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Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020

The Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020:

  • changed the name of the National Assembly for Wales to “Senedd Cymru” or “Welsh Parliament” and makes associated changes (including to other legislation)
  • lowered the minimum voting age at Senedd elections to 16 and gives qualifying foreign citizens the right to vote at Senedd elections 
  • made changes to the law on disqualification from being a Senedd Member
  • placed a duty on the Senedd to consider the financial and oversight arrangements for the work of the Electoral Commission in relation to devolved Welsh elections and devolved referendums
  • extended the deadline for the first meeting of the Senedd after an election, and
  • clarified the Senedd Commission’s powers to charge for goods and services.

The Explanatory Notes to the Act provide detailed commentary on the various provisions.

Coming into force:

  • The provisions listed in section 42(1) of the Act came into force on 15 January 2020, which was the day the Act received Royal Assent. 
  • Part 2 (sections 2 to 9 and Schedule 1) came into force on 6 May 2020, in accordance with section 42(2)
  • Sections 12 to 26 came into force on 1 June 2020, in accordance with section 42(3)(a)
  • Section 42(3)(b) provides that section 28 and Schedule 2 come into force when one or more orders are made by the Welsh Ministers. The following order has been made: The Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020 (Commencement) Order 2020.
  • Section 36 of Part 5 came into force on 6 May 2021, which was the day of the first Senedd Election at which the poll was held on or after 5 April 2021, in accordance with section 42(5).

Subordinate legislation made under the Act

No subordinate legislation has been made under this Act.

Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd: 

The Bill was introduced by Elin Jones MS, Llywydd and Chair of the Senedd Commission on 12 February 2019 and passed by Senedd Cymru (the then National Assembly for Wales) on 27 November 2019.

More information about the Bill is available on the Senedd’s website, including a record of the passage of the Bill through the Senedd and the Explanatory Memorandum that was prepared by Elin Jones MS (as revised and laid before the Assembly on 6 March 2020).

The Act received Royal Assent on 15 January 2020.

Related articles and information:

Senedd and Elections Act 2020

Published on
Last updated
03 August 2023