What is the Welsh Assembly?
Following the election of Tony Blair’s Labour government in 1997, a referendum was held in Wales over whether there was support for the establishment of a national assembly. Although a referendum had previously been held in 1979 it had been defeated, but this time a majority voted in favour. As a result the Government of Wales Act 1998 saw the creation of the Welsh Assembly.
The Welsh Assembly is based in Cardiff Bay, and has power in a number of devolved areas, most notably health, education, housing, and transport. It is made up of 60 Assembly Members (scroll down for more info on elections), some of whom belong to the Welsh Government.
The Welsh Government is elected by the people of Wales to “carry out a programme of government”, this involves developing and implementing policies and laws for Wales. AMs who do not belong to the Government will scrutinise their work and may put forward their own policies. All AMs also have a responsibility for representing their constituents (you).
Welsh Assembly Elections
The way the Welsh Assembly is elected is a little more complicated than in the rest of the UK. The Assembly has 60 elected Assembly Members (AMs). Assembly elections take place every four years and each registered voter has two votes.
Your two votes will decide the five Assembly Members that represent you in the Assembly. You’ll get one vote to decide who will be the AM for for your constituency (local area), and a second vote which will decide the makeup of the four AMs that represent your region (either North Wales, Mid and West Wales, South Wales West, South Wales East or South Wales Central). Find your Assembly Members here.