Welsh Elections 101

With less than a year to go until May 6th, you may be thinking about who you're going to be voting for.

We've already broken down the devolved elections in Scotland for you, so it's time to turn your attention to the who's who in the Welsh elections.

After a referendum the Welsh Parliament - Senedd Cymru - was set up in 1999, created to give more power to the Welsh people - everything from education and health, to transport and public services.

So how does it work?

There are 60 Members of the Senedd (MSs), 40 of whom represent individual constituencies in Wales.

Another 20 represent the five regions of Wales - South Wales East, South Wales Central, South Wales West, Mid and West Wales, and North Wales. Each of these regions has four MSs.

Voters get two ballots each. These count toward one vote for their constituency MS, and the other for a party for their region.

Who's running?

There are a fair few parties running to be elected in this year's election, but here are the biggest competitors.

Welsh Labour

Credit - Wikimedia Commons

Represented by Wales' current leader, First Minister Mark Drakeford. Currently Labour - or Llafur Cymru to our Welsh speakers out there - have 29 seats in the Senedd, and were the largest party in 2016 - but wasn't enough for them to win an outright majority. Labour's central policies in this election focus on getting the next generation into work. The new Young Persons' Guarantee hopes to provide of a place in work, education, training or self-employment for everyone in Wales under the age of 25.

Labour's two main rivals are the Welsh Conservatives and Plaid Cymru, lead by Andrew RT Davies and Adam Price, respectively.

Credit - Wikimedia Commons

Welsh Conservative Party

So next up we have the Welsh Tories (Ceidwadwyr Cymreig), led by Andrew RT Davies. Their main policies look at building the M4 Relief Road, upgrade the A55 in North Wales to reduce pinch points and the A40 to boost the economy of West Wales. They also don't want any new powers for the Welsh Government. The party also have an aim of building 100,000 houses over the next decade, including 40,000 social homes, with all new homes carbon neutral by 2026.

Plaid Cymru

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Next up we have Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales - literally. Adam Price's vision for Wales includes a policy which would hold an independence referendum by 2026. The party also boasts policies which include a guaranteed job, on at least a Real Living Wage, or high-quality training for every 16–24-year-old in the country. With a focus on education, Plaid Cymru hope to employ 2,000 extra teachers and 2,000 extra support staff in schools across Wales.

So here are the main players, but these aren't the only options for the Welsh citizens out there. Other parties running for election this week include - Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party, Wales Green Party and many independent candidates.

Make sure you do your research and know what each candidate and party represent come May 6th!

Roll on the elections...

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