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First Minister backs calls for bigger Senedd

Mark Drakeford (Image: Getty Images). Senedd (Image: Gwalia).

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has endorsed plans to increase the size of the Senedd from sixty to ninety members.

In 2020, a report by Labour and Plaid Cymru politicians on a Senedd committee concluded that the parliament should be expanded up to ninety members so that it can more effectively discharge its responsibilities.

While the institution was granted extra powers in 2011 after a successful referendum, it still has the same number of politicians as it did when it was established.

The committee was boycotted by Brexit Party and Conservative Party Seneddwyr.

Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democrats are both in favour of an expanded Senedd, but would also like to see reform of the current electoral system to make it more representative of how people vote compared to the current hybrid model.

Some Labour politicians are less keen on reforming the electoral system because it might undermine the party's current hegemony.

Any changes to the electoral system would require the backing of a supermajority of Seneddwyr; or forty out of sixty. The total of all politicians from Labour, Plaid Cymru, and the Liberal Democrats would be sufficient.

It is estimated that the extra politicians would cost £12 million per year.

While the proposal to create additional politicians might be difficult to sell to voters, the soon-to-be-implemented boundary changes in Westminster mean that the country will lose as many as 20% of its MPs. In this context, the prospect of creating additional Seneddwyr to 'offset' reduction elsewhere might be more palatable for the public.



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