Government of Wales Act 1998

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1998 c. 38


Government of Wales Act 1998

1998 Chapter 38

An Act to establish and make provision about the National Assembly for Wales and the offices of Auditor General for Wales and Welsh Administration Ombudsman to reform certain Welsh public bodies and abolish certain other Welsh public bodies and for connected purposes.

[31st July 1998]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I The National Assembly for Wales

Part I

The National Assembly for Wales

The Assembly

The Assembly

S-1 The Assembly.

1 The Assembly.

(1) There shall be an Assembly for Wales to be known as the National Assembly for Wales or Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru (but referred to in this Act as the Assembly).

(2) The Assembly shall be a body corporate.

(3) The exercise by the Assembly of its functions is to be regarded as done on behalf of the Crown.

S-2 Membership.

2 Membership.

(1) The Assembly shall consist of—

(a) one member for each Assembly constituency, and

(b) members for each Assembly electoral region.

(2) The Assembly constituencies and Assembly electoral regions, and the number of Assembly seats for each Assembly electoral region, shall be as provided for by or in accordance with Schedule 1.

(3) Members of the Assembly (referred to in this Act as Assembly members) shall be returned in accordance with the provision made by and under this Act for—

(a) the holding of ordinary elections of Assembly members, and

(b) the filling of vacancies in Assembly seats.

(4) An ordinary election involves the holding of elections for the return of the entire Assembly.

(5) The term of office of an Assembly member—

(a) begins when he is declared to be returned as an Assembly member, and

(b) continues until the end of the day before the day of the poll at the next ordinary election.

(6) But an Assembly member may at any time resign his seat by giving notice to—

(a) the presiding officer, or

(b) any person authorised by the standing orders of the Assembly to receive the notice.

(7) The validity of anything done by the Assembly is not affected by any vacancy in its membership.

Ordinary elections

Ordinary elections

S-3 Time of ordinary elections.

3 Time of ordinary elections.

(1) The poll at the first ordinary election shall be held on a day appointed by order made by the Secretary of State.

(2) The poll at each subsequent ordinary election shall be held on the first Thursday in May in the fourth calendar year following that in which the previous ordinary election was held.

(3) But the Secretary of State may by order require the poll at such an ordinary election to be held on a day which is neither—

(a) more than one month earlier, nor

(b) more than one month later, than the first Thursday in May.

(4) Where the poll at an ordinary election would be held on the same day as polls at ordinary elections of community councillors, the Secretary of State may by order provide for the polls at ordinary elections of community councillors to be postponed, for not more than three months, to a day specified in the order.

(5) An order under subsection (4) may make provision for—

(a) any provision of, or made under, the Representation of the People Acts, or

(b) any other enactment relating to elections of community councillors,

to have effect with such modifications or exceptions as the Secretary of State considers appropriate in connection with the postponement of polls for which it provides.

(6) No order shall be made under subsection (3), and no order in connection with an ordinary election subsequent to the first shall be made under subsection (4), unless the Secretary of State has consulted the Assembly.

S-4 Voting at ordinary elections.

4 Voting at ordinary elections.

(1) Each person entitled to vote at an ordinary election in an Assembly constituency shall have two votes.

(2) One (referred to in this Act as a constituency vote) is to be given for a candidate to be the Assembly member for the Assembly constituency.

(3) The other (referred to in this Act as an electoral region vote) is to be given for—

(a) a registered political party which has submitted a list of candidates to be Assembly members for the Assembly electoral region in which the Assembly constituency is included, or

(b) an individual who is a candidate to be an Assembly member for that Assembly electoral region.

(4) The Assembly member for the Assembly constituency shall be returned under the simple majority system.

(5) The Assembly members for the Assembly electoral region shall be returned under the additional member system of proportional representation in accordance with sections 5 to 7.

(6) The person who is to be returned as the Assembly member for each Assembly constituency in the Assembly electoral region must be determined before it is determined who are to be returned as the Assem bly members for that Assembly electoral region.

(7) At an ordinary election a person may not be a candidate to be the Assembly member for more than one Assembly constituency.

(8) In this Act ‘registered political party’ means a party registered under any enactment providing for the registration of political parties.

S-5 Party lists and individual candidates.

5 Party lists and individual candidates.

(1) Any registered political party may submit a list of candidates to be Assembly members for the Assembly electoral region.

(2) The list is to be submitted to the regional returning officer.

(3) The list has effect in relation to—

(a) the ordinary election, and

(b) any vacancies in seats of Assembly members returned for Assembly electoral regions which occur after that election and before the next ordinary election.

(4) The list must not include more than twelve persons (but may include only one).

(5) The list must not include a person—

(a) who is included on any other list submitted for the Assembly electoral region or any list submitted for another Assembly electoral region,

(b) who is an individual candidate to be an Assembly member for the Assembly electoral region or another Assembly electoral region,

(c) who is a candidate to be the Assembly member for an Assembly constituency which is not included in the Assembly electoral region, or

(d) who is a candidate to be the Assembly member for an Assembly constituency included in the Assembly electoral region but is not a candidate of the party.

(6) A person may not be an individual candidate to be an Assembly member for the Assembly electoral region if he is—

(a) included on a list submitted by a registered political party for the Assembly electoral region or another Assembly electoral region,

(b) an individual candidate to be an Assembly member for another Assembly electoral region,

(c) a candidate to be the Assembly member for an Assembly constituency which is not included in the Assembly electoral region, or

(d) a candidate of any registered political party to be the Assembly member for an Assembly constituency included in the Assembly electoral region.

S-6 Calculation of electoral region figures.

6 Calculation of electoral region figures.

(1) For each registered political party by which a list of candidates has been submitted for the Assembly electoral region—

(a) there shall be added together the number of electoral region votes given for the party in the Assembly constituencies included in the Assembly electoral region, and

(b) the number arrived at under paragraph (a) shall then be divided by the aggregate of one and the number of candidates of the party returned as Assembly members for any of those Assembly constituencies.

(2) For each individual candidate to be an Assembly member for the Assembly electoral region there shall be added together the number of electoral region votes given for him in the Assembly constituencies included in the Assembly electoral region.

(3) The number arrived at—

(a) in the case of a registered political party, under subsection (1)(b), or

(b) in the case of an individual candidate, under subsection (2),

is referred to in this Act as the electoral region figure for that party or individual candidate.

S-7 Return of electoral region members.

7 Return of electoral region members.

(1) The first seat for the Assembly electoral region shall be allocated to the party or individual candidate with the highest electoral region figure.

(2) The second and subsequent seats for the Assembly electoral region shall be allocated to the party or individual candidate with the highest electoral region figure after any recalculation required by subsection

(3) has been carried out. (3) This subsection requires a recalculation under section 6(1)(b) in relation to a party—

(a) for the first application of subsection (2), if the application of subsection (1) resulted in the allocation of...

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