Welsh Lib Dems push for Senedd reform

30 Jan 2024

Ahead of the upcoming Senedd reforms, the party have set out their position to see the Senedd expanded in terms of its members whilst also pushing for the fairest electoral system possible with the introduction of the Single Transferable Vote system.

The Welsh Government proposals, backed by Plaid Cymru, were published ahead of the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform concluding its work, leading Jane Dodds MS to call the proposals a “stitch up”.

The party has also raised concerns over the proposed pairing of constituencies, which risk having no meaning for electors, and the continuing use of the closed list D’hont electoral system.

 Commenting, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

“We as a party have long called for a larger and more representative Senedd and that is why I welcome these proposed reforms.

For more than two decades we have grappled with an ongoing debate around ensuring that our parliament is properly equipped to the job it needs to do.

Having played a full role in the Senedd Reform Committee where we gathered evidence on how to create a more effective and fairer democracy for the people of Wales, I am glad to see that we are finally starting to answer those key questions about how the Senedd can meet the current and future challenges our country faces.

However, at the same time, I am opposed to the continuing use of the Closed List voting system.

There’s no evidence that the proposals from Welsh Labour and their Plaid Cymru partners will benefit voters.

What’s more, they will rob voters of choice and essentially lock smaller parties out of the Senedd, something which will prevent voters from being given a meaningful choice over who represents them.

The Single Transferable Vote would, both in theory and in practice, help shape a fairer, more accountable democracy in Wales where every vote counts.

I am also concerned that the proposed new constituencies do not represent communities which residents feel that they belong in and as a result will fail to ensure greater accountability between Members of the Senedd and their communities.

I will be working hard over the coming weeks to build support for amendments to the Bill that will ensure we don’t miss out on the opportunity to deliver a democracy and Senedd that works for Wales.”