Elections in Wales

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politics and government of
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In addition to community councils, Wales has elections to four tiers of government: 22 unitary local authorities, the National Assembly for Wales, the United Kingdom Parliament and the European Parliament.

Local government

There are elections to 22 unitary authorities across Wales every four years, most recently on 4 May 2017. The electoral system currently used is First Past The Post. Key unitary authorities are Cardiff, Newport and Swansea councils, which all lie in the southern coastal belt.

National Assembly for Wales

The National Assembly for Wales has existed since 1999, after Welsh voters narrowly approved it in the 1997 devolution referendum. It is based in Cardiff Bay, and there are elections every five years for 60 Assembly Members (AMs). Voters have two votes: 40 AMs are elected by the First Past The Post system in individual constituencies, and a further 20 AMs are elected by the Regional Top-Up system in which voters vote by region. The regions are South Wales East, South Wales Central, South Wales West, Mid and West Wales and North Wales. Each region elects four AMs, to achieve approximately proportional representation overall.

Latest election

Past elections and referendums

UK Parliament

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 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.

Year Conservative Labour Liberal Democrat/
Liberal
Plaid Cymru Independent Liberal Unionist Independent Labour Others
1885 4 - 29 - - - - 1
1886 6 - 26 - - 1 - 1
1892 3 - 30 - - - - 1
1895 8 - 24 - - 1 - 1
1900 6 1 26 - - 1 - 1
1906 - 1 28 - - - 1 -
Jan 1910 2 5 27 - - - - -
Dec 1910 3 6 26 - - - 1 -
1918 4 10 19 - - - - 20
1922 6 18 2 - - - 1 9
1923 4 19 11 - - - - 2
1924 9 16 11 - - - - -
1929 1 25 10 - - - - -
1931 6 15 5 - - - 1 9
1935 6 18 8 - - - - 4
1945 3 25 7 - - - - 1
1950 3 27 5 - - - - 1
1951 5 27 3 - - - - 1
1955 5 27 3 - - - - 1
1959 6 27 2 - - - - 1
1964 6 28 2 - - - - -
1966 3 32 1 - - - - -
1970 7 27 1 - - - 1 -
Feb 1974 8 24 2 2 - - - -
Oct 1974 8 23 2 3 - - - -
1979 11 22 1 2 - - - -
1983 14 20 2 2 - - - -
1987 8 24 3 3 - - - -
1992 6 27 1 4 - - - -
1997 - 34 2 4 - - - -
2001 - 34 2 4 - - - -
2005 3 29 4 3 1 - - -
2010 8 26 3 3 - - - -
2015 11 25 1 3 - - - -
2017 8 28 - 4 - - - -

Detailed Breakdowns

2010

Party Candidates Seats Seats
change
Votes % %
change
Labour 40 26 4 531,601 36.2 6.5
Conservative 40 8 5 382,730 26.1 4.7
Liberal Democrat 40 3 1 295,164 20.1 1.7
Plaid Cymru 40 3 1 165,394 11.3 1.3
UKIP 40 0 0 35,690 2.4 1.0
BNP 19 0 0 23,088 1.6 1.5
Independent 0 0 15,339 1.0
Blaenau Gwent PV 1 0 1 6,458 0.4
Green 10 0 0 6,293 0.4 0.1
Christian 0 0 1,947 0.1
Socialist Labour 4 0 0 1,155 0.0
New Millennium Bean Party 1 0 0 558 0.0
National Front 1 0 0 384 0.0
Monster Raving Loony 2 0 0 352 0.0
TUSC 2 0 0 341 0.0
Communist 1 0 0 196 0.0
Alliance for Green Socialism 1 0 0 127 0.0
Turnout: 1,446,690 64.9

2005

Party Candidates Seats Seats
change
Votes % %
change
Labour 29 5 594,821 42.7 5.9
Conservative 3 3 297,830 21.4 0.4
Liberal Democrat 4 2 256,249 18.4 4.6
Plaid Cymru 3 1 174,838 12.6 1.7
UKIP 0 20,297 1.5
Green 0 7,144 0.5
Forward Wales 0 3,461 0.2
Legalise Cannabis 0 1,772 0.1
BNP 0 1,689 0.1
Socialist Labour 0 1,605 0.1
Veritas 0 1,437 0.1
Respect 0 643 0.0
Liberal 0 605 0.0
Socialist Alliance 0 557 0.0
Communist 0 440 0.0
Yourself 0 284 0.0
Bean Party 0 159 0.0
Independent 1 1 28,888 2.3
Turnout: 1,392,719 62.4

2001

Party Candidates Seats Seats
change
Votes % %
change
Labour 40 34 666,956 48.6 6.1
Conservative 40 0 288,623 21.0 1.4
Plaid Cymru 40 4 195,893 14.3 4.4
Liberal Democrat 2 189,254 13.8 1.5
UKIP 0 12,552 0.9
Green 0 3,753 0.3
Socialist Labour 0 2,805 0.2
Socialist Alliance 0 2,258 0.2
ProLife Alliance 0 1,609 0.1
Communist 0 384 0.0
BNP 0 278 0.0
Others 7,959 0.6
Turnout: 1,372,324 61.6

European Parliament

Wales is a constituency in European Parliament elections.

See also

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