Politics of Wales

Politics in Wales forms a distinctive polity in the wider politics of the United Kingdom, with Wales as one of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom (UK).

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford (left) with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) in 2019

Constitutionally, the United Kingdom is a unitary state with one sovereign parliament delegating power to the devolved national parliaments, with some executive powers divided between governments. Under a system of devolution adopted in the late 1990s three of the four countries of the United Kingdom, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, voted for limited self-government, subject to the ability of the UK Parliament in Westminster, nominally at will, to amend, change, broaden or abolish the national governmental systems. As such, the Senedd (Welsh Parliament; Welsh: Senedd Cymru) is not de jure sovereign.

Executive power in the United Kingdom is vested in the Queen-in-Council, while legislative power is vested in the Queen-in-Parliament (the Crown and the Parliament of the United Kingdom at Westminster in London). The Government of Wales Act 1998 established devolution in Wales, and certain executive and legislative powers have been constitutionally delegated to the Welsh Parliament. The scope of these powers was further widened by the Government of Wales Act 2006.