An expanded and reformed Senedd will be a “huge boost to Welsh democracy”, Plaid Cymru has said.

Plaid Cymru spokesperson on the constitution, Rhys ab Owen MS welcomed the report by the Senedd Special Purpose Committee on Senedd reform which backs expanding the Senedd to 96 members via a proportional voting system with integrated gender quotas.

Mr ab Owen said that a “more modern, more diverse and more responsive” would be able to more adequatley meet the needs of the people of Wales and would be a “stark and welcome contrast” to the chaos of Westminster.

The Senedd Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform recommends:

  • That Senedd reform be implemented by next scheduled Senedd election in 2026
  • 96 Senedd members elected via closed proportional lists  with seats allocated using D'Hondt formula
  • Integrated statutory gender quotas - with provisions to encourage each political party to prominently publish a diversity and inclusion strategy at least 6 months prior to scheduled Senedd election
  • That the 2026 election uses the final 32 UK Parliament constituencies proposed by the Boundary Commission for Wales once it has concluded its 2023 Parliamentary Review – but that this must not automatically be co-terminous.
  • That these constituencies are to be paired to create 16 new multi-member constituencies – and the number of Senedd constituencies is specified as 16 in primary legislation with each constituency returning the same number of Members of the Senedd.
  • A full boundary review should be instigated in this Senedd term, with its recommendations to take effect from the 2031 Senedd election – with the legislation including a requirement for full boundary reviews to be undertaken on a periodic basis, with limited appropriate provisions for interim reviews if necessary.

Plaid Cymru spokesperson on the constitution, Rhys ab Owen MS said,

"Plaid Cymru welcome this report along with its recommendations and thank the committee for their work. A stronger Senedd with a greater ability to make a difference to the lives of people across our country will be a huge boost to Welsh democracy.

“STV remains Plaid Cymru’s party policy.  We also recognise that no one party in the Senedd has the two-thirds majority required to deliver reform. As the report itself notes, in the cross-party discussions that have taken place on reform, STV - alongside open or flexible lists, between 90 and 100 members, legislating for gender quotas and delivering reform by 2026 - were put forward as our key priorities.  We are delighted that the majority these will now be delivered, alongside a proportional voting system.    

“A Senedd that is more modern, more diverse, and more responsive to the needs of the people of Wales is closer to being realised - a stark and welcome contrast to the chaos and corruption of Westminster. Plaid Cymru is very proud that our vision and willingness to cooperate will now make this happen – almost twenty years since plans to reform the Senedd were first published.