The Welsh Government’s firm intention remains that the Senedd election scheduled for 6 May 2021 should go ahead on that date, and work is continuing on that basis. However, it is not possible to predict the precise public health position next May, and the continuing and evolving effects of the Coronavirus pandemic could affect aspects of the election arrangements and require some adjustments to be made.
The Welsh Government established the Elections Planning Group – comprising representatives of a range of organisations involved in the elections, political parties, other stakeholders and Welsh Government officials – to consider the potential impact of Coronavirus measures on the administration of the election and in particular any implications in relation to the underpinning legislative provision.
I am grateful to the representatives of the different parties and organisations for their participation in the work of the Group, which has been valuable in identifying areas of consensus as we seek to ensure a safe election can be delivered in May 2021, and in considering a range of broader issues. I have now had chance to consider the report and to discuss it at a meeting of the Welsh Government Cabinet.
The Elections Planning Group reached a consensus on a number of areas, which the Welsh Government will implement. Further consideration is being given to other issues covered in, and arising from, the Group’s report.
The Welsh Government intends to schedule a Plenary debate for 17 November in order to provide an opportunity for Members to share their views on this subject, and to enable the Welsh Government to outline further information on next steps.