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How is the Senedd elected?

Why do I have two votes, and why do I have five Senedd Members?

Yes – it’s a bit more complicated than just voting for your local MP in a General Election. That’s because the Senedd system has an element of proportional representation. This meanst the final outcome better represents all the votes across Wales, rather than just the votes for the winner in their local constituency.

There are 60 Senedd Members, with 40 elected to represent constituencies and 20 elected to represent regions. You get to vote for who your local Senedd Member is, and then you vote again for which parties you would like to see representing you across the region.

From its history, its members, its powers, and voting in its elections, this video will tell you everything you need to know about the Senedd.

How the regional seats work

There are five regions across Wales, with four seats in each: North Wales, Mid and West Wales, South Wales West, South Wales Central, South Wales East.

The regional vote is divided by the number of constituencies won by each party in the region.

So if a party does well in your region by winning lots of constituencies, then the regional seats will more likely be shared by the parties that win quite a lot of regional votes, but not many constituencies.

This makes it more difficult for one party to win a majority of the all the seats in the Senedd, and it also allows smaller parties to gain representation.

Smaller parties, like the Green Party, would find it very difficult to win any constituencies in Wales, but have come close to winning regional seats before, as you only need around 7% of the regional vote to win a seat.

It is how smaller parties like UKIP won representation at Senedd in 2016 – not by winning constituencies, but by doing well enough across the regional vote to be reflected in the final tally.

You can use this digital tool to help show you what happens to the regional and constituency result under different scenarios.

It means everyone in Wales is represented by five Members of the Senedd.

We each have a local MS representing our constituency, and four MSs representing the region we live in. You can contact any and all of them to talk about things that matter to you.

“It's time to vote! It's time to what? V-O-T-E, it's time to vote!” Lizzo

Get registered

Register to vote by 19 April 2021. If you don’t register in time, you won’t get to vote in the Senedd Elections on  6 May, and you won’t get to have your say in your future and the future of Wales.

Head over to the Gov.uk website to register your vote today. It only takes 5 minutes!

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