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Government of Wales Bill


Government of Wales Bill
Part 1 — National Assembly for Wales

1

 

A

Bill

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

To

Make provision about the government of Wales.                                                           

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:—

Part 1

National Assembly for Wales

The Assembly

1       

The Assembly

(1)   

There is to be an Assembly for Wales to be known as the National Assembly

5

for Wales or Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru (referred to in this Act as “the

Assembly”).

(2)   

The Assembly is to consist of—

(a)   

one member for each Assembly constituency (referred to in this Act as

“Assembly constituency members”), and

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(b)   

members for each Assembly electoral region (referred to in this Act as

“Assembly regional members”).

(3)   

Members of the Assembly (referred to in this Act as “Assembly members”) are

to be returned in accordance with the provision made by and under this Act

for—

15

(a)   

the holding of general elections of Assembly members (for the return of

the entire Assembly), and

(b)   

the filling of vacancies in Assembly seats.

(4)   

The validity of any Assembly proceedings is not affected by any vacancy in its

membership.

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HL Bill 13354/1
 
 

Government of Wales Bill
Part 1 — National Assembly for Wales

2

 

(5)   

In this Act “Assembly proceedings” means any proceedings of—

(a)   

the Assembly,

(b)   

committees of the Assembly, or

(c)   

sub-committees of such committees.

2       

Assembly constituencies and electoral regions

5

(1)   

The Assembly constituencies are the parliamentary constituencies in Wales (as

specified in the Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Electoral Regions

(Wales) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/1041)).

(2)   

There are five Assembly electoral regions.

(3)   

The Assembly electoral regions are as specified in the Parliamentary

10

Constituencies and Assembly Electoral Regions (Wales) Order 2006.

(4)   

There are four seats for each Assembly electoral region.

(5)   

For provision about alterations in the Assembly electoral regions and in the

allocation of seats to those regions see Schedule 1.

(6)   

Subsections (1), (3) and (4) are subject to any Order in Council under the

15

Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (c. 56), as that Act has effect as extended

by that Schedule.

General elections

3       

Ordinary general elections

(1)   

The poll at an ordinary general election is to be held on the first Thursday in

20

May in the fourth calendar year following that in which the previous ordinary

general election was held, unless provision is made for the day of the poll by

an order under section 4.

(2)   

If the poll is to be held on the first Thursday in May, the Assembly—

(a)   

is dissolved by virtue of this section at the beginning of the minimum

25

period which ends with that day, and

(b)   

must meet within the period of seven days beginning immediately after

the day of the poll.

(3)   

In subsection (2) “the minimum period” means the period determined in

accordance with an order under section 13.

30

(4)   

In calculating any period of days for the purposes of subsection (2)(b), the

following days are to be disregarded—

(a)   

Saturday and Sunday,

(b)   

any day which is a bank holiday in Wales under the Banking and

Financial Dealings Act 1971 (c. 80), and

35

(c)   

any day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

4       

Power to vary date of ordinary general election

(1)   

The Secretary of State may by order provide for the poll at an ordinary general

election to be held on a day which is neither—

(a)   

more than one month earlier, nor

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Government of Wales Bill
Part 1 — National Assembly for Wales

3

 

(b)   

more than one month later,

   

than the first Thursday in May.

(2)   

An order under this section must make provision for the Assembly—

(a)   

to be dissolved on a day specified in the order, and

(b)   

to meet within the period of seven days beginning immediately after

5

the day of the poll.

(3)   

In calculating any period of days for the purposes of provision made by virtue

of subsection (2)(b), the following days are to be disregarded—

(a)   

Saturday and Sunday,

(b)   

Good Friday,

10

(c)   

any day which is a bank holiday in Wales under the Banking and

Financial Dealings Act 1971 (c. 80), and

(d)   

any day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

(4)   

An order under this section may make provision for—

(a)   

any provision of, or made under, the Representation of the People Acts,

15

or

(b)   

any other enactment relating to the election of Assembly members,

   

to have effect with such modifications or exceptions as the Secretary of State

considers appropriate in connection with the alteration of the day of the poll.

(5)   

No order is to be made under this section unless the Secretary of State has

20

consulted the Welsh Ministers about it.

(6)   

A statutory instrument containing an order under this section is subject to

annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

5       

Extraordinary general elections

(1)   

The Secretary of State must propose a day for the holding of a poll at an

25

extraordinary general election if subsection (2) or (3) applies.

(2)   

This subsection applies if—

(a)   

the Assembly resolves that it should be dissolved, and

(b)   

the resolution of the Assembly is passed on a vote in which the number

of Assembly members voting in favour of it is not less than two-thirds

30

of the total number of Assembly seats.

(3)   

This subsection applies if any period during which the Assembly is required

under section 47 to nominate an Assembly member for appointment as the

First Minister ends without such a nomination being made.

(4)   

If the Secretary of State proposes a day under subsection (1), Her Majesty may

35

by Order in Council—

(a)   

dissolve the Assembly and require an extraordinary general election to

be held,

(b)   

require the poll at the election to be held on the day proposed, and

(c)   

require the Assembly to meet within the period of seven days

40

beginning immediately after the day of the poll.

(5)   

If a poll is held under this section within the period of six months ending with

the day on which the poll at the next ordinary general election would be held

(disregarding section 4), that ordinary general election is not to be held.

 
 

Government of Wales Bill
Part 1 — National Assembly for Wales

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(6)   

But subsection (5) does not affect the year in which the subsequent ordinary

general election is to be held.

(7)   

In calculating any period of days for the purposes of subsection (4)(c), the

following days are to be disregarded—

(a)   

Saturday and Sunday,

5

(b)   

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Good Friday,

(c)   

any day which is a bank holiday in Wales under the Banking and

Financial Dealings Act 1971 (c. 80), and

(d)   

any day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

6       

Voting at general elections

10

(1)   

Each person entitled to vote at a general election in an Assembly constituency

has two votes.

(2)   

One (referred to in this Act as a “constituency vote”) is a vote which may be

given for a candidate to be the Assembly constituency member for the

Assembly constituency.

15

(3)   

The other (referred to in this Act as an “electoral region vote”) is a vote which

may be given for—

(a)   

a registered political party which has submitted a list of candidates to

be Assembly regional members for the Assembly electoral region in

which the Assembly constituency is included, or

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(b)   

an individual who is a candidate to be an Assembly regional member

for that Assembly electoral region.

(4)   

The Assembly constituency member for the Assembly constituency is to be

returned under the simple majority system.

(5)   

The Assembly regional members for the Assembly electoral region are to be

25

returned under the additional member system of proportional representation

provided for in this Part.

(6)   

In this Act “registered political party” means a party registered under Part 2 of

the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41).

7       

Candidates at general elections

30

(1)   

At a general election a person may not be a candidate to be the Assembly

constituency member for more than one Assembly constituency.

(2)   

Any registered political party may submit a list of candidates for return as

Assembly regional members for a particular Assembly electoral region at a

general election.

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(3)   

The list must be submitted to the regional returning officer.

(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,

40

(b)   

who is an individual candidate to be an Assembly member for the

Assembly electoral region or another Assembly electoral region,

 
 

Government of Wales Bill
Part 1 — National Assembly for Wales

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(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.

5

(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

10

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

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electoral region.

(7)   

In this Act “regional returning officer”, in relation to an Assembly electoral

region, means the person designated as the regional returning officer for the

Assembly electoral region in accordance with an order under section 13.

8       

Calculation of electoral region figures

20

(1)   

This section and section 9 are about the return of Assembly regional members

for an electoral region at a general election.

(2)   

The person who is to be returned as the Assembly constituency member for

each Assembly constituency in the Assembly electoral region is to be

determined before it is determined who are to be returned as the Assembly

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regional members for the Assembly electoral region.

(3)   

For each registered political party by which a list of candidates has been

submitted for the Assembly electoral region—

(a)   

there is to be added together the number of electoral region votes given

for the party in the Assembly constituencies included in the Assembly

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electoral region, and

(b)   

the number arrived at under paragraph (a) is then to be divided by the

aggregate of one and the number of candidates of the party returned as

Assembly constituency members for any of those Assembly

constituencies.

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(4)   

For each individual candidate to be an Assembly regional member for the

Assembly electoral region there is to be added together the number of electoral

region votes given for the candidate in the Assembly constituencies included

in the Assembly electoral region.

(5)   

The number arrived at—

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(a)   

in the case of a registered political party, under subsection (3)(b), or

(b)   

in the case of an individual candidate, under subsection (4),

   

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

individual candidate.

 
 

 
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