A way forward for Senedd reform
First Minister Mark Drakeford and Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price have today set out a way forward for Senedd reform.
They want Senedd reform to be implemented in time for the next election in 2026, even if some of the changes are introduced on an interim basis.
They have set out a joint position statement in a letter to Huw Irranca-Davies, the chair of the cross-party Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform. It is designed to support the committee’s work to make recommendations, which will shape a Senedd Reform Bill.
The committee must publish its report by 31 May. It will then be debated and voted on by the Senedd.
The joint position statement is the result of ongoing discussions between the First Minister and the Leader of Plaid Cymru, as part of the Co-operation Agreement.
- The Senedd should have 96 Members.
- It should be elected using closed proportional lists with integrated statutory gender quotas and mandatory zipping.
- Seats should be allocated to parties using the D’Hondt formula.
- The 2026 Senedd election should use the final 32 UK Parliament constituencies proposed by the Boundary Commission for Wales once it has concluded its 2023 Parliamentary Review.
- These constituencies should be paired to create 16 Senedd constituencies. Each constituency should elect six Members.
- A full boundary review should be instigated in this Senedd term and its recommendations should take effect from the subsequent Senedd election.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“The case for Senedd reform has been made. We now need to get on with the hard work to create a modern Senedd, which reflects the Wales we live in today. A Parliament that truly works for Wales.
“The joint position statement we are publishing today will help support the important work of the cross-party Special Purpose Committee to move Senedd reform forwards.”
Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru, said:
“These reforms will lay the foundations for a stronger Welsh democracy and a fairer, more representative Senedd that will look entirely different to the outdated political system at Westminster.
"A stronger, more diverse, more representative Senedd will have a greater capacity to perform its primary purpose of making a positive difference to the lives of the people of Wales"
Notes to editors
Huw Irranca-Davies MS
Chair, Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform
10 May 2022
As you will be aware, Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru recently voted to support Senedd reform at our respective party conferences and to enable further cross-party negotiations on the detail of Senedd reform proposals to progress.
The detailed work of your committee to date, the McAllister Report and the previous Senedd’s Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform has facilitated a number of discussions between our two parties to explore areas of common ground.
As a result of those discussions, we set out below our joint view on the package of proposals that is most likely to succeed in achieving the 2/3rds Senedd majority that is required by law to deliver reform.
We are grateful for the hard work of your committee in exploring some of the core elements of Senedd reform. We are confident that the statement below will enable you to make recommendations on these fundamental issues.
We are mindful that there are a number of further matters that will need to be considered by the Government and by the Senedd once the work of preparing and scrutinising the proposed legislation gets underway. We have committed to undertake further detailed work on these matters.
Mark Drakeford MS Adam Price MS
Prif Weinidog Leader of Plaid Cymru
Senedd Reform joint position statement
Senedd reform will be implemented in time for the next scheduled election to the Senedd in 2026. As a result, some aspects will need to be delivered on an interim basis.
The Senedd should have 96 Members. It should be elected using closed proportional lists with integrated statutory gender quotas and mandatory zipping. Seats should be allocated to parties using the D’Hondt formula.
The 2026 Senedd election should use the final 32 UK Parliament constituencies proposed by the Boundary Commission for Wales once it has concluded its 2023 Parliamentary Review. These constituencies should be paired in order to create 16 Senedd constituencies. Each constituency should elect six Members.
In addition, a full boundary review should be instigated in this Senedd term and its recommendations should take effect from the subsequent Senedd election. Whilst ensuring that proportionality is maintained or enhanced, the parameters for this review should include, amongst other things, a broadly equal number of electors and the same number of Members per constituency.
The powers to review Senedd boundaries, including the power to pair constituencies for the 2026 election, should be conferred on the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales. The Senedd reform legislation should take steps to reconstitute and rename the Commission to reflect its new functions.