What Is The Election About
So what possibilities does the Senedd actually have and what law can they actually pass, change and influence? Well, with the budget sent from Westminster they have the power to change many aspects of Welsh law including but not limited to
- Financial and economic matters
- Home affairs
- Trade and industry
- Social security
- Equal opportunities
There are 60 members that are elected into the Senedd which are up every 4 years. However, there are different roles and types of votes that you need to know about for the election on May 6th.
40 out of the 60 members represent the constituencies of Wales. These are the same as the Welsh constituencies that are in Westminster and there’s 1 seat per constituency. The 40 constituencies use the ‘first-past-the-post system.’ This means the candidate with the most votes is elected into the position (Simple isn’t it?).
Well, the other 20 members are the ‘regional members.’ There are 4 seats per region with 5 regions. These members are elected via the ‘additional member system.’ This one is a bit more complicated so stay with me now. Each party’s total votes are divided by ‘1+ (the number of members in the Senedd).”
For example, if Plaid wins 5 seats in the constituency votes, their regional votes’ total will be “number of regional votes/ (1+5).”
The party with the highest total number of votes then wins one of the seats. The process then repeats until all the seats are taken. With this system, we will see a range of parties getting seats across Wales, as the high earning constituency parties lose votes regionally due to this.
Recent statistics show that students in higher education make up between 5-6% of the Welsh population. With these numbers, an election can have a completely different outcome for the area that the universities are located in.
Well, now that I’ve got you interested you must want to know “am I registered to vote? How do I register to vote? When do I have to register to vote by? “ You’d be right to ask all of those questions, as the clock is ticking and you have until 19thApril to register.
There are two ways to register to vote. The first way is online and the second way is via post. To be brief, all the information you need and the documents can be found on the Senedd Wales website. Have no fear though, I’ve got you covered with an easy to follow guide on how to register.
To register you’ll need to be 14 or over (sorry to the random 13-year-old that has somehow managed to find this and decided to read it. Better luck next time). It is advised that you will need your national insurance number (but also says you don’t need it (I know you just rolled your eyes)).
Online Registration: The registration will take about 5 minutes. Now for you lucky lot that decided to move away from home for uni, there is a question to allow you to register for your family home and your university accommodation. “Do you also live at a second address?” There is an answer specific for students to enter their university accommodation address. Once you’ve finished all the questions you’ll be ready to vote.
Postal Registration: Postal registration is just as easy. Print out the form from the government website. Follow all the questions and instructions on the form. Then send it off to the address on the form.
Either way when you register, you only need to do it once per address. So you’ll be set to go for the next election as well.
If you would like more information on the history of the Senedd and the upcoming elections as well as the candidates in our local areas, go to our voting guide.