2021 Senedd election


The next Senedd election is due to be held on Thursday 6 May 2021[1] to elect 60 members to Senedd Cymru - Welsh Parliament. It will be the sixth general election since the (formerly named) Assembly was established in 1999. The election is due to be held alongside the 2021 United Kingdom local elections and Scottish Parliament election.

2021 Senedd Cymru election

 2016 On or before 6 May 2021 2026 

All 60 seats to Senedd Cymru - Welsh Parliament
31 seats needed for a majority
 
Leader Mark Drakeford Paul Davies Adam Price
Party Labour Conservative Plaid Cymru
Leader since 6 December 2018 6 September 2018 28 September 2018
Leader's seat Cardiff West Preseli Pembrokeshire Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
Last election 29 seats 11 seats 12 seats
Current seats 29 11 10
Seats needed 2 20 21

 
Leader Mark Reckless Neil Hamilton Jane Dodds
Party Brexit Party UKIP Liberal Democrats
Leader since 15 May 2019 26 September 2016 3 November 2017
Leader's seat South Wales East Mid and West Wales not in Senedd
Last election New party 7 seats 1 seat
Current seats 4 1 1
Seats needed 26 30 30

 
Leader Neil McEvoy
Party Welsh National Party
Leader since 15 January 2020
Leader's seat South Wales Central
Last election New party
Current seats 1
Seats needed 30

Incumbent First Minister

Mark Drakeford
Labour


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It will be the first election in which 16 and 17 year olds and legally resident foreign nationals are allowed to vote in Wales, the largest extension of the franchise in Wales since 1969. Both changes were a result of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020.[2]

Seven parties had Assembly Members (AMs) in the fifth Assembly: Welsh Labour led by First Minister Mark Drakeford, the Welsh Conservatives led by Paul Davies, Plaid Cymru led by Adam Price, the Brexit Party led by Mark Reckless, the UK Independence Party led by Neil Hamilton, the Welsh Liberal Democrats led by Jane Dodds and the Welsh National Party led by Neil McEvoy.

Electoral system


In elections for the Senedd, each voter has two votes in the additional member system. The first vote is for a candidate to become the Member for the voter's constituency, elected by the first past the post system. The second vote is for a regional closed party list of candidates. Additional member seats are allocated from the lists by the D'Hondt method, with constituency results being taken into account in the allocation. The overall result is approximately proportional.

In accordance to the Wales Act 2014, a candidate is allowed to stand in both a constituency and a regional list. However, holding a dual mandate with the House of Commons is illegal, meaning a Member of the Senedd cannot also be an MP.

This will be the first election where 16 and 17 year olds can vote, following the introduction of a new law in January 2020.[2]

Background


The 2019 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom was the last of its kind. The newly formed Brexit Party came out on top in Wales. Plaid Cymru, who support full Welsh independence, came second, marking the first time it had beaten Labour in a Wales-wide election.[3] The Brexit Party also formed a parliamentary group in the Assembly made up of the 4 ex-UK Independence Party members, lead by Mark Reckless.[4] A snap general election was called for 12 December 2019. Welsh Labour suffered an 8% drop in their vote and they were completely wiped out of North Wales, apart from in Alyn and Deeside. Labour ended up losing 6 parliamentary seats to the Welsh Conservatives in Boris Johnson's landslide victory. These seats included Bridgend, which has been represented on the assembly level by former First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones since the 1999 election. The Conservatives also picked up Brecon and Radnorshire from the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds.[5]

On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union. This followed a referendum on the matter in which Wales voted to leave the EU.[6] South Wales has been highlighted by many as evidence that Brexit was a cross-party issue, as those areas typically vote overwhelmingly for Labour. Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, and Caerphilly all voted overwhelmingly in favour of Brexit, but are all represented in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom by Labour MPs.

Plaid campaigned for a remain vote in the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.[7] Plaid later supported, during the final stages of Brexit process, a second referendum on the matter.[8][9] Plaid argued that there should be a referendum on Welsh independence after Brexit, so that Wales could apply for EU membership.[10] In a September 2019 YouGov poll, support for Welsh independence was between 24% in favour and 52% opposed in all circumstances, while 33% were in favour of independence and 48% opposed if it meant retaining membership of the European Union.[11] A February 2020 YouGov poll concluded that 21% were in favour of independence and 56% against.[12]

Retiring Members


The following MSs will not run for re-election:

Constituency/Region Departing AM Party
Bridgend Carwyn Jones[13] Welsh Labour
South Wales East David Melding[14] Welsh Conservatives
Dwyfor Meirionnydd Dafydd Elis-Thomas[15] Independent

Target seats


Below are listed all the constituencies which require a swing of less than 7.5% from the 2016 result to change hands.

Labour targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2016 Majority Swing to gain Labour's place 2016 Result
1 Aberconwy Conservative 1,609 3.35 3rd
2 Camarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Conservative 3,373 5.75 2nd
3 Preseli Pembrokeshire Conservative 3,930 6.8 2nd
4 Rhondda Plaid Cymru 3,459 7.35 2nd
5 Monmouth Conservative 5,147 16.4 2nd

Plaid Cymru targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2016 Majority Swing to gain PC's place 2016 Result
1 Llanelli Labour 382 0.65 2nd
2 Blaenau Gwent Labour 650 1.55 2nd
3 Aberconwy Conservative 754 1.7 2nd
4 Cardiff West Labour 1,176 1.85 2nd
5 Caerphilly Labour 1,575 2.9 2nd
6 Neath Labour 2,923 5.75 2nd

Conservative targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2016 Majority Swing to gain Con's place 2016 Result
1 Vale of Glamorgan Labour 777 1.05 2nd
2 Vale of Clwyd Labour 768 1.55 2nd
3 Gower Labour 1,829 3.05 2nd
4 Wrexham Labour 1,325 3.25 2nd
5 Cardiff North Labour 3,667 4.9 2nd
6 Clwyd South Labour 3,016 6.8 2nd

Liberal Democrat targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2016 Majority Swing to gain LD's place 2016 Result
1 Cardiff Central Labour 817 1.55 2nd
2 Ceredigion Plaid Cymru 2,408 4.1 2nd
3 Montgomeryshire Conservative 3,339 7.05 2nd

Constituency nominations


NB: MSs in office (i.e. incumbents) before the election are bolded. Winners are highlighted with party colours.

Constituency Conservative Labour Plaid Cymru Lib Dem Brexit Party UKIP Green Others
Aberavon David Rees
Aberconwy Janet Finch-Saunders Aaron Wynne
Alyn and Deeside Jack Sargeant
Arfon Sian Gwenllian
Blaenau Gwent Alun Davies
Brecon and Radnorshire Kirsty Williams
Bridgend Sarah Murphy[16]
Caerphilly Hefin David Delyth Jewell
Cardiff Central Jenny Rathbone Wiliam Rees
Cardiff North Joel Williams Julie Morgan
Cardiff South and Penarth Vaughan Gething
Cardiff West Mark Drakeford Neil McEvoy
(Welsh National Party)
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Adam Price Leena Farhat
Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Angela Burns Rhys Thomas [17]
Ceredigion Elin Jones Elizabeth Evans
Clwyd South Ken Skates
Clwyd West Darren Millar Elin Walker Jones
Cynon Valley Vikki Howells
Delyn Hannah Blythyn
Dwyfor Meirionnydd Mabon ap Gwynfor [18]
Gower Rebecca Evans
Islwyn Rhianon Passmore Rhys Mills [19]
Llanelli Lee Waters Helen Mary Jones [20]
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney Dawn Bowden
Monmouth Nick Ramsay
Montgomeryshire Russell George
Neath Jeremy Miles Sioned Williams
Newport East John Griffiths
Newport West Jayne Bryant
Ogmore Huw Irranca-Davies Luke Fletcher [21]
Pontypridd Mick Antoniw Heledd Fychan
Preseli Pembrokeshire Paul Davies
Rhondda Leanne Wood
Swansea East Mike Hedges
Swansea West Julie James Dai Lloyd
Torfaen Lynne Neagle
Vale of Clwyd Gareth Davies Ann Jones
Vale of Glamorgan Jane Hutt
Wrexham Lesley Griffiths
Ynys Môn Rhun ap Iorwerth

Opinion polling


The constituency vote is shown as semi-transparent lines, while the regional vote is shown in full lines.

Graph of the evolution of the opinion polls for the 2021 Welsh Parliament election (the right border represents the last possible day for the election to be held). Lines represent local regressions (LOESS) with a span of 0.5.

See also


References


  1. "Wales Bill (Dates)" (PDF). publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  2. "16 and 17 year olds get right to vote - a historic day for democracy in Wales". National Assembly for Wales. 27 November 2019. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  3. "Brexit Party tops European poll in Wales". 27 May 2019 via www.bbc.com.
  4. "Assembly members join forces with Farage". BBC News. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  5. "Tories claim big scalps in Wales election results". 13 December 2019 via www.bbc.com.
  6. Perraudin, Frances (22 September 2019). "English people living in Wales tilted it towards Brexit, research finds" via www.theguardian.com.
  7. "Plaid: Stay in EU to solve its problems". BBC. 10 February 2016. Archived from the original on 31 May 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  8. "Welsh Senedd votes to back a People's Vote". Plaid Cymru (The Party of Wales). Archived from the original on 12 January 2020.
  9. "Plaid Cymru: European Election Manifesto 2019" (PDF). Retrieved 26 May 2019. A vote for Plaid Cymru in the European elections on 23 May will be a vote for Wales to stay inside the European Union
  10. Mosalski, Ruth (26 April 2019). "'Wales should have an independence vote' say Plaid Cymru". Wales Online. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  11. Mairs, Nicholas (13 September 2019). "Shock poll reveals four in ten Welsh voters would back independence to stay in EU". Politics Home. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  12. Mosalski, Ruth (4 February 2020). "Poll shows support for independence growing in Wales". walesonline.co.uk.
  13. "Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones to leave assembly in 2021". BBC News. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  14. "Wales' Welsh Conservative David Melding to stand down at 2021 Senedd election". BBC News. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  15. "Lord Elis-Thomas vows not to stand in 2021 election". BBC News. 12 April 2020. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  16. "Sarah Murphy 🌹 (@sarah4bridgend) | Twitter". twitter.com.
  17. "Dr Thomas, who was chosen as the Plaid Cymru candidate to fight the Carmarthen West and South Pembs constituency at UK and Welsh level". Tenby Today. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  18. "Plaid Cymru pick Gwynfor Evans' grandson to contest Dwyfor Meirionnydd". BBC News. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  19. "Plaid Cymru announce Rhys Mills as candidate for Islwyn". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  20. "Helen Mary Jones selected as Plaid-Cymru's Llanelli candidate". Llanelli Online. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  21. "Parties begin selection process for 2021 Senedd Election". Oggy Blog Ogwr. Retrieved 13 May 2020.