Pwyllgor o’r Senedd Gyfan

Committee of the Whole Senedd

09/02/2021

Cynnwys

Contents

1. Bil Etholiadau Cymru (Coronafeirws) - Cyfnod 2: Ystyried Gwelliannau 1. Welsh Elections (Coronavirus) Bill - Stage 2: Consideration of Amendments
Grŵp 1: Pŵer y Llywydd i amrywio dyddiad am resymau heblaw coronafeirws (pŵer adran 4 o Ddeddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006 ac adran 6) (Gwelliannau 26, 10, 29, 18, 3) Group 1: Llywydd's power to vary date for reasons other than coronavirus (section 4 Government of Wales Act 2006 power and section 6) (Amendments 26, 10, 29, 18, 3)
Grŵp 2: Y cyfnod cyn etholiad, gan gynnwys ymddygiad a chyfle chyfartal (Gwelliannau 11, 27, 28, 34) Group 2: Pre-election period, including conduct and equality of opportunity (Amendments 11, 27, 28, 34)
Grŵp 3: Y broses ar gyfer cynnig gohirio o dan adran 5 (Gwelliannau 12, 1A, 1, 30, 15, 31, 14, 32, 16, 33) Group 3: Process for proposing a postponement under section 5 (Amendments 12, 1A, 1, 30, 15, 31, 14, 32, 16, 33)
Grŵp 4: Y diwrnod olaf posibl ar gyfer etholiad (Gwelliannau 13, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23) Group 4: Last possible election day (Amendments 13, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23)
Grŵp 5: Diwrnodau ychwanegol ar gyfer pleidleisio (Gwelliannau 2, 25) Group 5: Additional polling days (Amendments 2, 25)
Grŵp 6: Pwerau i ohirio is-etholiadau (Gwelliannau 19, 24) Group 6: Powers to postpone by-elections (Amendments 19, 24)
Grŵp 7: Gweithdrefnau ar gyfer Rheoliadau (Gwelliannau 4, 5, 7, 8, 9) Group 7: Procedures for Regulations (Amendments 4, 5, 7, 8, 9)
Grŵp 8: Pleidleisio drwy ddirprwy (Gwelliant 6) Group 8: Proxy voting (Amendment 6)
Grŵp 9: Adolygiad - paratoadau ar gyfer cynnal y pôl (Gwelliant 35) Group 9: Review - preparations for the holding of the poll (Amendment 35)

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Cyfarfu'r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 13:12.

The committee met by video-conference.

The meeting began at 13:12.

1. Bil Etholiadau Cymru (Coronafeirws) - Cyfnod 2: Ystyried Gwelliannau
1. Welsh Elections (Coronavirus) Bill - Stage 2: Consideration of Amendments

Croeso, bawb, i'r cyfarfod yma o Bwyllgor o’r Senedd Gyfan i drafod Bil Etholiadau Cymru (Coronafeirws). Cyn i ni ddechrau, dwi eisiau nodi ychydig o bwyntiau. Mae cyfarfod y Pwyllgor o’r Senedd Gyfan a gynhelir drwy gynhadledd fideo, yn unol â Rheolau Sefydlog Senedd Cymru, yn gyfystyr â thrafodion y Senedd at ddibenion Deddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006, a bydd rhai o ddarpariaethau Rheol Sefydlog 34 yn gymwys ar gyfer y cyfarfod heddiw.

Welcome, all, to this meeting of the Committee of the Whole Senedd to discuss the Welsh Elections (Coronavirus) Bill. Before we begin, I want to set out a few points. A Committee of the Whole Senedd meeting held by video conference, in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Welsh Parliament, constitutes Senedd proceedings for the Government of Wales Act 2006, and some of the provisions of Standing Order 34 will apply for today's meeting.

Grŵp 1: Pŵer y Llywydd i amrywio dyddiad am resymau heblaw coronafeirws (pŵer adran 4 o Ddeddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006 ac adran 6) (Gwelliannau 26, 10, 29, 18, 3)
Group 1: Llywydd's power to vary date for reasons other than coronavirus (section 4 Government of Wales Act 2006 power and section 6) (Amendments 26, 10, 29, 18, 3)

Y grŵp cyntaf o welliannau i'w trafod y prynhawn yma yw pŵer y Llywydd i amrywio dyddiad am resymau heblaw coronafeirws, pŵer adran 4 o Ddeddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006 ac adran 6. Mae'r grŵp cyntaf o welliannau yn ymwneud â'r pŵer yma, a gwelliant 26 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp yma. Dwi'n galw ar Rhun ap Iorwerth i gynnig y prif welliant, ac i siarad am y gwelliant yma ac unrhyw welliannau eraill yn grŵp. Rhun ap Iorwerth.

The first group of amendments relates to the Llywydd's power to vary dates for reasons other than coronavirus, section 4 Government of Wales Act 2006 powers and section 6. The first group of amendments relates to this power, and amendment 26 is the lead amendment. I call on Rhun ap Iorwerth to move and speak to the lead amendment and the other amendments in the group. Rhun ap Iorwerth.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 26 (Rhun ap Iorwerth).

Amendment 26 (Rhun ap Iorwerth) moved.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Llywydd, a phrynhawn da, bawb. Mae'r ffaith ein bod ni yma wedi ymgynnull yn rhithiol mewn Senedd lawn ar gyfer Cyfnod 2 o'r Bil yma yn dangos yn glir nad Bil cyffredin mo hwn, ac mae'r ffaith mai Aelod o'r gwrthbleidiau sy'n siarad yn gyntaf fel hyn yn tanlinellu rhywsut nad Bil Llywodraeth ydy hwn, ond Bil go iawn sy'n perthyn i ni i gyd fel Senedd ac, yn wir, Bil sy'n perthyn i bawb o bobl Cymru.

Fel dwi wedi dweud o'r blaen yn nhaith gyflym y Bil hyd yma, ein dymuniad ni ydy gweld yr etholiad yn mynd yn ei flaen fel y disgwyl ar 6 Mai, cyhyd â'i bod hi'n ddiogel i hynny ddigwydd, efo paratoadau ychwanegol yn cael eu rhoi yn eu lle. Boed i'r etholiad fynd yn ei flaen ai peidio, mae angen sicrhau bod y paratoadau yn yr wythnosau nesaf yn gwbl, gwbl, dynn. Mae pawb yn derbyn, dwi'n credu, y bydd y pandemig yn dal i fod yn hollbresennol yn ein cymdeithas ni dros y misoedd nesaf, ond pryd bynnag mae'r etholiad i ddigwydd, mae'r Bil yn darparu ffenestr o chwe mis. Mewn sefyllfa eithriadol ar gyfer cynnal yr etholiad, mi fydd angen rhai o'r mesurau arbennig yn eu lle sy'n cael eu clustnodi yn y ddeddfwriaeth yma, ac a ddaw'n welliannau i'r Bil sydd o'n blaenau ni.

Dwi, fel yr un sy'n agor y trafodion y prynhawn yma, am fanteisio ar y cyfle i osod allan ambell i egwyddor fydd, gobeithio, yn gallu ennill cefnogaeth ar draws y Senedd. Democratiaeth Cymru, fel dwi'n dweud, ydy perchennog y Bil yma. Mae o uwchlaw bob un ohonom ni. Dwi'n gobeithio, felly, y bydd plaid y Llywodraeth hefyd, er ei mwyafrif, yn cefnogi nifer fawr o welliannau yn yr ysbryd hwnnw. A dwi'n ddiolchgar am y trafodaethau dwi wedi eu cael ymlaen llawn efo'r Gweinidog â gofal am y Bil. Mae'n amlwg bod yna ysbryd o gydweithio yn digwydd yn barod, a dwi'n hyderus y gwelwn ni fwy a mwy o hynny yn y cyfnodau sydd i ddilyn.

Felly, egwyddorion: mae eisiau gwarchod rhag unrhyw ganfyddiad o weithredu ar sail cymhellion pleidiol wleidyddol yn fan hyn ac unrhyw ganfyddiad o gamddefnydd adnoddau cyhoeddus a allai fod yn sgil cwtogi y trefniadau hirsefydlog fel cyfnod diddymu statudol arferol. Felly mae tegwch yn holl, hollbwysig Mae eisiau cydnabod effaith y pandemig ar y gallu i gael ymgyrch ystyrlon. Mi drafodwn ni welliannau sydd yn ymwneud â hynny. Mae'n rhaid i'r ddeddfwriaeth roi mecanwaith mewn lle i fonitro ac adrodd yn gyson o'r pwynt yma ymlaen ar y paratoadau ar gyfer cynnal yr etholiad. Mae hynny hefyd yn egwyddor glir iawn.

Mi ddechreuaf efo'r gwelliannau yma. Yn gysylltiedig â'r egwyddorion dwi wedi eu crybwyll yn barod, pwrpas ein gwelliannau ni yn y grŵp yma ydy tanlinellu'r pwynt y bydd yna yn gyfreithiol, o basio'r Bil yma, ddau fecanwaith posib ar waith ar gyfer symud dyddiad yr etholiad, a'r ddau ohonyn nhw'n ymwneud â'r Llwydd: un yn fecanwaith sydd wedi bodoli ers blynyddoedd o dan Ddeddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006, a'r llall yn fecanwaith unigryw sydd wedi'i ddatblygu i ymateb i sefyllfa y pandemig yma, lle mae gallu'n cael ei gynnig i'r Prif Weinidog i wneud cais i'r Llywydd ynghylch gohirio'r etholiad am reswm yn ymwneud â'r coronafeirws. A'r bwriad, dan welliannau 26 a 29, ydy ceisio sicrwydd ar y record nad y bwriad, petai angen gohirio'r etholiad oherwydd COVID, fyddai defnyddio pŵer presennol y Llywydd sydd o dan Ddeddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006—Deddf oedd wedi ei hysgrifennu heb fod wedi rhagweld y gallem ni fod â phandemig yn para blwyddyn. Fyddai hi ddim, yn syml iawn, yn dderbyniol yn ein tyb ni i ohirio mor hwyr yn y dydd ag, o bosib, y diwrnod cyn yr etholiad oherwydd COVID. Er hynny, dwi yn derbyn o bosib y gallai fod yna amgylchiadau eraill allai fod yn bresennol unrhyw bryd lle y gallai'r Llywydd fod angen yr hawl hwnnw. Felly, chwilio am sicrwydd ydw i gan y Gweinidog, wrth inni benderfynu i wthio'r gwelliannu yma i bleidlais ai peidio, na fydd yna fwriad i wneud penderfyniad yn seiliedig ar resymau pandemig dros ohirio funud olaf. Ie, mae angen cael y pwerau arferol gan y Llywydd i oedi, fel y byddai cyn unrhyw etholiad, ond mae'n rhy hwyr yn y dydd erbyn hynny i fod yn chwilio am ohiriad oherwydd COVID; dylai penderfyniadau fod wedi cael eu gwneud ymlaen llaw.

Thank you very much, Llywydd, and a very good afternoon to you all. The fact that we are gathered virtually in a Committee of the Whole Senedd for the Stage 2 proceedings of this Bill clearly demonstrates that this is no ordinary Bill, and the fact that it's a Member of the opposition parties that's opening the debate underlines that this isn't a Government Bill, but a Bill that belongs to us all as a Senedd, and a Bill that belongs to all of the people of Wales.

As I've said in the past during the swift journey of the Bill to date, our aspiration is to see the election held, as expected, on 6 May, as long as it is safe for that to happen, with additional preparations put in place. Were the election to proceed or not, we need to ensure that the preparations over the next few weeks are very tightly drawn. I think everyone accepts that the pandemic will still be ever present in our society over the next few months, but whenever the election happens, the Bill provides a window of six months. In extraordinary circumstance to hold the election, some of the special measures will need to be in place, and those are set out in this legislation, and my amendments to the Bill also do that.

Now, as the Member opening this debate, I want to take this opportunity to set out a few basic principles that I hope will garner support across the Senedd. Welsh democracy is the owner of this Bill. It transcends each and every one of us, and I hope therefore that the party of Government, despite their majority, will support many amendments in that spirit. And I'm grateful for the discussions that I have had with the Minister responsible for this Bill. It's clear that there is a spirit of collaboration already in train, and I'm confident that we will see more and more of that during ensuing stages.

So, the principles involved: we need to safeguard against any perception that anyone is operating on a party political basis here, and any perception of an abuse of public resources that could emerge from the reduction of the long-established statutory dissolution period. Therefore, fairness is extremely important here. We need to recognise the impact of the pandemic on a meaningful campaign, and we will discuss amendments related to that issue. The legislation needs to put a mechanism in place to monitor and report regularly from this point forward on the preparations for the staging of an election. That is another clear principle.

I will start with the amendments in this group. Related to the principles that I have already mentioned, the purpose of our amendments in this group is to highlight the point that legally, in passing this Bill, there will be two possible mechanisms for varying the date of the election, both of them relating to the Llywydd: one has existed for many years under the Government of Wales Act 2006, and the other, a unique mechanism developed to respond to this pandemic, where the First Minister is able to make a request to the Llywydd to delay the election for reasons related to the coronavirus. And the purpose of amendments 26 and 29 is to seek assurances on the record that were there a need to delay the election for COVID reasons, the intention would not be to use the current existing powers in the Government of Wales Act 2006—an Act that was written without the context of a year-long pandemic. Quite simply, it wouldn't be acceptable, in our view, to postpone so late in the day as possibly the day before the election because of COVID. However, I do accept that there may be other circumstances at any point in time when the Llywydd may need that power to postpone. So, I'm seeking an assurance from the Minister, as we decide whether or not to push these amendments to a vote, that there is no intention to make a decision based on reasons relared to the pandemic for a last-minute postponement. Yes, we need the usual powers held by the Llywydd to postpone, as would be the case before any election, but it would be too late in the day by then to seek a postponement on the basis of COVID, as the decision should have been made earlier.

13:15

Llywydd, I move amendments 10 and 18, tabled in my own name. We'll be supporting the Government's amendment 3 and Plaid Cymru's amendments 26 and 29. The Welsh Conservatives believe the Senedd elections should take place on Thursday 6 May. Elections should only be delayed for exceptional reasons. While this pandemic is undoubtedly exceptional, many countries, including Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Israel, the United States, Spain, France, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea, have succeeded in holding free and fair democratic elections. A further range of elections are also due to be held internationally between March and May this year.

The UK Government has announced that local police and crime commissioner and mayoral elections will take place in England, and police and crime commissioner elections in Wales on 6 May, and have published a robust delivery plan to ensure these go ahead smoothly and in a way that minimises the risk of spreading coronavirus. This includes an estimated £92 million of Government grant funding to local authorities for the elections, incorporating a £31 million uplift to directly address costs associated with making the elections COVID-19 secure. Delaying the election unnecessarily would undermine our democracy and damage the credibility of our still young Senedd. All the current evidence shows a definite and sustained decline in the incidence of coronavirus in Wales. The rolling case rate in the past seven days was 115.4 per 100,000 on 3 February, down from 592 on 19 December, and the positivity rate for tests was 9.77 per cent—both criteria below the thresholds for the alert level 4 lockdown. And the most vulnerable in our society continue to be vaccinated against COVID-19, giving greater confidence that a safe election should be able to go ahead on Thursday 6 May. However, we have proposed a number of amendments to ensure that if this Bill is approved, there are safeguards in place to protect both the integrity of the ballot and our democratic process.

Our amendments 10 and 18 seek to ensure that the Llywydd's power is not triggered any later than 11 working days prior to polling day. This is to minimise the risk of the election being delayed after the dispatch of postal votes or after voting has begun—and when I said the 'Llywydd's power', the Llywydd's power to delay. Throughout the entire debate around the Senedd elections, we have been clear that the election should go ahead but that if it must be delayed, that delay should be as minimal as possible.

13:20

Y Gweinidog i gyfrannu—Julie James.

The Minister to make her contribution—Julie James.

Thank you, Llywydd, I move amendment 3, tabled in my name. The Government has been very clear that we wish the election to go ahead on 6 May, and that all preparations should be taken with that in mind. However, what this pandemic has shown us is that we can never know what is around the corner, and the rapidity with which events changed in the run up to Christmas Members will be very familiar with. And so I think it's very sensible to put a Bill in place that will allow us to react correctly in the cause of public safety to the running of the elections, but obviously the Government would like the elections to go ahead on 6 May, as would everybody else who’s contributed. 

My amendment 3 gives effect to recommendation 6 of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee's Stage 1 report. It places a duty on the Llywydd to make a statement confirming the day fixed for the holding of the poll and explain why it is necessary to further vary the date of the poll in the election that has been fixed under section 6 of the Bill. This amendment will increase the transparency around the execution of the power.

The power in section 6 serves a different purpose to that in section 5. It is intended to replicate the existing power in section 4 of the Government of Wales Act. It serves the purpose of allowing the Llywydd to postpone the election at short notice for a reason not relating to coronavirus. Such a reason could be the occurrence of an unforeseeable event that would have a drastic impact upon the country and our election. Amendments 10, 18, 26 and 29 all place restrictions on this power. As it would be irresponsible in our view to fetter the Llywydd's powers in this way, we oppose those amendments.

If agreed, amendments 26 and 29 would mean that the Llywydd could not exercise this power after 28 April. These amendments propose to align the Llywydd's existing power under GoWA with the shorter dissolution period and the power to postpone the election for a reason relating to coronavirus under sections 3 and 5 of the Bill. But it creates a gap—after 28 April and up to the day of the poll—when the poll could not be postponed for any reason. This approach carries significant risk. It is entirely conceivable that an event or an emergency could arise in the period after the Senedd's dissolution that would make the poll impossible to hold on 6 May, but possible to hold in the period immediately beforehand or in the month thereafter. The effect of the amendment would be that it would not be legally possible to postpone the poll after 28 April, even if that was the right thing to do. This is why GoWA provides the Llywydd can exercise the power in the period when the Senedd is dissolved and why this must continue to be the case.

We oppose amendments 10 and 18 for similar reasons. These amendments seek to prevent the powers to postpone in section 6 of this Bill and in section 4 of GoWA being used in the 11 working days prior to the date of the poll. An 11-working-day period, as proposed in these amendments, could be over 14 calendar days. Although a two-week period provides a longer notice of postponement for administrators, in our view it does not provide sufficient flexibility to respond to events, especially for the Llywydd's emergency powers. For that reason, Llywydd, I urge Members to therefore oppose amendments 26, 10, 29 and 18, and to support amendment 3. Diolch.

13:25

Rhun ap Iorwerth i ymateb i'r ddadl.

Rhun ap Iorwerth to reply to the debate.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Llywydd. Mi wnaf i ddweud yn gyntaf: mi fyddwn ni yn derbyn gwelliant y Gweinidog yn y grŵp yma sy'n ymateb i argymhelliad gan y pwyllgor deddfwriaeth. Yn fyr iawn ar welliant y Ceidwadwyr, rydyn ni yn cytuno efo'r egwyddor sydd wrth wraidd y gwelliant yna, sef yr un ofn â ni y gallai'r etholiad gael ei ohirio yn llawer rhy hwyr yn y dydd. Wedi dweud hynny, allwn ni ddim cefnogi’r gwelliant achos rydyn ni'n meddwl bod gwelliant y Ceidwadwyr yn dal yn caniatáu gwneud penderfyniad yn rhy hwyr yn y dydd, efo 11 diwrnod gwaith i fynd. Mi gawn ni drafod mwy ar beth rydyn ni'n credu dylai yr amser rhybudd fod; mi gawn ni drafod hynny yn nes ymlaen.

O ran ein gwelliannau ni, 26 a 29, mi glywsom ni'r Gweinidog yn dweud yn ddigon clir yn y fan yna—ddwywaith, dwi'n credu—mai diben caniatáu gohirio yn yr wythnos olaf yna fyddai am faterion sydd ddim yn ymwneud â COVID, a dwi yn derbyn yn llwyr y gall, fel y byddai cyn unrhyw etholiad, rhywbeth godi allai olygu hynny, ac oherwydd y sicrwydd yna nad rhesymau COVID fyddai yn rheswm dros ohirio ar y funud olaf, fyddaf i ddim yn gwthio gwelliannau 26 a 29 i bleidlais heddiw, a dwi'n meddwl y byddwn ni i gyd, o dan yr amgylchiadau rhithiol yma, yn falch o allu osgoi cymryd pleidleisio oni bai bod gwirioneddol rhaid gwneud hynny.

Thank you very much, Llywydd. I will say first of all that we will accept the Minister's amendment in this group, which responds to a recommendation made by the legislation committee. Very briefly on the Conservative amendment, we agree with the principle at the heart of that amendment, namely that it's the same fear that we have that the election could be postponed far too late in the day. Having said that, we can't support the amendment because we think that the Conservative amendment still allows a decision to be made too late in the day, with 11 working days to go. We can discuss more on what we believe the timescale in terms of preparation for an election should be, and we'll discuss that later.

In terms of our amendments 26 and 29, we heard the Minister say quite clearly there—I think she said it twice—that the purpose of allowing postponement in that final week would be to deal with issues that are non-COVID related, and I accept entirely, as could be the case with any election, that another issue could arise in that period that could mean that we would need to postpone, and because of that assurance that it wouldn't be COVID reasons that would be the reason for a last-minute postponement, I won't be pushing amendments 26 and 29 to a vote today, and I think that under these virtual circumstances, I think we'll all be pleased to avoid voting wherever possible.

Felly y cwestiwn cyntaf yw y dylid derbyn gwelliant 26 ac os ydw i newydd glywed gan yr Aelod yn gywir, dyw gwelliant 26 ddim yn cael ei—. Mae wedi—

So, the first proposal is that amendment 26 be agreed, and if I've understood the Member correctly, amendment 26 is not being—. It has been—

Mae hynny'n gywir, Llywydd. Dwi ddim yn galw pleidlais ar 26 na 29.

That's right, Llywydd. I don't wish to move to a vote on 26 or 29.

Mae gwelliant 26 wedi cael ei symud eisoes gan yr Aelod ar gychwyn y ddadl, felly er mwyn i ni beidio cymryd pleidlais, fe fydd yn rhaid i fi weld a oes yna unrhyw wrthwynebiad gan unrhyw un i dynnu gwelliant 26 yn ôl. Oes unrhyw un yn gwrthwynebu hynny? Iawn. Fe wnawn ni dderbyn, felly, fod dim angen pleidlais ar 26.

Amendment 26 has already been moved by the Member at the beginning of the debate, and therefore, to avoid moving to a vote, I will need to ask if any Member opposes the withdrawal of amendment 26. Does any Member oppose the withdrawal of amendment 26? Okay. We will therefore not move to a vote on amendment 26.

Tynnwyd gwelliant 26 yn ôl gyda chaniatâd y pwyllgor.

Amendment 26 withdrawn by leave of the committee.

Mae hynny yn golygu gwelliant 10 yn enw Mark Isherwood. Ydy hynna'n cael ei symud yn ffurfiol?

That means that we move to amendment 10 in the name of Mark Isherwood. Is that formally moved?

Formally, Mark Isherwood, is that being moved?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 10 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 10 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Felly, y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 10? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes. Dwi'n gweld gwrthwynebiad, ac felly fe fyddwn ni'n cynnal ein pleidlais gyntaf ni ar welliant 10, ac felly, er mwyn caniatáu i'r bleidlais gyntaf yna gael ei chychwyn, fe fyddwn ni'n cymryd toriad byr nawr yn y darlledu er mwyn dod yn ôl i gynnal y bleidlais. Felly, toriad nawr.

The question is that amendment 10 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes. I see an objection, and therefore, we will hold our first vote on amendment 10, and to allow that first vote to take place, we will take a short break so that we can move to voting. So, we'll take a break.

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 13:28 ac 13:33.

The meeting adjourned between 13:28 and 13:33.

13:30

Felly, mae'r bleidlais gyntaf ar welliant 10, a dwi'n galw am bleidlais, felly, ar welliant 10. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid naw, pump yn ymatal, 37 yn erbyn, ac felly mae'r gwelliant wedi'i wrthod.

So, our first vote is on amendment 10, and I call for a vote on amendment 10. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour nine, five abstentions, 37 against, and therefore the amendment is not agreed.

Gwelliant 10: O blaid: 9, Yn erbyn: 37, Ymatal: 5

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 10: For: 9, Against: 37, Abstain: 5

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 2: Y cyfnod cyn etholiad, gan gynnwys ymddygiad a chyfle chyfartal (Gwelliannau 11, 27, 28, 34)
Group 2: Pre-election period, including conduct and equality of opportunity (Amendments 11, 27, 28, 34)

Grŵp 2 yw'r grŵp nesaf o welliannau, ac mae'r grŵp yma yn ymwneud â'r cyfnod cyn etholiad, gan gynnwys ymddygiad a chyfle chyfartal. Gwelliant 11 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp yma. Dwi'n galw ar Mark Isherwood i gynnig y prif welliant ac i siarad i'r gwelliannau eraill yn y grŵp. Mark Isherwood.

We now move to group 2, which relates to the pre-election period, including conduct and equality of opportunity. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 11. I call on Mark Isherwood to move and speak to the lead amendment and the other amendments in the group. Mark Isherwood.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 11 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 11 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

13:35

Llywydd, I move amendment 11 in my name, and indicate that the Welsh Conservative group will be supporting Plaid Cymru's amendments 27, 28 and 34, which seek to address provision during the pre-dissolution period.

Our amendment 11 seeks to ensure that there is equality of opportunity specifically for all candidates seeking election, and only in that capacity or context, regardless of whether they're incumbent Members of the Senedd or not. I understand that the Welsh Government's concern that the language used in the amendment might be confused with broader policy on equalities. However, this amendment has been drafted with Senedd lawyers, and the wording is legally watertight. This amendment is clearly within the scope of the Bill and refers specifically to equality for candidates, so the intent and effect of the amendment are clear.

While Members of the Senedd, the First Minister, Welsh Ministers and the Counsel General will continue to fulfil their obligations in those rules, they must recognise the principle of a level playing field for all candidates. It would be unfair, unequal and undemocratic if Welsh Government Members were given a bigger profile than incumbent opposition Members, and if both were given a bigger profile than candidates who are not current Members of the Senedd. I therefore hope that Members will support this and that Welsh Government will consider this.

Pwrpas ein gwelliannau ni yn y grŵp yma ydy ymgorffori'r cysyniad yma o gyfnod cyn diddymu, neu cyn etholiadol, mewn cyfraith, egluro pethau'n gliriach yn y Bil, a hefyd amlinellu'r gofynion ymarferol fydd yn rhoi effaith i hynny, sef gosod dyletswydd ar y Llywodraeth a Chomisiwn y Senedd i gyhoeddi canllawiau penodol i roi arweiniad cwbl glir ar gyfer y cyfnod yma, a fydd yn sicrhau tegwch i bawb sydd yn sefyll yn yr etholiad.

Mae'r Comisiwn eisoes wedi cyhoeddi canllawiau ar gyfer y cyfnod diddymu statudol, felly mae'n bosibl y gellid addasu'r rheini i bontio o'r cyfnod cyn diddymu arfaethedig i'r cyfnod diddymu swyddogol. Hyd yma, dydy'r Llywodraeth ddim wedi cyhoeddi unrhyw beth, er iddi gyhoeddi canllawiau mor fuan â Rhagfyr 2015 ar gyfer etholiad Senedd Mai 2016. Mae angen y math yma o warantau ar bleidleiswyr ar hyd a lled Cymru, a'r cyfle sydd gennym ni fan hyn ydy sicrhau bod hynny yn y Bil. Bwriad gwelliant 34 ydy gorfodi Llywodraeth Cymru, fel dwi'n dweud, i gyhoeddi canllawiau yr un pryd â'r Comisiwn.

Mi fyddwn ni'n cefnogi gwelliannau'r Ceidwadwyr yn enw Mark Isherwood. Rydyn ni'n credu mai gwelliannau i'r un perwyl ydy'r rheini er mwyn sicrhau chwarae teg, ond, Llywydd, yn dilyn trafodaethau efo'r Llywodraeth yn gynharach heddiw, sydd hefyd wedi dangos eu bod nhw'n barod i gefnogi'r egwyddorion sydd gennym ni yn y gwelliannau yma, fyddaf i ddim yn dymuno gwthio 27, 28 na 34 i bleidlais, a byddaf yn cyflwyno gwelliannau yng Nghyfnod 3 er mwyn sicrhau ein bod ni'n cyrraedd yr un nod yn y pen draw. Mae cydweithrediad o'r math yma rydyn ni'n ei weld ar y Bil rhwng gwahanol bleidiau, yn cynnwys pleidiau'r Llywodraeth, dwi'n meddwl, yn beth positif tu hwnt.

The purpose of our amendments in this group is to incorporate this concept of a pre-dissolution period, or pre-election period, in law to explain things more clearly in the Bill, and also outline the practical requirements that will give effect to that, namely placing a duty on the Government and the Senedd Commission to publish specific guidance to provide clear instruction for this period, which will secure equality and fairness to everyone standing in the election. 

The Commission has already published guidance for the statutory dissolution period, so I suppose those could be adapted to bridge between the pre-dissolution period and the official dissolution. To date, the Government hasn't published anything, although it published guidance as early as December 2015 for the May 2016 Senedd elections. We need these guarantees for voters the length and breadth of Wales, and we have an opportunity here to ensure that that's encapsulated within the Bill. The purpose of amendment 34 is to require the Welsh Government to publish guidance simultaneously with the Commission.

We will be supporting the Conservative amendments tabled in the name of Mark Isherwood. We do believe that they are amendments to the same end to secure fair play, but, Llywydd, following discussions with the Government earlier today, who have also demonstrated that they are willing to support the principles contained within our amendments, I wouldn't wish to push amendments 27, 28 or 34 to a vote, and I will be bringing forward further amendments at Stage 3 in order to ensure that we reach the same objectives ultimately. Collaboration of the kind that we've seen on the Bill between different parties, including the parties of Government, is very positive indeed.

Diolch, Llywydd. Although I agree with what I understand to be the principle behind amendment 11, I do have some concerns regarding the practicality of this amendment. We support the principle that sitting Members should have no advantage over other candidates. Within the standard dissolution period, it is clear how Members can be mindful of this principle, as there is no Senedd business taking place in which a Member could gain an advantage by simply participating. It is not clear what the effect of this amendment would be, other than to expose the Government and Members to politically motivated and unmeritorious legal challenge over action taken during a national crisis.

The amendment does not make it clear how a Member is to approach this principle in the event that the Senedd is recalled and they are required to scrutinise essential legislation in a pre-dissolution period. Could this be seen as having a platform available that other candidates do not have access to, and could this put Members at risk of a challenge if they participate in such proceedings? In such a situation, where should a Member draw a line between an activity that is essential in carrying out their role as a Member and an activity that provides an unfair advantage? I appreciate that this is the very challenge we will face as elected Members during the pre-dissolution period. However, this amendment will not help us tackle that challenge. Instead, we need to agree between ourselves how to manage that period, as we are already doing through discussions at the Business Committee. Enforcement would also be problematic. It is unclear what remedy could be sought by a candidate who believed that due regard to the principle had not been had. When and how could such a claim be heard, and what would the appropriate sanction be? Though we agree with the principle of the amendment, the lack of clarity and the practical implications of the duty it proposes mean we must oppose it.

We agree with the principles behind amendments 27 and 28, and support the guidance being published for Members and for the Welsh Government, covering the pre-election period. We've written to the Business Committee about how the Welsh Government envisages that Senedd business should proceed during the pre-election period, and Business Committee has agreed that the Senedd should only be recalled for business relating to urgent and significant coronavirus-related decisions or postponement of the Senedd election. However, we would not want the Bill to interfere unhelpfully with activity that is already planned and under way, for example, the pre-election period guidance that the First Minister will publish as soon as possible. We are very happy, though, to have had the discussion with Rhun ap Iorwerth earlier today, and we are happy to revisit amendments 27 and 28 at Stage 3, as he has indicated.

Amendment 34 seeks to place a duty on the Welsh Ministers to provide guidance on the conduct of campaigning. We've already provided guidance in relation to the election and permitted activity relating to it as part of our comprehensive suite of guidance on the coronavirus restrictions in place that affects all aspects of our daily lives. We are working on guidance about the election, including campaigning, for all alert levels, in consultation with the electoral community in Wales and the UK and Scottish Governments. We will publish that guidance as soon as possible. I therefore support the principle of this amendment, as it puts on the face of the Bill that which the Government is already doing. We have some concern about the drafting of the amendment, particularly regarding the reliance placed on definitions contained in secondary legislation. We are very happy to work with Rhun to prepare amendments for Stage 3 that cover those concerns but preserve the spirit of the amendment as he has indicated. Diolch.

13:40

Mark Isherwood i ymateb i'r ddadl. 

Mark Isherwood to respond to the debate. 

I restate that it would be unfair, unequal and undemocratic if the purpose of this amendment was not incorporated within the legislation, because there is danger that non-incumbent candidates will be penalised, and the greater the profile of the Senedd Member, particularly if they're in Government, the greater the disadvantage might be. 'Equality' is defined as the state of being equal, especially in status, rights or opportunities, and must therefore be the bedrock of our representative democracy. Contrary to the Minister's statement, this amendment would help us to address this challenge. I therefore urge Members to support it.

Y cwestiwn, felly, yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 11? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad i welliant 11? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, dwi'n gweld gwrthwynebiad, ac felly rydym ni'n symud i bleidlais ar welliant 11. Dwi'n agor y bleidlais ar welliant 11, yn enw Mark Isherwood. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 19, 4 yn ymatal, 28 yn erbyn. Felly, mae gwelliant 11 wedi'i wrthod.

The question is that amendment 11 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, I see an objection, and therefore we move to a vote on amendment 11. I open the vote on amendment 11 in the name of Mark Isherwood. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 19, 4 abstentions, 28 against. Therefore, amendment 11 is not agreed.

13:45

Gwelliant 11: O blaid: 19, Yn erbyn: 28, Ymatal: 4

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 11: For: 19, Against: 28, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been rejected

Gwelliant 27. Rhun ap Iorwerth, ydych chi'n symud y gwelliant hwnnw?

Amendment 27. Rhun ap Iorwerth, do you wish to move that amendment?

Does yna ddim pleidlais, felly, ar welliant 27.

There is no vote, therefore, on amendment 27.

Ni chynigiwyd gwelliant 27 (Rhun ap Iorwerth). 

Amendment 27 (Rhun ap Iorwerth) not moved.

Gwelliant 28. Rhun ap Iorwerth, a ydych chi'n symud hwnnw?

Amendment 28. Rhun ap Iorwerth, do you wish to move that amendment?

Dyw hwnnw ddim yn cael ei symud ar gyfer pleidlais. 

It's not moved for a vote.

Ni chynigiwyd gwelliant 28 (Rhun ap Iorwerth). 

Amendment 28 (Rhun ap Iorwerth) not moved.

Gwelliant 29. Rhun ap Iorwerth, a ydych chi'n symud hwnnw? 

Amendment 29. Rhun ap Iorwerth, do you wish to move?

Dyw gwelliant 29 ddim yn cael ei symud i bleidlais. 

Amendment 29 is not moved for a vote. 

Ni chynigiwyd gwelliant 29 (Rhun ap Iorwerth). 

Amendment 29 (Rhun ap Iorwerth) not moved.

Grŵp 3: Y broses ar gyfer cynnig gohirio o dan adran 5 (Gwelliannau 12, 1A, 1, 30, 15, 31, 14, 32, 16, 33)
Group 3: Process for proposing a postponement under section 5 (Amendments 12, 1A, 1, 30, 15, 31, 14, 32, 16, 33)

Mae Grŵp 3 yn welliannau sy'n ymwneud â'r broses ar gyfer cynnig gohirio o dan adran 5. Gwelliant 12 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp, a dwi'n galw ar Mark Isherwood i gynnig y prif welliant hwnnw ac i siarad i'r gwelliannau eraill. Mark Isherwood.

Group 3 are amendments that relate to the process for proposing a postponement under section 5. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 12. I call on Mark Isherwood to move and speak to the lead amendment and the other amendments in the group. Mark Isherwood.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 12 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 12 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

In this group, Llywydd, I move amendments 12, 1A, 15, 14 and 16, tabled in my name. I previously expressed concern that the Welsh Government has not said what situation the pandemic needs to be in before the First Minister formally requests a delay to the Welsh general election in May. Amendment 12 seeks to commit the Welsh Government to giving a specific reason for delaying the election, beyond simply saying that it is due to the coronavirus. The people of Wales need to have confidence that, if their democratic will is to be temporarily delayed, they will be entitled to know why. We know that there is an improving picture of case rates and test positivity in Wales, including Wrexham and Flintshire, where I am currently sitting, where rates were high last month. This amendment therefore proposes criteria for delaying the election, whereby at the time of making a proposal to delay the election, Wales is subject to alert level 4 restrictions, the rate of coronavirus reproduction for Wales is above 1.2, and the rolling seven-day case rate of coronavirus per 100,000 people in Wales has increased in the two-week period immediately beforehand. Amendment 16 simply clarifies some of the terms in these exceptional circumstances.

Amendment 1A seeks to amend the Government's amendment 1, which states that, prior to initiating a delay, the First Minister should consult the chief medical officer. I would hope that if the First Minister intended to do something as serious as delaying an election—something used on few occasions in British history, and then only for exceptional reasons such as war—he would wish to consult more widely than simply with the chief medical officer. Our amendment 1A also adds reference to the Electoral Commission, which, presumably, the First Minister would wish to consult with, and such other persons as the First Minister considers appropriate.

Amendment 15 seeks to ensure that the risk of the election being delayed beyond the issuing of postal votes is minimised, where this Senedd should not countenance an election delay after ballot papers have gone live. Amendment 14 seeks to ensure that the elections are not delayed multiple times. We don't support a delay at all, but if the Senedd elections are delayed, they should only be delayed once and in exceptional circumstances.

We will be supporting Plaid Cymru's amendments 30, 31 and 33, but not 32. In our preferred outcome, with the election proceeding on Thursday 6 May, amendment 32 would still force the First Minister to give an explanation by 7 April as to why the election is going to proceed as planned. It would seem very bizarre to compel the First Minister to explain his reasons for not doing something. It is completely without precedent, and not something that I believe anyone is intentionally calling for. We believe that the election should go ahead, and we do not think that the First Minister should be dragged into Plenary to explain why he isn't going to interrupt the democratic process. Diolch.   

Mi wnes i nodi yn gynharach ein cred ni ym Mhlaid Cymru fod angen gwneud y penderfyniad mor fuan ag sydd yn bosib, tra'n derbyn bod hwn yn bandemig sydd wedi newid cyfeiriad yn dra cyflym ar adegau. Mi gawsom ni sicrwydd yn gynharach na fyddai'r Llywodraeth yn chwilio am ffordd o ddylanwadu ar benderfyniad yn yr wythnos olaf cyn yr etholiad, er enghraifft. Ond bwriad gwelliannau 30 a 31 ydy dweud bod angen terfyn amser, point of no return os liciwch chi, ar allu'r Prif Weinidog i wneud cynnig i ohirio'r etholiad. Byddai rhaid dechrau'r broses o ohirio erbyn y pwynt hwnnw gan y byddai ymgeiswyr yn eu lle erbyn hynny, y cyfnod gwariant etholiadol wedi dechrau, ac yn y blaen. Mae gwelliant 33 yn diffinio'r point of no return fel y cyfnod cyn diddymu. 

O ran gwelliannau'r Ceidwadwyr, tra'n croesawu ymdrech greadigol, os nad direidus, Mark Isherwood i ddiffinio'r trothwy, yn anffodus mae o'n rhy gaeth, dwi'n meddwl, i'w roi o mor amrwd â hynny ar wyneb y Bil. Rydyn ni'n credu bod ein gwelliannau ni yn grŵp 9 yn ffordd well o gyflawni'r dyhead yma, dyhead rydyn ni'n credu sy'n gwbl gywir am wybodaeth amserol a phenderfyniad sydd yn realistig o fuan. Rydyn ni hefyd yn erbyn gwelliannau'r Ceidwadwyr i gyfyngu ymhellach ar y gallu i ddefnyddio'r pŵer, dim ond unwaith. 

Yn olaf, bwriad gwelliant 32 ydy rhoi dyletswydd ar y Prif Weinidog, os nad ydy o'n defnyddio'i bŵer i gynnig gohirio, i wneud datganiad i'r Senedd; hynny ydy, bod eisiau gwneud penderfyniad os nad ydy o'n gwneud hyn, os nad ydy o am ohirio—y bydd o'n gwneud datganiad i'r Senedd yn dweud sut y byddai fo'n parhau efo'r etholiad ar 6 Mai yn ddiogel yng nghysgod y pandemig, sut bod bwrw mlaen efo 6 Mai yn galluogi cynnal ymgyrch ystyrlon sy'n deg i bawb. Unwaith eto, yn dilyn trafodaethau adeiladol efo'r Llywodraeth, lle roedd y Gweinidog a minnau yn gweld llygad yn llygad ar union yr egwyddor rydyn ni'n trio ei gyflawni yn fan hyn, fydda i ddim yn gwthio gwelliant 32 i bleidlais, ac yn dod yn ôl yng Nghyfnod 3 efo geiriad fydd yn cyflawni yr un diben.

I noted earlier our belief in Plaid Cymru that we need to make the decision as early as is possible, whilst accepting that this is a pandemic that has changed direction very quickly at certain times. We were given assurance earlier that the Government would not seek a way of influencing a decision in the last week before the election. But the purpose of amendments 30 and 31 is to make it clear that we need a point of no return on the First Minister's ability to make a proposal to postpone the election. That postponement process would have to begin by that point as candidates would be in place by that time, and the election expenditure period would have commenced and so on and so forth. Amendment 33 defines that point of no return as the pre-dissolution period. 

In terms of the Conservative amendments, whilst welcoming the creative if not playful attempt by Mark Isherwood to define the threshold, unfortunately it is too narrowly defined on the face of the Bill. We believe that our amendments in group 9 are a better way of delivering this aspiration, which we believe is entirely proper for timely information and a decision that is realistic in terms of its timeliness. We're also opposed to the Conservatives' amendments to use the power only once. 

Finally, the purpose of amendment 32 is to place a duty on the First Minister, if he doesn't exercise the power to postpone, to make a statement to the Senedd; that is, we'd need a statement to the Senedd informing us how we will continue with the election on May 6 and do so safely given the pandemic—how proceeding on May 6 does allow a meaningful campaign that is fair to all candidates. And again, following constructive discussions with the Government and the Minister where we saw eye to eye on the very principle that we're trying to deliver here, I won't be pushing amendment 32 to a vote, and I will return at Stage 3 with a wording that will deliver the same aim. 

13:50

I move amendment 1 tabled in my name. This amendment places a duty on the First Minister to consult with the chief medical officer before making a proposal under section 5 of the Bill that the election should be delayed for reasons relating to coronavirus. This amendment gives effect in part to recommendation 4 of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee's Stage 1 report, which made recommendations on who the First Minister should consult with before exercising the power in section 5(1) of the Bill. The committee advised that the First Minister should consult with the chief medical officer, the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders.

Although we understand the intent of the committee's recommendation, we did not feel it was necessary to include a further duty to consult with the Electoral Commission. The Bill already contains a duty for the Electoral Commission to provide advice to the First Minister or Llywydd on a postponement when requested. Additionally, the Welsh Government is in continuous dialogue with partners about this election. We do not want to create any ambiguity about who must be consulted, and so have not included a general duty to consult other persons. Amendment 1A attempts to give effect to the parts of recommendation 4 that we did not feel were necessary—the duty to consult with the Electoral Commission and other persons that are deemed appropriate. We oppose this amendment for the reasons that I've just outlined. The additional duty is unnecessary.

Amendments 12 and 16 provide criteria under which the First Minister could propose a postponement to the Llywydd. The criteria listed are very narrow and do not provide the practicality or flexibility that a response to the pandemic requires. It has been our experience thus far in dealing with the pandemic not to take things for granted, and not to make decisions based on prior assumptions that may not be suitable when applied at a later date in different circumstances. Equally, the criteria listed in the amendment are not the only elements that will factor into a decision regarding a postponement. The First Minister will also need to consider the impact on voters and the democratic process and gain a level of assurance from returning officers before making any proposal. The amendments are also problematic because they reference secondary legislation. We try to avoid doing this in primary legislation because secondary legislation might change and render references incorrect or redundant. For these reasons, we oppose these amendments. 

We also oppose amendment 14 as it reduces the flexibility available to the Llywydd in responding to the pandemic by providing that the power to postpone the Senedd general election can only be exercised once. We need the flexibility for this to happen more than once as we cannot predict the path of the pandemic with certainty. If we did not have the flexibility, we face the possibility of another emergency Bill in challenging circumstances and, potentially, to even more challenging timescales.

We also oppose amendment 15, which prevents the section 5 power to postpone the election being used in the 11 working days prior to the day of the poll. We consider that seven calendar days strikes the right balance between being able to respond to the vagaries of the pandemic whilst ensuring all those involved in the election could respond to any postponement. Amending this period to 11 working days would appear to take us to 19 April, which is the registration deadline for the election. This is a key election milestone, but seems relatively arbitrary to me.

Amendments 30, 31 and 33 would prevent the First Minister, on any date after 6 April, from proposing postponing the Senedd election for a reason relating to coronavirus. We are all, unfortunately, familiar with the unpredictable path of the pandemic. If we limit the time in which a postponement can be proposed and agreed by the Senedd, we limit our ability to respond to the impacts of the pandemic. We therefore are not happy with amendments 30, 31 and 33, as they reduce the flexibility needed in responding to the pandemic appropriately.

It is, of course, the Government’s intention to regularly update the Senedd on the unfolding public health situation ahead of the election, and amendment 32 seeks to place a requirement to this effect on the Bill. We would anticipate providing regular updates to the Senedd in any case, and though we feel this duty is not necessary, we support the principle of it.

However, if the First Minister waits until 7 April before laying his statement, then the Senedd will not be sitting to hold him to account for that. So we would suggest the duty should apply before the pre-election period starts, and in line with our three-week review process. I have already been in discussion with the Member regarding this amendment and what changes could be made to improve the current drafting.

I am grateful to Rhun for indicating he will withdraw amendment 32, and I will work with him very happily to prepare amendments for Stage 3. I urge Members to support amendment 1 and to vote against all the other amendments that are moved to a vote in this group. Diolch, Llywydd. 

13:55

Mark Isherwood i ymateb i'r ddadl. Mark Isherwood. 

Mark Isherwood to reply to the debate. Mark Isherwood.  

Diolch, Llywydd. If the First Minister intended to do something as serious as delaying an election, consultation with the chief medical officer would be necessary, but not sufficient. More widely, the criteria for delaying the election, we propose, are most certainly not playful. They were considered in depth and discussed with lawyers to ensure their applicability and measurability. They also, ironically, represent the key measures by which governments decide whether nations should go into lockdown at any level and, therefore, are clearly not playful or frivolous. 

Our key desire here is to have a threshold below which the First Minister could not seek the Senedd's consent for a delay, but above which he could. This is not only beneficial for the concept of devolved democracy, but also, ironically, would help protect the First Minister from any perception that he was acting for political advantage, or that there was a conflict of interest that hadn't been addressed in the decisions that might be taken. 

We urge Members to support this amendment, but if they don't, to indicate whether they nonetheless agree with the principle of a threshold—an agreed threshold—being put in place as criteria for delaying the election, which we consider to be critical to the passage of this legislation, which we would struggle to vote for if it wasn't present. 

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 12? A oes unrhyw Aelod yn gwrthwynebu? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, dwi'n gweld gwrthwynebiad. Ac felly, symudwn ni i bleidlais ar welliant 12 yn enw Mark Isherwood. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 11, un yn ymatal, 39 yn erbyn. Felly, mae gwelliant 12 wedi ei wrthod. 

The question is that amendment 12 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection, and we'll therefore move to a vote on amendment 12 in the name of Mark Isherwood. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 11, one abstention, 39 against. Therefore, amendment 12 is not agreed. 

14:00

Gwelliant 12: O blaid: 11, Yn erbyn: 39, Ymatal: 1

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 12: For: 11, Against: 39, Abstain: 1

Amendment has been rejected

Y gwelliant nesaf yw gwelliant 1. Julie James, ydy gwelliant 1 yn cael ei symud?

The next amendment is amendment 1. Julie James, do you wish to move amendment 1?

Being moved?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 1 (Julie James).

Amendment 1 (Julie James) moved.

Mae yna welliant i welliant 1, ac felly bydd angen gwaredu gwelliant 1A yn gyntaf. 

There is an amendment to amendment 1, and therefore we will need to dispose of amendment 1A first.

Mark Isherwood, is amendment 1A being moved?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 1A (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 1A (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Felly, pleidlais ar welliant 1A fydd gyntaf, yn enw Mark Isherwood. Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 1A? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, dwi'n gweld gwrthwynebiad. Ac felly, dwi'n galw am bleidlais ar welliant 1A yn enw Mark Isherwood. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 19, un yn ymatal, 30 yn erbyn. Ac felly, mae gwelliant 1A wedi ei wrthod. 

So, we will move to a vote on amendment 1A, in the name of Mark Isherwood. The question is that amendment 1A be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, I see objections. And therefore, I call for a vote on amendment 1A in the name of Mark Isherwood. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 19, one abstention, 30 against. And therefore amendment 1A is not agreed.

Gwelliant 1A: O blaid: 19, Yn erbyn: 30, Ymatal: 1

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 1A: For: 19, Against: 30, Abstain: 1

Amendment has been rejected

Y cwestiwn yw a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 1. A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad i welliant 1? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, dwi'n gweld gwrthwynebiad i'r gwelliant. Felly, dyma ni'n cael pleidlais ar welliant 1. Agor y bleidlais. O blaid 37, dau yn ymatal, 10 yn erbyn. Ac felly, mae gwelliant 1 wedi ei gymeradwyo. 

The question is that amendment 1 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection and, therefore, we will move to a vote on amendment 1. Open the vote. In favour 37, two abstentions, and 10 against. Therefore, amendment 1 is agreed.

Gwelliant 1: O blaid: 37, Yn erbyn: 10, Ymatal: 2

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 1: For: 37, Against: 10, Abstain: 2

Amendment has been agreed

Gwelliant 30. Ydy gwelliant 30 yn cael ei symud, Rhun ap Iorwerth?

Amendment 30. Is amendment 30 moved, Rhun ap Iorwerth?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 30 (Rhun ap Iorwerth).

Amendment 30 (Rhun ap Iorwerth) moved.

Yn ffurfiol. Diolch. Felly, cawn ni bleidlais ar welliant 30 yn enw Rhun ap Iorwerth. Na, y cwestiwn yn gyntaf. A ddylid derbyn gwelliant 30? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? Oes gwrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, dwi'n gweld gwrthwynebiad. Ac felly, cawn ni bleidlais ar welliant 30. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 21, neb yn ymatal, 28 yn erbyn. Ac felly, mae'r gwelliant wedi ei wrthod. 

Thank you. We will move to a vote on amendment 30 in the name of Rhun ap Iorwerth. Or rather, the first question is whether amendment 30 should be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] There is an objection. Therefore, we'll move to a vote on amendment 30. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 21, no abstentions, and 28 against. And therefore, the amendment is not agreed.

Gwelliant 30: O blaid: 21, Yn erbyn: 28, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 30: For: 21, Against: 28, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 4: Y diwrnod olaf posibl ar gyfer etholiad (Gwelliannau 13, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23)
Group 4: Last possible election day (Amendments 13, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23)

Ni'n symud ymlaen i grŵp 4 nawr, ac mae'r grŵp yma'n ymwneud â'r diwrnod olaf posibl ar gyfer etholiad. Gwelliant 13 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp, a dwi'n galw ar Mark Isherwood i gynnig y prif welliant ac i siarad i'r gwelliannau eraill yn y grŵp. Mark Isherwood.

That takes us to group 4, and the group relates to the last possible election day. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 13, and I call on Mark Isherwood to move and speak to the lead amendment and the other amendments in the group. Mark Isherwood.

14:05

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 13 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 13 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Llywydd, I move, in my name, amendments 13, 17, 20, 21, 22 and 23. These six amendments are, or should be, clear in their intent. We believe that a six-month delay to the scheduled election on 6 May would be too long. The Senedd, the National Assembly for Wales, as was, usually sat for four-year terms. Now, the Senedd is sitting for five. A delay to 5 November, bonfire night, would takes us halfway through a sixth year. There is no mandate for the people of Wales for that. Indeed, I'm already receiving emails from concerned members of the public, anxious that their right to vote on 6 May might be taken away from them.

We know that the risks presented by coronavirus, and its variants, are highest in the winter months and that the annual risks to the NHS are greatest in the winter months. I can understand that if there was a sharp rise in cases and the weekly incidence rate per 100,000 rose to the level we saw, for example, last December, there would be a case for delaying the election until the summer. But, surely, we would not seek to delay it until the winter when risks are greater. In fact, the Minister herself made this point when we met online to discuss these matters. We wouldn't support an election on Guy Fawkes night and propose the possible extension be reduced so that 9 September is the last possible date for the Senedd elections, if delayed, although, clearly, the summer months of June or July would be preferable if there had to be any delay at all.

The position of the Welsh Conservatives is clear: we want to see the scheduled election on 6 May go ahead, just as elections have taken place in many other parts of the world during this pandemic. If the election must be delayed because, for instance, we're in an alert level 4 lockdown, that delay should be as short as possible so the people of Wales can elect a new Welsh Government of their choosing. Diolch.

Diolch, Llywydd. Amendments 13 and 17 provide that the last possible date for holding the Senedd general election, postponed under sections 5 and 6 of the Bill, is reduced from 5 November to 9 September. Amendments 21 to 23 make similar provision for Senedd and local authority by-elections by amending section 7 and 8 of the Bill. All these amendments reduce the maximum period of postponement for an election within the scope of this Bill from six months to four months. They reduce the flexibility to set out a Bill and we therefore oppose them. I do not see any merit in changing the last possible date of a postponed election from 5 November to 9 September.

The Bill, as introduced, provides a balance between the flexibility that may be needed in deciding a new date for the poll while also providing a backstop to prevent elections being postponed indefinitely. It would not be our preference for the election to be postponed as late as November, but it's important that such a contingency is available. An election held in the week of 9 September could interfere with the academic year. Schools are due to return from their summer holidays a week prior to this date, meaning that campaigning would be held in the school holidays when many families would be away from home taking their summer vacation. Where schools are used as election venues, this could cause disruption if schools have to to close only a week into the autumn term. There is also a risk of disenfranchising students, many of whom will be in the midst of preparing for the start of a new term, including registering to vote at a new address.

I do of course recognise that shortened days and colder weather are often regarded as having negative impacts upon campaigning and turnout, but there is, of course, a precedent for successfully holding elections during the winter months, albeit not during a pandemic, as recently with the UK general election of December 2019, in which turnout was 67.3 per cent across the UK. I do not therefore think this is a driver for limiting the flexibility in the Bill to enable our elections to be held safely in the context of the evolving pandemic, and I urge Members to vote against the amendments in this group. Diolch.

Briefly. We not only do consider there's merit in these proposals, we know there is merit in these proposals. We're not proposing that elections should be held on 9 September, simply that that should be the last date on which an election, a delayed election, could be held, ensuring that it would have to be held during the summer months before the autumn weather, falling temperatures and the risk—and we hope it won't happen, but the risk—that infection rates might increase again at that point.

There is merit, it is clear, and we urge Members therefore to support this and not allow in any way the possibility that this election could be held, avoidably, during the winter months.

14:10

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 13? A oes unrhyw Aelod yn gwrthwynebu? [Gwrthwynebiad.]

The question is that amendment 13 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.]

Yes, I see an objection.

Felly, pleidlais ar welliant 13, yn enw Mark Isherwood. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 10, pedwar yn ymatal, 37 yn erbyn. Mae gwelliant 13 wedi'i wrthod.

We will therefore move to a vote on amendment 13, in the name of Mark Isherwood. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 10, four abstentions and 37 against. And amendment 13 is therefore not agreed.

Gwelliant 13: O blaid: 10, Yn erbyn: 37, Ymatal: 4

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 13: For: 10, Against: 37, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been rejected

Gwelliant 15 sydd nesaf.

Amendment 15 is next.

Mark Isherwood, is it being moved?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 15 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 15 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Gwelliant 15—ac os derbynnir gwelliant 15, bydd gwelliannau 31 ac 14 yn methu. Gwelliant 15. Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 15? A oes unrhyw Aelod yn gwrthwynebu? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes. Ac felly cawn ni bleidlais ar welliant 15. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 10, pum yn ymatal, 36 yn erbyn, ac felly mae gwelliant 15 wedi'i wrthod.

Amendment 15—and if amendment is agreed, amendments 31 and 14 will fall. The question is that amendment 15 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection. We will therefore move to a vote on amendment 15. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 10, five abstentions, 36 against, and therefore amendment 15 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 15: O blaid: 10, Yn erbyn: 36, Ymatal: 5

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 15: For: 10, Against: 36, Abstain: 5

Amendment has been rejected

Gwelliant 31. Rhun ap Iorwerth, ydy e'n cael ei symud?

Amendment 31. Rhun an Iorwerth, is it moved?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 31 (Rhun ap Iorwerth).

Amendment 31 (Rhun ap Iorwerth) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 31? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, dwi'n gweld gwrthwynebiad. Ac felly, cawn ni bleidlais ar welliant 31, yn enw Rhun ap Iorwerth. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 21, un yn ymatal, 29 yn erbyn, ac felly mae gwelliant 31 wedi'i wrthod.

The question is that amendment 31 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, I see that there is objection. Therefore, we will move to a vote on amendment 31, in the name of Rhun ap Iorwerth. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 21, one abstention and 29 against, therefore amendment 31 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 31: O blaid: 21, Yn erbyn: 29, Ymatal: 1

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 31: For: 21, Against: 29, Abstain: 1

Amendment has been rejected

Mark Isherwood, gwelliant 14.

Mark Isherwood, amendment 14.

Amendment 14.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 14 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 14 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 14? A oes unrhyw Aelod yn gwrthwynebu? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes. Felly, symudwn i bleidlais ar welliant 14. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 10, pedwar yn ymatal, 37 yn erbyn, ac felly mae'r gwelliant wedi ei wrthod. 

The question is that amendment 14 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there are objections. And we will move to a vote on amendment 14. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 10, four abstentions and 37 against, therefore the amendment is not agreed.

14:15

Gwelliant 14: O blaid: 10, Yn erbyn: 37, Ymatal: 4

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 14: For: 10, Against: 37, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been rejected

Gwelliant 32. Rhun ap Iorwerth, ydy e'n cael ei symud?

Amendment 32. Rhun ap Iorwerth, is it moved?

Dim pleidlais ar welliant 32, felly.

There's no vote, therefore, on amendment 32.

Ni chynigiwyd gwelliant 32 (Rhun ap Iorwerth). 

Amendment 32 (Rhun ap Iorwertj) not moved.

Gwelliant 16, Mark Isherwood.

Amendment 16, Mark Isherwood.

Is that being moved, amendment 16?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 16 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 16 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 16? A oes unrhyw un yn gwrthwynebu? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes. Felly symudwn i bleidlais ar welliant 16, yn enw Mark Isherwood. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 11, un yn ymatal, 39 yn erbyn, ac felly mae gwelliant 16 wedi ei wrthod.

The question is that amendment 16 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection. We will move to a vote on amendment 16 in the name of Mark Isherwood. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 11, one abstention, 39 against, and therefore amendment 16 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 16: O blaid: 11, Yn erbyn: 39, Ymatal: 1

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 16: For: 11, Against: 39, Abstain: 1

Amendment has been rejected

Gwelliant 33. Rhun ap Iorwerth, ydy e'n cael ei symud?

Amendment 33. Rhun ap Iorwerth, is the amendment moved?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 33 (Rhun ap Iorwerth).

Amendment 33 (Rhun ap Iorwerth) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 33? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes. Felly, cawn ni bleidlais ar welliant 33 yn enw Rhun ap Iorwerth. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 22, un yn ymatal a 28 yn erbyn, ac felly mae gwelliant 33 wedi ei wrthod.

The question is that amendment 33 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection, and we will therefore move to a vote on amendment 33 in the name of Rhun ap Iorwerth. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 22, one abstention and 28 against, and therefore amendment 33 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 33: O blaid: 22, Yn erbyn: 28, Ymatal: 1

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 33: For: 22, Against: 28, Abstain: 1

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 5: Diwrnodau ychwanegol ar gyfer pleidleisio (Gwelliannau 2, 25)
Group 5: Additional polling days (Amendments 2, 25)

Rŷn ni'n cyrraedd grŵp 5 nawr—y grŵp yma o welliannau yn ymwneud â diwrnodau ychwanegol ar gyfer pleidleisio. Gwelliant 2 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp, a dwi'n galw ar Julie James i gynnig y prif welliant hwnnw. Julie James.

That brings us to group 5, which relates to additional polling days. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 2, and I call on Julie James to move and speak to the lead amendment. Julie James.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 2 (Julie James).

Amendment 2 (Julie James) moved.

Diolch, Llywydd. I move amendment 2, tabled in my name, which inserts a new section that provides an enabling power for Welsh Ministers, by regulations, to provide for additional polling days to take place in the period preceding the day of the election. The Scottish Ministers now have a similar power to arrange for additional days of voting, although theirs is for days after the day of the poll.

This power can only be used where the 2021 election has been postponed under section 5 of the Bill. We would have preferred to put in place early voting for 6 May too, but this proved impossible, given the fact that, on current plans, the Senedd election and the PCC elections will take place on the same day and the UK Government, which is responsible for the PCC elections, opposes early voting. Any regulations made under this power will have no effect if the Senedd general election and the police and crime commissioner election is taken on the same day.

These are exceptional times, and I have made it clear that we must consider all options to maximise opportunities for people to participate in the election. We wish to encourage as many people as possible to consider voting by post, particularly those who are shielding. The Electoral Commission’s recent research on public attitudes towards voting in Wales in the context of COVID-19 saw indications of a potential increase in the use of postal voting from previous elections. But we also understand that many people, including some of those newly enfranchised who are voting for the first time, are likely to want to vote in person. The Electoral Commission’s recent research also found that 66 per cent of those who generally vote at a polling station would prefer to continue to do so. Voters aged 16 to 24 were more likely than other age groups to say they would prefer to vote at a polling station. We want to enable in-person voters to do so with as much confidence as possible.

Let me be very clear that polling stations will be safe. Public Health Wales has done detailed work with the Electoral Commission on guidance for polling stations and we are working closely with returning officers to ensure that they have the additional resources they need. But we appreciate that people may still be apprehensive about attending a polling station. By providing for additional voting days, we can help ease congestion at polling stations as well as giving more options for people who are facing a range of pressures in their lives and calls on their time. Of the respondents to the Electoral Commission survey, 46 per cent said they would be very likely to use early voting centres. The reasons we are proposing an enabling power here rather than a system for early voting is that we are still discussing the arrangements with the electoral community. Regulations would be subject to the made affirmative procedure to enable administrators to proceed quickly with the arrangements whilst also giving the Senedd an affirmative vote, and it will be obvious by now to Members that we cannot accept amendment 25, as that is seeking specifically to prevent early voting. Diolch.

14:20

I move amendment 25 in my name, and, in consequence, will be voting against the Welsh Government's amendment 2. We recognise the need for voting to take place on a single day and not to be spread over multiple days. An election held over multiple days raises security concerns over the integrity of the election: where will ballot boxes be stored and how will their security be protected and guaranteed? What role will there be for the police or security staff? How will that be paid for, et cetera? What will be the impact on those community venues that have to close to become a polling station, usually for just a day? This raises the spectre of some voters being unduly influenced by how others have voted, and sets an unfavourable precedent we cannot support.

I hope the Welsh Government will be reading with interest the delivery plan published by the UK Government Cabinet office last week, which sets out how elections can be safely run on 6 May 2021 in England and Wales. Given that polling stations in Wales will already be operating an election on 6 May, and 6 May only, to elect police and crime commissioners, it would seem—it would be—bizarre to extend voting by multiple days for another franchise. The Senedd elections must take place on a single day, and in our view that single day should be Thursday, 6 May. Again, I urge Members to think hard and vote the right way to support this amendment.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am fy ngalw i, Llywydd. Dwi ddim ond eisiau gwneud ychydig o sylwadau. Dŷn ni yn mynd i fod yn cefnogi y gwelliant yma gan y Llywodraeth. Mae'n gwbl amlwg i fi bod angen edrych ar ffyrdd arloesol yn wyneb y pandemig yma i alluogi pobl i fwrw'u pleidlais, a chymaint o bobl â phosib i fwrw pleidlais, ac, yn wir, mi all pleidleisio dros fwy nag un diwrnod fod yn rhan o'r cynnig hwnnw. Ond dwi eisiau gwneud y pwynt bod yna lawer o sicrwydd sydd ei angen ynglŷn â sut i weithredu hyn, ac i danlinellu eto mai galluogi hyn, yn hytrach na gosod proses, mae'r gwelliant hwnnw. Dwi wedi clywed awgrym, er enghraifft, gallem ni gael sefyllfa lle na fyddai bob gorsaf bleidleisio ar agor, dim ond prif rai, ac eraill yn aros ar gau, ond mi fyddwn i'n gweld y gallai hynny ffafrio ardaloedd mwn trefol ar draul ardaloedd mwy gwledig ac yn y blaen. Felly, mae yna haenau gwahanol yn fan hyn o broblemau sydd angen eu goresgyn er mwyn gallu gweithredu yn y modd yma, ac mi glywon ni gan y Ceidwadwyr restr o rwystrau y byddai'n ei gwneud hi'n anodd i gyflwyno pleidleisio dros fwy nag un diwrnod. Ond, gyfeilion, dŷn ni wedi wynebu rhwystrau digynsail dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf ac wedi llwyddo i'w goresgyn nhw, a phwy a wŷr mi allen ni fod yn y fan hyn yn gosod cynseiliau ar gyfer etholiadau di-bandemig ar gyfer y dyfodol, a ffyrdd o ymestyn allan i fwy a mwy o bobl i allu pleidleisio. Felly, mi fyddwn i'n pleidleisio yn erbyn gwelliannau y Ceidwadwyr—gwelliannau cul, mae'n rhaid dweud—ond yn cefnogi'r Llywodraeth, gyda'r nodyn clir hwnnw bod yna waith mawr i'w wneud ar sut i ddelifro hyn yn ymarferol.

Thank you for calling me, Llywydd. I just wanted to make a few comments. We will be supporting the Government amendment. It is clear to me that we need to look at innovation in the face of this pandemic to enable people to cast their vote and to enable as many people as possible to cast their vote, and, indeed, voting over multiple days could be part of that, but I want to make the point that there are many assurances that we need in terms of how this can be implemented. I'd highlight again that we are enabling this through the amendment, rather than putting a process in place. I have heard a suggestion that we could have a position where not every polling station would be open, only the main polling stations, with others remaining closed, but I would see that that could favour more urban areas at the expense of more rural areas. So, there are different levels here in terms of problems that need to be overcome in order to take action in this way, and we heard from the Conservatives a whole host of barriers that would make it difficult to introduce additional polling days. But, colleagues, we have faced unprecedented barriers over the past 12 months and have managed to overcome them, and, who knows, we could here be setting precedents for non-pandemic future elections and ways of reaching out to more and more people and enabling those people to vote. So, we will be voting against the Conservative amendments, which are narrowly drawn, but will be supporting the Government amendment, with that clear message that there's a lot of work to be done in terms of how to deliver this on a practical basis.

Y Gweinidog i ymateb i'r ddadl. Julie James.

The Minister to reply to the debate. Julie James.

Diolch, Llywydd. I thank Members for their comments. We are, of course, working already with returning officers to establish security arrangements before making any regulations, and, indeed, as Rhun has said, we would be looking to make sure that we delivered a fair, reasonable system of early voting across the length and breadth of Wales that did not favour any particular group of voters, very much with equalities in mind. So, these are matters that are ongoing discussions with our returning officers and our community, and I'm more than happy to discuss it with Members of the Senedd also.

However, at this point in time we are still, of course, aiming to deliver a safe and fair election on 6 May, but as we have said time and time again over the course of the pandemic, we must be prepared for all eventualities. If the election has to be postponed due to the pandemic, we do believe the ability to vote early will not only encourage more voters to participate, but also make the election safer by spreading footfall from one day to several, and we do believe it's prudent and necessary to consider all opportunities to maximise participation for the people of Wales. Therefore, I do urge Members to support the Government amendment 2 and oppose amendment 25. Diolch, Llywydd. 

14:25

Y cwestiwn yw, felly: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 2? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, mae yna wrthwynebiad i welliant 2, ac felly dwi'n galw pleidlais ar welliant 2 yn enw Julie James. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 37, un yn ymatal, 13 yn erbyn, ac felly mae'r gwelliant yn cael ei wrthod. Mae'n ddrwg gen i: mae'r gwelliant yn cael ei gymeradwyo, gwelliant 2.

The question is that amendment 2 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection, and I therefore call for a vote on amendment 2 in the name of Julie James. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 37, one abstention, 13 against, and therefore the amendment is not agreed. I apologise: the amendment is agreed, that's amendment 2.

Gwelliant 2: O blaid: 37, Yn erbyn: 13, Ymatal: 1

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 2: For: 37, Against: 13, Abstain: 1

Amendment has been agreed

Gwelliant 17—

Amendment 17—

Mark Isherwood, are you moving amendment 17?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 17 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 17 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 17? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, felly fe gawn ni bleidlais ar welliant 17 yn enw Mark Isherwood. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 10, pedwar yn ymatal, 37 yn erbyn, mae gwelliant 17 wedi'i wrthod. 

The question is that amendment 17 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, we will therefore move to a vote on amendment 17 in the name of Mark Isherwood. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 10, four abstentions, 37 against, and therefore amendment 17 is not agreed. 

Gwelliant 17: O blaid: 10, Yn erbyn: 37, Ymatal: 4

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 17: For: 10, Against: 37, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been rejected

Gwelliant 18—

Amendment 18—

Mark Isherwood, are you moving amendment 18?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 18 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 18 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 18? A oes unrhyw Aelod yn gwrthwynebu? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, mae yna wrthwynebiad, felly fe gawn ni bleidlais ar welliant 18 yn enw Mark Isherwood. Agor y bleidlais. 

The question is that amendment 18 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection and we will move to a vote on amendment 18 in the name of Mark Isherwood. Open the vote. 

Close the vote.

O blaid 10, pump yn ymatal, 36 yn erbyn, ac felly mae gwelliant 18 wedi'i wrthod. 

In favour 10, five abstentions, 36 against, and therefore amendment 18 is not agreed. 

Gwelliant 18: O blaid: 10, Yn erbyn: 36, Ymatal: 5

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 18: For: 10, Against: 36, Abstain: 5

Amendment has been rejected

Gwelliant 3—

Amendment 3—

Julie James, are you moving amendment 3? 

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 3 (Julie James).

Amendment 3 (Julie James) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 3? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, dwi'n gweld gwrthwynebiad, ac felly fe gawn ni bleidlais ar welliant 3 yn enw Julie James. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 47, pedwar yn ymatal, neb yn erbyn. Mae gwelliant 3 wedi'i dderbyn.

The question is that amendment 3 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection and we will move to a vote on amendment 3, tabled in the name of Julie James. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 47, four abstentions, none against, and therefore amendment 3 is agreed. 

Gwelliant 3: O blaid: 47, Yn erbyn: 0, Ymatal: 4

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 3: For: 47, Against: 0, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been agreed

14:30

Rhun ap Iorwerth, gwelliant 34, ydy o'n cael ei symud? 

Rhun ap Iorwerth, amendment 34, is it moved?

Nag yw, felly fydd yna ddim pleidlais ar welliant 34. 

No. There will therefore be no vote on amendment 34. 

Ni chynigiwyd gwelliant 34 (Rhun ap Iorwerth). 

Amendment 34 (Rhun ap Iorwerth) not moved.

Grŵp 6: Pwerau i ohirio is-etholiadau (Gwelliannau 19, 24)
Group 6: Powers to postpone by-elections (Amendments 19, 24)

Grŵp 6 felly yw'r grŵp nesaf o welliannau, sy'n ymwneud â phwerau i ohirio is-etholiadau. Gwelliant 19 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp yma. Dwi'n galw ar Mark Isherwood i gyflwyno'r prif welliant ac i siarad i'r grŵp. Mark Isherwood.

We move to group 6, which relates to powers to postpone by-elections. Amendment 19 is the lead amendment in the group, and I call on Mark Isherwood to move and speak to the lead amendment and the other amendment in the group. Mark Isherwood. 

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 19 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 19 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Diolch, Llywydd. I move amendments 19 and 24 tabled in my name. These amendments will ensure that the Senedd elections are not repeatedly delayed. In this country, we have a proud history of trying to avoid political interference in our democracy wherever possible. General elections were delayed during the first and second world wards, but between 1945 and 2001, no elections were postponed anywhere in the United Kingdom. I'm sure we all recall the delay to the UK general election from 3 May to 7 June 2001 by Tony Blair, due to a devastating outbreak of foot and mouth disease. We want these elections to go ahead on Thursday 6 May, but if they must be delayed due to unprecedented and exceptional circumstances, and there are to be measures to provide a delay, the election should only be delayed once. We cannot keep holding back democracy. Diolch. 

Diolch, Llywydd. We oppose these amendments, as they reduce the flexibility available to the Llywydd and to the Welsh Government in responding to the pandemic by providing that the powers in sections 7 and 8, to postpone the Senedd and local government by-elections respectively, can only be exercised once. We need the flexibility to do so more than once, as we cannot predict the path of the pandemic with any certainty. Whilst we can take great heart in all we are doing to push down the rates of infection and to roll out the vaccine, it would be irresponsible of us to assume that these efforts remove all public health concerns in the coming months. We are all too familiar, unfortunately, with how unpredictable the path of the pandemic has been. It remains unpredictable and its impacts have been profound. If we did not have the flexibility, we face the possibility of another emergency Bill in challenging circumstances and, potentially, even more challenging timescales. I therefore urge Members to oppose these amendments.

Again, I simply urge Members to listen to the points I made in my opening comments, which have merit and justification; I don't wish to re-rehearse them. To delay any longer than once would be deleterious and should be avoided in all circumstances. We urge Members to support accordingly. 

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 19? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, ac felly rydym ni'n symud i bleidlais ar welliant 19 yn enw Mark Isherwood. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 11, tri yn ymatal, 37 yn erbyn, ac felly mae gwelliant 19 wedi ei wrthod. 

The question is that amendment 19 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes. We'll therefore move to a vote on amendment 19 in the name of Mark Isherwood. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 11, three abstentions, 37 against, therefore amendment 19 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 19: O blaid: 11, Yn erbyn: 37, Ymatal: 3

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 19: For: 11, Against: 37, Abstain: 3

Amendment has been rejected

Mark Isherwood, gwelliant 20. 

Mark Isherwood, amendment 20. 

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 20 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 20 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 20? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, mae yna wrthwynebiad, felly symudwn i bleidlais ar welliant 20. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 10, pedwar yn ymatal, 37 yn erbyn. Mae gwelliant 20 wedi'i wrthod.

The question is that amendment 20 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection, and we will therefore move to a vote on amendment 20. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 10, four abstentions, 37 against. Therefore, amendment 20 is not agreed.

14:35

Gwelliant 20: O blaid: 10, Yn erbyn: 37, Ymatal: 4

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 20: For: 10, Against: 37, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 21 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 21 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 21? A oes unrhyw un yn gwrthwynebu? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, mae yna wrthwynebiad, felly symudwn i bleidlais ar welliant 21, yn enw Mark Isherwood. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 10, pedwar yn ymatal, 37 yn erbyn. Ac felly, mae gwelliant 21 wedi ei wrthod.

The question is that amendment 21 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection. We will therefore move to a vote on amendment 21, tabled in the name of Mark Isherwood. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 10, four abstentions, 37 against. And therefore, amendment 21 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 21: O blaid: 10, Yn erbyn: 37, Ymatal: 4

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 21: For: 10, Against: 37, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 22 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 22 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 22? A oes gwrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, felly symudwn ni i bleidlais ar welliant 22 yn enw Mark Isherwood. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. 

The question is that amendment 22 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes. We will move to a vote on amendment 22 in the name of Mark Isherwood. Open the vote. Close the vote. 

Close the vote. 

O blaid 10, pedwar yn ymatal, 37 yn erbyn. Ac felly, mae gwelliant 22 wedi ei wrthod.

In favour 10, four abstentions, 37 against. And therefore, amendment 22 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 22: O blaid: 10, Yn erbyn: 37, Ymatal: 4

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 22: For: 10, Against: 37, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been rejected

Gwelliant 23. 

Amendment 23.

Mark Isherwood, is 23 being moved?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 23 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 23 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 23? A oes gwrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, mae yna wrthwynebiad, felly symudwn i bleidlais ar welliant 23, yn enw Mark Isherwood. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 10, pedwar yn ymatal, 37 yn erbyn. Felly, mae gwelliant 23 wedi ei wrthod.

The question is that amendment 23 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection. We'll move to a vote on amendment 23, in the name of Mark Isherwood. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 10, four abstentions, 37 against. Therefore, amendment 23 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 23: O blaid: 10, Yn erbyn: 37, Ymatal: 4

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 23: For: 10, Against: 37, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been rejected

Gwelliant 24.

Amendment 24.

Mark Isherwood, amendment 24, is it being moved?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 24 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 24 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 24? A oes gwrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, felly symudwn i bleidlais ar welliant 24. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 10, pedwar yn ymatal, 36 yn erbyn. Felly, mae gwelliant 24 wedi ei wrthod.

The question is that amendment 24 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] There is an objection. We will move to a vote on amendment 24. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 10, four abstentions, 36 against. Therefore, amendment 24 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 24: O blaid: 10, Yn erbyn: 36, Ymatal: 4

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 24: For: 10, Against: 36, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 7: Gweithdrefnau ar gyfer Rheoliadau (Gwelliannau 4, 5, 7, 8, 9)
Group 7: Procedures for Regulations (Amendments 4, 5, 7, 8, 9)

Grŵp 7 yw'r grŵp nesaf o welliannau. Mae'r grŵp yma'n ymwneud â gweithdrefnau gwneud rheoliadau. Gwelliant 4 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp, a dwi'n galw ar Julie James i gyflwyno'r prif welliant ac i siarad i'r grŵp. Julie James.

Group 7 is our next group of amendments and relates to procedures for regulations. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 4, and I call on Julie James to move and speak to the lead amendment and the other amendments in the group. Julie James.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 4 (Julie James).

Amendment 4 (Julie James) moved.

Diolch, Llywydd. I move amendments 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9, tabled in my name. Our amendments in this group give effect to recommendations 8 and 9 of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee's report at Stage 1, which the Welsh Government accepted. The amendments provide that regulations made under sections 8 and 12 will be subject to the made affirmative procedure when they are used to amend primary legislation. Regulations made under sections 8 and 12 that do not amend primary legislation will remain subject to the negative procedure. The section 8 regulation-making power relates to the postponement of local government by-elections, and the section 12 power relates to consequential and transitional and other provisions to give full effect to the Act. The effect of the amendments is that statutory instruments made under these powers will come into force on the day on which they are made, and must be approved by the Senedd within 28 days of being made. Diolch.

14:40

Does dim siaradwyr ar gyfer y grŵp yma, felly rŷn ni'n symud yn syth i'r pleidleisiau. Dwi'n cymryd bod y Gweinidog ddim eisiau ymateb iddi hi ei hunain. Felly, y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 4? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, mae yna wrthwynebiad, ac felly dwi'n symud i bleidlais ar welliant 4. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 47, pedwar yn ymatal a neb yn erbyn. Felly, mae gwelliant 4 wedi'i gymeradwyo.

I have no speakers on this group, so we will move immediately to voting. I assume that the Minister doesn't want to respond to her own comments. So, the question is that amendment 4 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is objection, and therefore, we will move to a vote on amendment 4. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 47, four abstentions and none against. Therefore, amendment 4 is agreed.

Gwelliant 4: O blaid: 47, Yn erbyn: 0, Ymatal: 4

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 4: For: 47, Against: 0, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been agreed

Gwelliant 5. 

Amendment 5.

Amendment 5, Julie James, is it being moved?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 5 (Julie James).

Amendment 5 (Julie James) moved.

I lipread that. I assume it was moved, yes.

Felly, y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 5? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, dwi'n gweld gwrthwynebiad. Pleidlais, felly, ar welliant 5 yn enw Julie James. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 47, pedwar yn ymatal a neb yn erbyn. Mae gwelliant 5 wedi'i dderbyn.

The question is that amendment 5 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is an objection. We will move to a vote on amendment 5 in the name of Julie James. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 47, four abstentions and none against. Therefore, amendment 5 is agreed.

Gwelliant 5: O blaid: 47, Yn erbyn: 0, Ymatal: 4

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 5: For: 47, Against: 0, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been agreed

Grŵp 8: Pleidleisio drwy ddirprwy (Gwelliant 6)
Group 8: Proxy voting (Amendment 6)

Grŵp 8 yw'r grŵp nesaf o welliannau ac maen nhw'n ymwneud â phleidleisio drwy ddirprwy. Gwelliant 6 yw'r prif welliant a'r unig welliant yn y grŵp yma. Dwi'n galw ar Julie James i gynnig y gwelliant. Julie James.

We now move to group 8, which relates to proxy voting. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 6 and it's the only amendment in the group. I call on Julie James to move the amendment. Julie James.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 6 (Julie James).

Amendment 6 (Julie James) moved.

Diolch, Llywydd. I move amendment 6, tabled in my name. The amendment is related to the drafting in section 10(4) of the Bill, which modifies paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 to the National Assembly for Wales (Representation of the People) Order 2007. This makes provision in relation to the closing date for applications for absent voting at Senedd elections. Our policy intention in this section is to extend the categories of people who can apply for an emergency proxy vote. We want to include those who cannot vote in person because they are complying with an enactment relating to coronavirus or following guidance relating to coronavirus issued by the Welsh Ministers, and without the need for medical attestation in support of the application.

Furthermore, we want to help people who already have a proxy vote, which might be for the 2021 election only, for a particular period or indeed for an indefinite period. It is possible that a person with a proxy vote might discover that the individual acting as their proxy can no longer do so because they are complying with an enactment or following guidance relating to coronavirus. In this situation, the Bill provides that the person can apply to change their nominated proxy up to 5 p.m. on polling day. However, the Bill as currently drafted also enables, in the emergency period, a proxy voter to cancel their proxy vote and a person voting as proxy by post to cancel their postal proxy vote. This was not our intention, and so amendment 6 removes this ability to cancel such proxy votes and postal proxy votes. Diolch.

Llywydd, we have some concerns about the Welsh Government's amendment 6. Under normal circumstances, an emergency proxy vote is only permitted until 5 p.m. on polling day in the event of a medical emergency or in cases where people are working away. This amendment gives licence to absolutely anyone to have a proxy vote for almost any reason, setting a dangerous precedent and one that could be open to abuse. We feel very uncomfortable with such a significant change being made in this Bill with such minimal consideration and scrutiny. We'll therefore be voting against the proposal and I encourage others to do the same.

No, thank you, Llywydd. I have nothing further to add.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 6, felly? A oes unrhyw un yn gwrthwynebu gwelliant 6? Ar hyn o bryd, dwi ddim yn gweld gwrthwynebiad.

The question is that amendment 6 be agreed. Does any Member object? At the moment, I see no objections.

Yes. [Objection.] There was an objection—yes. So, we'll move to a vote. 

Agor y bleidlais ar welliant 6. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 39, un yn ymatal, 11 yn erbyn. Felly, mae gwelliant 6 wedi'i dderbyn.

Open the vote on amendment 6. Close the vote. In favour 39, one abstention, 11 against. Therefore, amendment 6 is agreed.

14:45

Gwelliant 6: O blaid: 39, Yn erbyn: 11, Ymatal: 1

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 6: For: 39, Against: 11, Abstain: 1

Amendment has been agreed

Grŵp 9: Adolygiad - paratoadau ar gyfer cynnal y pôl (Gwelliant 35)
Group 9: Review - preparations for the holding of the poll (Amendment 35)

Grŵp 9 yw'r grŵp nesaf a'r grŵp olaf. Mae'r grŵp yn ymwneud ag adolygu'r paratoadau ar gyfer cynnal y pôl. Gwelliant 35 yw'r prif welliant a'r unig welliant, a dwi'n galw ar Rhun ap Iorwerth i gynnig y gwelliant yma. Rhun ap Iorwerth.

The next and final group is Group 9. The group relates to reviewing the preparations for the holding of the poll. Amendment 35 is the lead amendment and the only amendment in the group, and I call on Rhun ap Iorwerth to move the amendment. Rhun ap Iorwerth.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 35 (Rhun ap Iorwerth).

Amendment 35 (Rhun ap Iorwerth) moved.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Llywydd. Ie, wrth inni orffen ein trafodion am heddiw a pharatoi i gwblhau'r Bil brynhawn fory, mae'n bwysig pwysleisio nad Deddf i'w rhoi ar y silff ac anghofio amdani fydd hon. Mae hi'n ddeddfwriaeth i alluogi cynnal etholiad gymaint ag ydy hi i ohirio etholiad. Yn yr ysbryd hwnnw, dŷn ni'n cyflwyno'r unig welliant yng ngrŵp 9 heddiw. Bwriad gwelliant 35 ydy sicrhau bod y paratoadau ar gyfer etholiad a'r gwaith o benderfynu a oes modd cynnal a sut mae cynnal etholiad yn ddiogel yn cael eu cadw dan adolygiad parhaus, a hynny yn gwbl dryloyw ac agored, drwy brif-ffrydio'r ystyriaethau i mewn i'r adolygiadau tair wythnosol o gyfyngiadau a rheolau COVID o hyn ymlaen. Y gobaith yn fan hyn fyddai sicrhau cyfathrebu cyson a chyfathrebu rheolaidd, gan gynnwys pa mor debygol ydy hi ein bod ni'n mynd i fod yn wynebu unrhyw ohirio, fel nad ydym ni mewn sefyllfa lle mae o'n dod fel sioc munud olaf. Fel dwi wedi'i ddweud droeon, mae angen cymaint o rybudd ag sy'n bosibl o'r penderfyniadau sydd yn debyg o gael eu cymryd.

Thank you very much, Llywydd. As we conclude our deliberations for today and prepare for completing deliberations on the Bill tomorrow afternoon, it's important that this isn't a piece of legislation to be placed on a shelf and forgotten about. It is legislation to allow the holding of an election as much as it is legislation to allow postponement of an election. In that spirit, we table the only amendment in group 9. The purpose of amendment 35 is to ensure that the preparations for holding a poll and the work of deciding whether a poll can be held safely, and how that should be done, are kept under continuous review, and that that should be done in an entirely open and transparent manner by ensuring that those considerations are mainstreamed into the three-weekly reviews of the COVID restrictions and rules. The hope here would be to ensure regular and consistent communication, including on how likely it is that we will be facing any postponement, so that we are not placed in a position where it comes as a last-minute surprise to us. As I have said on a number of occasions, we need as much warning as possible of the decisions that are likely to be taken.  

Llywydd, we will support Plaid Cymru's amendment 35, which seeks to enshrine in legislation the duty on Welsh Government to include in its three-weekly coronavirus review cycle an update on preparations for polling day. We can't see any grounds for the Welsh Government to oppose this amendment, as these are preparations that they will no doubt be making in any event. I therefore hope that they will support this, as we will. Diolch.

Diolch, Llywydd. The Welsh Ministers are under a statutory duty to review the coronavirus regulations in force in Wales and the level of restrictions that are in place. This established cycle of review, which is required at least every 21 days, enables the Government to consider and evaluate the public health position at that time, and to engage with stakeholders and partners before determining the appropriate restrictions that are needed, going forward, to respond to the evolving pandemic.

We have built the forthcoming election into our cycle of reviews, and it will be key to assessing the conditions for the election and the likelihood of postponement. We are therefore very happy to support this amendment. I would also like to reiterate that it is our firm intention that the election will proceed as scheduled on 6 May. Everyone must prepare on that basis. The provisions in this Bill are prudent measures to ensure that we can respond to the impact of the pandemic, and we hope that we never have to use them. Diolch, Llywydd.

Diolch yn fawr, Llywydd. Diolch i'r Ceidwadwyr ac i'r Llywodraeth Lafur am eu cefnogaeth i'r egwyddor yma o dryloywder. Mae o'n lle priodol iawn i gwblhau'r trafodion heddiw yma, lle mae yna gytundeb trawsbleidiol ar Fil sydd yn un sydd ymhell uwchlaw gwleidyddiaeth bleidiol. Diolch y fawr iawn, Llywydd.

Thank you very much, Llywydd. I thank the Conservatives and the Labour Government for their support to this principle of transparency. It's a very appropriate place to conclude today's proceedings, where there is cross-party agreement on a Bill that is way above party politics. Thank you very much, Llywydd.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 35? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? Dwi ddim yn gweld gwrthwynebiad. Felly, mae gwelliant 35 wedi'i dderbyn.

The question is that amendment 35 be agreed. Does any Member object? I don't see any objections. Therefore, amendment 35 is agreed.

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 7 (Julie James).

Amendment 7 (Julie James) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 7? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, dwi'n gweld bod gwrthwynebiad. Felly, fe gawn ni bleidlais ar welliant 7, yn enw Julie James. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 47, pedwar yn ymatal, neb yn erbyn. Felly, mae gwelliant 7 wedi ei gymeradwyo. 

The question is that amendment 7 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is objection. Therefore, we will move to a vote on amendment 7, in the name of Julie James. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 47, four abstentions and none against. Therefore, amendment 7 is agreed. 

14:50

Gwelliant 7: O blaid: 47, Yn erbyn: 0, Ymatal: 4

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 7: For: 47, Against: 0, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been agreed

Gwelliant 8. 

Amendment 8. 

Julie James, is it being moved?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 8 (Julie James).

Amendment 8 (Julie James) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 8? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes. Ac, felly, fe awn ni i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais ar welliant 8. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 47, pedwar yn ymatal, neb yn erbyn. Mae gwelliant 8 wedi'i dderbyn. 

The question is that amendment 8 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes. We'll therefore move to a vote. Open the vote on amendment 8. Close the vote. In favour 47, four abstentions and none against. Amendment 8 is therefore agreed. 

Gwelliant 8: O blaid: 47, Yn erbyn: 0, Ymatal: 4

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 8: For: 47, Against: 0, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been agreed

Gwelliant 9, Julie James.

Amendment 9, Julie James. 

Is it being moved?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 9 (Julie James).

Amendment 9 (Julie James) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 9? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes. Felly, dyma ni'n symud i bleidlais ar welliant 9. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 47, pedwar yn ymatal, neb yn erbyn. Felly, mae gwelliant 9 wedi'i gymeradwyo. 

The question is that amendment 9 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes. We'll therefore move to a vote on amendment 9. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 47, four abstentions, none against. Therefore, amendment 9 is agreed. 

Gwelliant 9: O blaid: 47, Yn erbyn: 0, Ymatal: 4

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 9: For: 47, Against: 0, Abstain: 4

Amendment has been agreed

Y gwelliant olaf felly i'w bleidleisio arno yw gwelliant 25, gan Mark Isherwood. 

The final amendment is amendment 25, in the name of Mark Isherwood. 

Is it being moved, Mark Isherwood?

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 25 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 25 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 25? A oes gwrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Oes, mae gwrthwynebiad, felly fe gawn ni bleidlais ar welliant 25. Agor y bleidlais. Cau'r bleidlais. O blaid 10, un yn ymatal, 40 yn erbyn. Felly, mae gwelliant 25 wedi'i wrthod.

The question is that amendment 25 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Yes, there is objection, and therefore we will move to a vote on amendment 25. Open the vote. Close the vote. In favour 10, one abstention, 40 against. Therefore, amendment 25 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 25: O blaid: 10, Yn erbyn: 40, Ymatal: 1

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 25: For: 10, Against: 40, Abstain: 1

Amendment has been rejected

Rwy'n datgan, felly, ein bod ni wedi cyrraedd diwedd ein hystyriaeth o Gyfnod 2 o Fil Etholiadau Cymru (Coronafirws), a dwi'n datgan y bernir bod pob adran o'r Bil a phob atodlen iddo wedi eu derbyn. Daw hynny â thrafodion Cyfnod 2 i ben. Felly, bydd Cyfnod 3 yn dechrau ar unwaith, gyda'r trafodion yn cael eu cynnal yfory. Yr amser cau ar gyfer cyflwyno gwelliannau yw 10 o'r gloch heno. 

We've therefore reached the end of our Stage 2 consideration of the Welsh Elections (Coronavirus) Bill, and I declare that all sections of the Bill and all Schedules are deemed agreed. That concludes Stage 2 proceedings. Stage 3 will begin immediately, with proceedings taking place tomorrow. The deadline for tabling amendments is 10 p.m. this evening.

Barnwyd y cytunwyd ar bob adran o'r Bil. 

All sections of the Bill deemed agreed. 

Daeth y cyfarfod i ben am 14:52.

The meeting ended at 14:52.