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Our plans to create a more effective and representative Senedd.

First published:
18 September 2023
Last updated:


The Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill sets out our plans to create a Welsh Parliament that can better serve the people in Wales.

The Bill reflects how the role and responsibilities of the Senedd have changed since the National Assembly for Wales began in 1999.

The Senedd can now make laws and set Welsh taxes – these are decisions which affect the lives of every single person in Wales.

But while its responsibilities have grown, membership of the Senedd has not. It remains far smaller than the Scottish Parliament, which has 129 members, and the Northern Ireland Assembly with 90 members.

This Bill will strengthen democracy in Wales.

Proposed changes

Key proposals in the Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill include:

  • Increasing the size of the Senedd to 96 Members.
  • Changing the electoral system to one fully based on the principle of proportional representation. From the 2026 Senedd election, the D’Hondt formula will be used (this formula has been used to determine the Senedd’s regional list Members - Senedd reform glossary).
  • Making 16 new Senedd constituencies. These will be created by pairing the 32 new UK Parliamentary constituencies for the 2026 Senedd election. 
  • Six Members will be elected, from closed lists, in each of the 16 constituencies.
  • Increasing the limit on the number of Welsh Ministers who can be appointed from 12 to 17 (plus the First Minister and the Counsel General). Welsh Ministers will have the ability to further increase the number to 18 or 19, but only with the Senedd’s approval.
  • Giving Senedd Members the flexibility to elect a second Deputy Presiding Officer.
  • Making it law that all candidates for Senedd elections must live in Wales. 
  • Holding Senedd elections every 4 years from 2026 onwards.

The Bill is based on the recommendations of the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform. These recommendations have been supported by a majority of Senedd Members (in June 2022).

Senedd reform is a Welsh Government Programme for Government commitment. The work is being carried out in collaboration with Plaid Cymru as part of the Co-operation Agreement.


Next steps

The Bill was laid before the Senedd on 18 September 2023. Members of the Senedd will scrutinise the detail of the Bill, before voting whether or not to support it.

The Bill will need a super-majority (40 of the Senedd’s 60 Members) for it to pass.

If the Bill is passed, the changes will take effect from the 2026 Senedd elections.

A separate Bill will be introduced by the Welsh Government later in the year. It will set out plans to introduce gender quotas for Senedd electoral candidates. This will aim to make the Senedd more effective and more representative.

Further information