Senedd Election 2021: Leafleting returns

The delivery of election leaflets is now permitted under public health rules ahead of the Senedd election in May. 
Source: left to right (via. Wikimedia Commons).
By Morgan Perry | Political Editor

After public health restrictions were relaxed by the First Minister, the delivery of election leaflets is now permitted ahead of the Senedd election in May. 

During Wales’ “stay at home” phase of restrictions, campaigners were not permitted to deliver leaflets directly to voters’ homes.

Those delivering leaflets ahead of the election – which is scheduled to go ahead on May 6 – are permitted to do so, so long as they deliver them on their own, and not as part of a group.

In his press conference on Friday, March 12, the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, confirmed that preparations for the election to go ahead as planned on May 6 are in full swing. Police and Crime Commissioner elections are also due to take place at the same time.

There had previously been concerns that the election could be delayed, in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The review this week concluded the criteria for postponing the Senedd election have not been met. Full preparations for May 6 will therefore continue,” Drakeford confirmed last week.

Voters have already been encouraged to register for a postal vote, or, if voting in person, to take their own pen or pencil to the polls in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Although leafleting is now permitted, under the latest relaxation of public health rules, doorstep campaigning remains prohibited. 

Drakeford also said that the Welsh Government would be issuing guidance for doorstep campaigning ahead of the Senedd election. Campaigning in person remains banned. 

 The reason for the ongoing ban surrounds the potential confusion about what is, and isn’t, allowed under Wales’ coronavirus restrictions. 

“You cannot meet members of your own family but you can meet a political canvasser, I don’t see that being easy to explain,” Drakeford said. 

Welsh politicians have previously criticised the ban on the delivery of election leaflets, with the Propel party MS, Neil McEvoy receiving a visit from police after reports that he had been delivering leaflets by hand. 

McEvoy defended himself after being cautioned by South Wales Police. “I was carrying out essential work which is communicating with constituents who are representing them,” he said.  

The next review of Wales’ coronavirus restrictions will take place on April 1, when the Welsh Government will determine whether non-essential retail and close-contact services will be permitted to open. 

Follow @gairrhyddpol for all of the latest updates from the world of politics.

Politics Morgan Perry

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