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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
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.
- Local election results 2017
- Local election results 2012
- Local election results 2008
- Local election results 2004
- Local election results 1999
- Local election results 1995
- Local election results 1993
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. 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.
The next Senedd election is due to be held on Thursday 7 May 2026.
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.
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).
Past elections and referendums
UK parliament elections
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.
|Plaid Cymru||Independent||Liberal Unionist||Independent Labour||Others|
Parts of this article (those related to There have been four general elections since 2010.) need to be updated.January 2020)(
|Total||Gains||Losses||Net +/-||% seats||Total||%||Change|
|Monster Raving Loony||0||0||0||0||345||0.0|
- Not including Brecon and Radnorshire and Aberconwy, which the Conservative Party won in 2017 but did not control when parliament was dissolved.
- Not including Brecon and Radnorshire, which the Liberal Democrats won in a 2019 by-election.
- Not including Aberconwy, previously controlled by the independent Guto Bebb who lost the Conservative Party whip in 2019.
- Party entered candidates in the 2017 general election but not in any Welsh seats.
- Party has entered candidates in past general elections but not the 2017 general election.
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.
|European Election 2019: Wales|
|Brexit Party||Nathan Gill (1)
James Wells (3)
Gethin James, Julie Price
|Plaid Cymru||Jill Evans (2)
Carmen Smith, Patrick McGuinness, Ioan Bellin
|Labour||Jacqueline Jones (4)
Matthew Dorrance, Mary Wimbury, Mark Whitcott
|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|
2019 opinion polls
|Date(s)||Polling organisation/client||Sample||Lab||UKIP||Con||Plaid||Green||Lib Dems||Brexit||Change UK||Others||Lead|
|16–20 May 2019||YouGov/ITV||1,009||15%||2%||7%||19%||8%||10%||36%||2%||0%||17%|
|10–15 May 2019||YouGov/Plaid Cymru||1,133||18%||3%||7%||16%||8%||10%||33%||4%||0%||15%|
|2–5 April 2019||YouGov/ITV||1,025||30%||11%||16%||15%||5%||6%||10%||8%||1%||14%|
|22 May 2014||2014 EU election results||733,060||28.2%||27.6%||17.4%||15.3%||4.5%||4.0%||N/A||N/A||3.2%||0.6%|
|European Election 2014: Wales|
Jayne Bryant, Alex Thomas, Christina Rees
James Cole, Caroline Jones, David Rowlands
Aled Davies, Dan Boucher, Richard Hopkin
|Plaid Cymru||Jill Evans
Marc Jones, Stephen Cornelius, Ioan Bellin
|Green||Pippa Bartolotti, John Matthews, Chris Were, Rosemary Cutler||33,275||4.54||−1.0|
|Liberal Democrats||Alec Dauncey, Robert Speht, Jackie Radford, Bruce Roberts||28,930||3.95||−6.7|
|BNP||Mike Whitby, Laurence Reid, Jean Griffin, Gary Tumulty||7,655||1.04||−4.4|
|Britain First||Paul Golding, Anthony Golding, Christine Smith, Anne Elstone||6,633||0.9||0.00|
|Socialist Labour||Andrew Jordan, Katherine Jones, David Lloyd Jones, Liz Screen||4,459||0.61||−1.2|
|NO2EU||Robert Griffiths, Claire Job, Steve Skelly, Laura Picand||2,803||0.38||−0.9|
|Socialist (GB)||Brian Johnson, Richard Cheney, Ed Blewitt, Howard Moss||1,384||0.19||0.00|
|European Election 2009: Wales|
Evan Price, Emma Greenow, David Chipp
Lisa Stevens, Rachel Maycock, Leighton Veale
|Plaid Cymru||Jill Evans
Eurig Wyn, Ioan Bellin, Natasha Asghar
David Bevan, Kevin Mahoney, David Rowlands
|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|
|European Election 2004: Wales|
|Labour||Glenys Kinnock, Eluned Morgan
Gareth Williams, Gwennan Jeremiah
Owen Williams, Felicity Elphick, Albert Fox
|Plaid Cymru||Jill Evans
Jon Blackwood, Eilian Williams, Gwenllian Lansdown
|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||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|
|European Election 1999: Wales|
|Labour||Glenys Kinnock, Eluned Morgan
Joe Wilson, Gareth Williams, Jane Hutt
|Plaid Cymru||Jill Evans, Eurig Wyn
Marc Phillips, Susanna Perkins, Owain Llywelyn
Chris Butler, Owen John Williams, Robert Buckland, Edmund Hayward
|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|
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- Statement of Parties Nominated and Notice of Poll / Datganiad o’r Pleidiau a Enwebwyd a Rhybudd o Etholiad Cardiff City Council
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