The Welsh Elections (Coronavirus) Act 2021 was enacted to protect against coronavirus during the Senedd Cymru elections and the Welsh local government by-elections which were held in 2021. These measures included:
- the power to postpone the 2021 Senedd Cymru general election (which was due to take place on 6 May 2021) for up to 6 months;
- the power to provide additional polling days for that election;
- the power to postpone the Senedd Cymru by-elections which were due to be held after 6 May 2021;
- the power to postpone the Welsh local government by-elections which were due to be held after 6 May 2021.
The overriding objective of the Act was to ensure that the Senedd election could be administered and could proceed safely on 6 May 2021, within the context of the unfolding pandemic, and that the electorate could participate and vote. This included making it easier for people to vote by post or by proxy and allowing votes to be counted electronically to speed up the process.
The Explanatory Notes to the Act provide detailed commentary on the various provisions.
Coming into force:
The Act came into force on 17 March 2021, which was the day after the day it received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 18.
Subordinate legislation made under the Act:
No subordinate legislation has been made under this Act.
Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd:
This Bill was introduced by Julie James MS, (the then) Minister for Housing and Local Government on 27 January 2021 and passed by Senedd Cymru on 10 February 2021.
More information about the Bill is available on the Senedd’s website, including a record of the passage of the Bill through Senedd and the Explanatory Memorandum that was prepared by the Welsh Government (on introduction of the Bill).
The Act received Royal Assent on 16 March 2021.