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Welsh election 2021: Parties in final day of campaign

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Senedd building

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Wales’ political parties will make their final pitches to voters on Wednesday as the Senedd election campaign comes to a close.

Leaders are campaigning in key seats in north, south and mid Wales.

Labour’s Mark Drakeford is heading to the Vale of Glamorgan, while the Tories’ Andrew RT Davies will be in the north of the country.

Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price will focus on Llanelli while the Welsh Lib Dems’ Jane Dodds will be in Brecon.

Voting will begin at 07:00 BST on Thursday, with counting not taking place until Friday due to the pandemic.

There will be coverage across BBC TV, radio and online.

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SIGN UP FOR WALES ALERTS: Get extra updates on BBC election coverage

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Voters will be electing 60 politicians to sit in the Welsh Parliament in Cardiff Bay – known as the National Assembly for Wales until last year.

They get two votes – one for their constituency, and one for their region.

Mr Price and Mr Davies are challenging Mr Drakeford to take his job as first minister.

Where parties campaign tends to show where they think they could win extra seats or lose them, and on Wednesday the Welsh Conservatives return to north Wales.

The party won five seats in the region from Labour in the 2019 general election.

Andrew RT Davies

Andrew RT Davies, Welsh Conservative leader in the Senedd, said: “Now more than ever, we need to stick together and focus on protecting jobs and rebuilding the Welsh economy using the firm foundations of the United Kingdom.

“For many people in north Wales, Cardiff Bay can be as distant as Westminster or as Brussels ever was, and appears out of touch with people’s priorities.”

He promised to work with Conservatives in Westminster “to deliver vital schemes such as a freeport, the A55 and a North Wales Metro system to improve connectivity across the region”.

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WALES ELECTION: THE BASICS

What’s happening? On 6 May, people will vote to elect 60 Members of the Senedd (MSs). The party that can command the support of a majority of MSs will form the Welsh government. Find out more here.

What powers does the Senedd have? MSs pass laws on aspects of life in Wales such as health, education and transport – and have some tax powers.

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Mark Drakeford

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Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford is campaigning in the Vale of Glamorgan – a seat currently held by Labour and which the Conservatives are hoping to gain.

He said a vote for Labour was a “vote for a jobs-first recovery”.

“I’ve had hundreds of conversations with people who have told me they are glad they have lived in Wales during the past year – and glad that their Welsh Labour government has taken the approach it has to the pandemic,” Mr Drakeford said.

“Because of the way we have worked together as a country, we are well placed to move forward through these tough times with the jobs-first recovery that Wales needs.”

Adam Price

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Adam Price, Plaid Cymru’s leader, will be in the constituency of Llanelli. The seat is held by Labour but had been Plaid Cymru’s from 2007 to 2011.

Plaid narrowly missed winning the seat in 2016 by 382 votes.

The pro-independence leader said: “A vote for Plaid Cymru is a vote for hope.

“We refuse to believe that there is anything inferior about Wales that means we can’t thrive like other independent nations around the world.

“Now is the time to show more ambition than ever before to ensure that we meet the challenge of rebuilding our economy and public services.”

Jane Dodds

The Welsh Liberal Democrats meanwhile will be in Ystradgynlais and, later, Brecon.

Both are in the Brecon and Radnorshire constituency – the only seat the party held on to at the 2016 Welsh Assembly election.

Welsh party leader Jane Dodds said: “At this election people should vote for the future and vote to put recovery first.”

She said her party had an “ambitious and costed manifesto that will prioritise Wales’ recovery and enable us to move on from the pandemic”.

“We will prioritise job creation, house building, a fair deal for our farmers, increased childcare and create a 24/7 mental health service. This is our ambitious vision for Wales.”

Meanwhile the Wales Green Party asked voters to lend their support on the regional ballots.

Amelia Womack said: “It is long overdue that we in Wales get the Green scrutiny in the Senedd that we deserve. We can see across the UK and beyond the monumental difference Greens make when elected, holding government to account.”

Diagram showing the number of seats by party

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How does the Senedd election work?

Voters will elect 40 Members of the Senedd (MSs) representing local constituencies, and 20 representing four large regions.

Each of the regions elects four MSs.

Voters will get two ballots – one to back a candidate in their constituency, and one to back a party or individual in the region.

The ballot for the region is decided by a system that picks people more according to their share of the vote.

That is different to the constituencies, where the candidate with the most votes wins.

The party or combination of parties that can command the greatest support in the Senedd after the election will form the next Welsh government.

A modern browser with JavaScript and a stable internet connection is required to view this interactive. More information about these elections

Who can I vote for in my area?

Enter your postcode, or the name of your English council or Scottish or Welsh constituency to find out. Eg ‘W1A 1AA’ or ‘Westminster’

Note: This lookup covers national elections in Scotland and Wales, the Hartlepool by-election, as well as council and mayoral elections in England and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections in England and Wales. There may be parish council elections or council by-elections where you are. Check your local council website for full details.
Last updated: April 29, 2021, 14:06 GMT

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Where are the battlegrounds?

By Adrian Browne, BBC Wales political reporter

Labour, which has been in charge in Wales since devolution 22 years ago, has been campaigning hard in seats it lost to the Conservatives at the 2019 general election.

For their part, the Tories have been putting in the hours to try to convert those Westminster gains they made into Senedd victories.

Wrexham, Vale of Clwyd, Clwyd South and Delyn turned from red to blue in 2019, and it is no surprise both parties have focused much of their attention on these seats this time around.

In the south, the Conservatives have hopes of ousting Labour in the Vale of Glamorgan, a seat the Tories have held at Westminster since 2010.

Labour is also keen to win back the Rhondda seat captured by Plaid Cymru at the 2016 poll.

As well as hoping to prevent that seat from returning to the Labour fold, Plaid is targeting the Labour marginal of Llanelli, which has flipped between the two parties since the dawn of devolution in 1999.

Rhondda scene

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Tory-held Aberconwy is also a Plaid Cymru target seat, and the party has also used its campaign to urge voters to chose Plaid in their second vote, with the aim of picking up extra members in the regional seats.

The Liberal Democrats are concentrating on keeping their one remaining seat, Brecon and Radnorshire, with the possibility of picking up a regional list seat as compensation if they fail to do so.

Meanwhile, Abolish the Welsh Assembly, Reform UK, and the Green Party are hoping to make a breakthrough in those regional votes.

UKIP won seven regional seats in 2016, shortly before Wales and the UK voted to leave the EU in a referendum.

It will be hoping to, at the very least, retain a presence in Cardiff Bay.

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This post courtesy of uk-news

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