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New reforms to 'strengthen our democracy in Wales'

10 September 2020

Senedd Building in Cardiff Bay

A Senedd committee has recommended the creation of a larger parliament for Wales, elected by Single Transferable Vote.

A new report published today proposes that a Senedd consisting of between 80 and 90 members be elected using the new voting system from 2026 onwards.

Since 2017, Professor Laura McAllister, part of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, has been influential in the Senedd reform agenda, and several of her recommendations have already been implemented. Her substantial work for the Senedd committee has been highlighted today, along with contributions by Professor Roger Awan-Scully and Dr Jac Larner who are cited in the report for their work on electoral modelling.

Professor Laura McAllister, Chair of the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform commented:

"I very much welcome the Committee's report representing as it does the next stage in creating a Senedd that is fit for purpose and can properly deliver for the people of Wales. The issue of its size will not go away and needs addressing as soon as possible.

"Proper capacity to scrutinise the actions of government and other agencies has been further highlighted during recent events, including the pandemic and Britain's exit from the EU. Effective scrutiny will pay for itself.

"I am very glad too that the Committee has reinforced the Expert Panel's commitment to creating a more proportional electoral system to elect a larger Senedd. Equal mandates, voter choice and diversity should be at the heart of a new electoral system. I would also urge the issue of legislative quotas to be kept firmly on everyone's agenda for reforms. The public profile and credibility of the Senedd, as well as its effectiveness would be enhanced by "baking in" diversity to its enlargement and reform."

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