasha Asghar
126,702 18.5 +1.1
UKIP John Bufton
David Bevan, Kevin Mahoney, David Rowlands
87,585 12.8 +2.3
Liberal Democrats Alan Butt Phillip, Kevin O'Connor, Nick Tregoning, Jackie Radford 73,082 10.7 +0.2
Green Jake Griffiths, Kay Roney, Ann Were, John Matthews 38,160 5.6 +2.0
BNP Ennys Hughes, Laurence Read, Clive Bennett, Kevin Edwards 37,114 5.4 +2.5
Christian Jeffrey Green, David Griffiths, Alun Owen, John Harrold 13,037 1.9 N/A
Socialist Labour Robert English, Richard Booth, Liz Screen, Judith Sambrook 12,402 1.8 N/A
NO2EU Robert Griffiths, Rob Williams, Laura Picand, Trevor Jones 8,600 1.3 N/A
Jury Team Paul Sabanskis, James Eustace, Neil Morgan, Steven Partridge 3,793 0.6 N/A
Turnout 684,520 30.4 11.0

2004

European Election 2004: Wales[18]
List Candidates Votes % ±
Labour Glenys Kinnock, Eluned Morgan
Gareth Williams, Gwennan Jeremiah
297,810
(148,905)
32.5 +0.6
Conservative Jonathan Evans
Owen Williams, Felicity Elphick, Albert Fox
177,771 19.4 3.3
Plaid Cymru Jill Evans
Jon Blackwood, Eilian Williams, Gwenllian Lansdown
159,888 17.4 12.2
UKIP David Rowlands, Clive Easton, Elizabeth Phillips, Timothy Jenkins 96,677 10.5 +7.4
Liberal Democrats David John Williams, Alison Goldsworthy, Nicholas Tregoning, Nilmini Priyanga de Silva 96,116 10.5 +2.3
Green Martyn Shrewsbury, Molly Scott Cato, David Bradney, Dorienne Robinson 32,761 3.6 +1.0
BNP John Walker, Pauline Gregory, James Roberts, Mark Stringfellow[19] 27,135 3.0 N/A
Forward Wales Ron Davies, Wendy Paintsil, Janet Williams, Graham Jones 17,280 1.9 N/A
Christian Democratic Party Catherine Smith, Christine West, Joseph Biddulph, Robert Evans 6,821 0.7 N/A
Respect Helen Griffin, Huw Williams, Raja Gul Raiz, Taran O'Sullivan 5,427 0.6 N/A
Turnout 917,686 41.4 +12.4

1999

European Election 1999: Wales[20]
List Candidates Votes % ±
Labour Glenys Kinnock, Eluned Morgan
Joe Wilson, Gareth Williams, Jane Hutt
199,690
(99,845)
31.9 N/A
Plaid Cymru Jill Evans, Eurig Wyn
Marc Phillips, Susanna Perkins, Owain Llywelyn
185,235
(92,617.5)
29.6 N/A
Conservative Jonathan Evans
Chris Butler, Owen John Williams, Robert Buckland, Edmund Hayward
142,631 22.8 N/A
Liberal Democrats Roger Roberts, Peter Price, Alistair Cameron, Juliana Hughes, John Dixon 51,283 8.2 N/A
UKIP Dai Rees, Niall Warry, Idris Richard Francis, Alan Barham, David Lloyd 19,702 3.1 N/A
Green Molly Scott Cato, Klaus Armstrong-Braun, Sue Walker, Rachel Kalela, John Matthews 16,146 2.6 N/A
Pro-Euro Conservative William Powell, Jennifer Harris, Antonio Fernandes-Vidal, Alan Morris, Christopher Hodgkinson 5,834 0.9 N/A
Socialist Labour Elizabeth Screen, Darren Hickery, Stephen Bell, Miriam Bowen, George Tafarides 4,283 0.7 N/A
Natural Law David Hughes, Brian Francis, Helen Evans, Andrea Jarman, John Ashforth 1,621 0.3 N/A
Turnout 626,425 29.0 N/A

1994

Party Seats Seats
change
Votes  %  %
change
Labour 5 1 530,749 55.86 6.93
Plaid Cymru 0 162,478 17.10 4.21
Conservative 0 138,349 14.56 8.89
SLD 0 82,480 8.68 5.46
Green 0 19,413 2.04 9.11
Natural Law 0 6,081 0.64
UKIP 0 5,536 0.58
Independent 0 2,729 0.29
Socialist Alliance 0 1,270 1.33
Communist 0 1,073 0.11
Turnout: 950,158

1989

Party Seats Seats
change
Votes  %  %
change
Labour 4 1 436,730 48.93 4.1
Conservative 0 1 209,313 23.45 1.91
Plaid Cymru 0 115,062 12.89 0.69
Green 0 99,546 11.15 10.64
SLD 0 28,785 3.22 14.18
SDP 0 3,153 0.35
Turnout: 892,589

1984

Party Seats Seats
change
Votes  %  %
change
Labour 3 375,982 44.53 2.83
Conservative 1 214,086 25.36 10.98
Alliance 0 146,947 17.40 7.79
Plaid Cymru 0 103,031 12.20 0.41
Ecology 0 4,266 0.51
Turnout: 844,312

1979

Party Seats Seats
change
Votes  %  %
change
Labour 3 294,978 41.70
Conservative 1 257,029 36.34
Plaid Cymru 0 83,399 11.79
Liberal 0 67,962 9.61
Independent 0 4,008 0.57
Turnout: 707,376

See also


References


  1. "History of devolution". senedd.wales. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  2. "16 and 17 year olds get right to vote - a historic day for democracy in Wales". National Assembly for Wales. Retrieved 2019-12-24.
  3. "Results of the 2019 General Election in Wales". BBC News. Retrieved 2019-12-14.
  4. Statement of Parties Nominated and Notice of Poll / Datganiad o’r Pleidiau a Enwebwyd a Rhybudd o Etholiad Cardiff City Council
  5. "European election 2019: Brexit Party tops poll in Wales". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  6. "European Election 2019: UK results in maps and charts". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. Parry-Jones, Bryn (24 April 2014). "Statement of Persons Nominated". Pembrokeshire County Council. Archived from the original on 11 January 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  9. We announce regional MEP candidates for the Euro Elections UKIP Archived 10 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Results of Ballot". conservatives.com. Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  11. MEP Jill Evans tops list of Plaid Cymru's EU candidates Archived 22 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine BBC News
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. "The Wales Green Party has announced today that their Leader, Pippa Bartolotti, is their candidate for the upcoming European Elections to be held next May". Wales.greenparty.org.uk. 22 November 2013. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. "Socialists to Stand in Euro-elections | The Socialist Party of Great Britain". worldsocialism.org. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  16. "Electoral Office of Wales". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  17. "European Election 2009: Wales". BBC News. 8 June 2009. Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  18. "2004 Election candidates". UK Office of the European Parliament. Archived from the original on 4 October 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
  19. "walescand". 3 June 2004. Archived from the original on 18 February 2005. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  20. "1999 Election candidates". UK Office of the European Parliament. Archived from the original on 28 August 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2009.