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Senedd votes to approve landmark reform bill

The Senedd has passed landmark legislation that will increase the size of the Senedd and change its voting system.

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The Senedd has passed landmark legislation that will increase the size of the Senedd and change its voting system.

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The bill, which received a two-thirds supermajority vote of 43-16 on the 8th May, will see the number of Senedd members increase from 60 to 96, addressing concerns about the effectiveness of the relatively small legislature.

Ministers in the Welsh Government are set to see changes as well, with the maximum number of ministers increasing to 17, not including the first minister and counsel general.


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The bill also pairs the 32 constituencies in Wales to create 16 for the 2026 Senedd election, with each returning six members. Senedd elections will also be held every four years instead of every five.

Counsel General and chief legal adviser to the Welsh Government, Mick Antoniw, said:

In a month when we mark 25 years of devolution in Wales, the passing of this Bill is a significant milestone for Welsh democracy.

Over the last quarter-century the Senedd’s responsibilities have grown, including law-making and tax-varying powers, but its capacity has not.

Wales is the most under-represented country in the UK – the Senedd has the least Members of any devolved Parliament in the country, and our UK Parliamentary seats are being reduced.

Today, Members of the Senedd have voted to correct that under-representation and strengthen our democracy. This vote will ensure our Senedd has greater capacity to scrutinise laws, spending plans, and hold the Welsh Government to account.

However, not all representatives were in favor of the bill. Darren Millar, the Welsh Conservative shadow constitution minister, criticised the changes, calling them a power grab that will damage the relationship between the public and their elected representatives.

The bill will move Wales away from the current additional-member electoral system to a new closed-list system, which allows voters to vote for political parties rather than individual candidates.

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