Editorial

Let’s talk about the 2021 Senedd Elections

2021 Senedd Elections
Senedd: This year's Senedd Elections are important. Source: eNil (via Wikimedia Commons)
With Welsh Senedd Elections never attaining more than a 50 percent turnout rate, it's vital we discuss this year's Elections and its importance to the Welsh population.

By Tirion Davies | Editor-in-Chief

On Thursday, we’ll take to the polls and vote for which government we’d like to run Wales for the next four years.

Since the Senedd was formed, following a referendum in 1997, the Senedd Elections have never seen voter turnout of over 50 percent. However, as we’ve battled through lockdowns and fought against COVID-19, it’s very likely this history of voter turnout will soon change.

Wales has since changed the voting age, with 16 and 17-year-olds able to vote for the first time in this years’ Senedd Elections. It’s likely it will increase the turnout of the elections, but it’s unknown yet what kind of an effect this will have on the outcome of the election.

Labour has led the devolved nation since 1999, winning 29 of 60 seats in 2016, with Plaid Cymru winning the second greatest number of seats, closely followed by the Conservative Party.

A poll for Sky News on April 20 suggested that Labour could win 29 seats again, with the Conservatives set to win 19 seats, and Plaid Cymru winning 10. However, a YouGov poll for ITV Wales and Cardiff University later suggested that perhaps Labour could win just 26 seats, claiming that Plaid Cymru might win 17 seats, and the Conservatives winning 14 seats.

If Labour wins the 29 seats they have been projected to win, they could try to run as a majority government, but if they are to win fewer seats, they may need to form a coalition government, which would likely be formed with Plaid Cymru.

Independence is of growing interest in Wales, in particular, amongst 16 and 17-year-olds, and is supported by Plaid Cymru. With the growth in movements such as YesCymru, a recent poll finds that just under 40 percent of people in Wales said they would vote for independence.

However, since 2016, Wales has seen many changes, including most notably, COVID-19. In March 2020, the UK went into a country-wide lockdown, and ever since, Wales and other devolved nations have been making their own decisions on how to handle the pandemic, separate from England.

With changes to lockdown restrictions being made by the Welsh Government and not the UK Government, more and more people began to understand the workings of the Welsh Government in a way unlike ever before.

As lockdown rules differ between England and Wales, more and more, the Welsh population have been more engaged in the politics of its own nation. It’s likely there could be a higher turnout this year, with engagement more obvious. However, as lockdown restrictions continue to slowly ease, there remains the likelihood that people could forego the polling stations.

More than anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought people in Wales closer, with the aim of combatting the virus on everyone’s minds. Whether or not Labour wins yet another election, a turnout of more than 50 percent would be a win for politics and devolution in Wales.

Regardless of the outcome of the 2021 Senedd Elections, the most important element of the election is that people in Wales use their right to vote.

You can find a simplified list of policies on BBC Wales’ website.


Ar dydd Mawrth, byddem yn bleidleisio dros llywodraeth hoffem gweld yn rhedeg Cymru am y pedair flynedd nesaf.

Ers ffurfiant y Senedd, o ganlyniad i refferendwm yn 1997, nid yw Etholiadau’r Senedd erioed wedi gweld nifer y bleidleiswyr yn uwch na 50 y cant. Ond, nawr ein bod wedi delio gyda COVID-19, mae’n tebygol bydd yr hanes yma’n newid, ac y byddem yn gweld nifer y bleidleiswyr yn tyfu eleni.

Mae Cymru erbyn hyn wedi newid yr oedran pleidleisio, o 18 i 16 ac 17. Mae’n tebygol bydd y newid hon yn cynyddu nifer y bleidleiswyr, ond mae llawer o ansicrwydd yn barhau o ran sut bydd y newid yma’n effeithio ar canlyniadau’r etholiad yn 2021.

Mae’r Plaid Llafur wedi arwain y gwlad datganoledig ers 1999, yn ennill 29 o’r 60 seddi yn yr etholiad yn 2016, gyda Plaid Cymru yn ennill yr ail nifer fwyaf o seddi, ac yna’r Blaid Ceidwadol.

Gwnaeth poll i Sky News ar Ebrill 20 datgan mae’n posib y bydd Llafur yn ennill yr etholiad unwaith eto gyda 29 o seddi, gyda’r poll yn sôn gall y Blaid Ceidwadol ennill 19 o seddi, a Plaid Cymru’n ennill 10. Er hyn, dengys poll gan YouGov gan ITV Cymru a Prifysgol Caerdydd y bod hi’n posib y gall Llafur ennill yr etholiad gyda 26 o seddi, yn nodi y gall Plaid Cymru enill 17 o’r seddi, a’r Ceidwadwyr yn enill 14 o seddi.

Os yw’r Plaid Llafur yn ennill y 29 o seddi mae’n disgwyl iddynt ennill, mae’n posib y gallen nhw ceisio rhedeg fel llywodraeth fwyafrifol, ond os ydyn nhw’n enill llai o seddi, mae’n posib bydd rhaid iddynt creu clymblaid; mae’n posib y bydd y clymblaid yma gyda Plaid Cymru.

Ers 2016, mae Cymru wedi gweld mawr o newid, gan gynnwys yn bennaf, COVID-19. Ym mis Mawrth 2020, dechreuodd y cyfnod clo ar ddraws y Deyrnas Unedig, ac ers hynny, mae Cymru a’r gwledydd datganoledig eraill wedi fod ati’n creu eu penderfyniadau’u hun ar sut i reoli’r pandemig, ar wahan i Loegr.

Gan oedd y rheolau cyfnod clo yng Nghymru yn cael eu rheoli gan y Llywodraeth yng Nghaerdydd ac nid y Llywodraeth yn San Steffan, daeth mwy a mwy o bobl yn ymwybodol o weithgareddau’r Llywodraeth Cymraeg, yn fwy nag erioed o’r blaen.

Mae’n tebygol y bydd mwy o bleidleiswyr Cymraeg yn Etholiad Seneddol 2021, wrth bod y pandemig yn amlygu pwysigrwydd datganoli i wlad bychain fel Cymru. Ond, wrth bod rheolau cyfnod clo yn dechrau leddfu, mae’n posib na fydd cymaint o bobl yn bleidleisio oherwydd nad ydynt eisiau derbyn y feirws.

Mwy nag unrhywbeth, mae’r pandemig wedi uno’r Cymry, gyda’r gobaith o waredu ar y feirws yn bwysig i bawb. Os yw Llafur yn ennill eto neu’i beidio, bydd mwy na hanner y pobl yng Nghymru’n bleidleisio yn lwyddiant i wleidyddiaeth yng Nghymru.

Beth bynnag sy’n digwydd ar ddydd Iau, y peth pwysicaf yw bod y Cymry yn mynd ati i bleidleisio yn Etholiadau Seneddol 2021.

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