WQ89914 (e) Tabled on 28/11/2023

Is the Welsh Government open to abandoning the closed lists system that is part of its proposed Senedd reforms, following the Chair of the Expert Panel on Electoral reform stating that the system would put too much power in the hands of parties and erode trust in politicians?

Answered by Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution | Answered on 08/12/2023

The Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill, as introduced to the Senedd, is a carefully calibrated package of measures, including closed proportional lists, which responds to the recommendations of the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform, which were endorsed by Members of the Senedd.

The Bill is currently being scrutinised by the Senedd.

As the First Minister and former Chair of the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform have noted in their written evidence to the Reform Bill Committee, a key element of the committee’s remit was to make recommendations for a package of reform measures that carried the support of two-thirds of the current Members of the Senedd.

The recommendation of a closed proportional list system was made on the basis that the required super-majority within the Senedd considered it to be the most appropriate system for Senedd elections. It was subsequently endorsed by two-thirds of Senedd Members, and I am confident that remains the case.

This work is being carried out as part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.