Tuesday, 29 May 2012

30/30 Vision doesn't make sense.

The current proposal  (or consultation) by  Welsh Secretary (for now) Cheryl Gillian , to change the boundaries of the Welsh Assembly to bring them in line with those 30 constituency seats proposed for the Westminster Parliament  (down from 40) could result in a total farce.

The Plan is to mirror the proposed  Westminster Constituencies of 30 seats ant have the other 30 AM's elected on the Additional Member System

Of course this depends on the Westminster changes coming about.

What would happen if it's decided Wales should have 28 or 32 seats? Is  anyone guess and even if (as is likely) the changes go through. We could see Wales  being allocated extra seats, ten  years on from the election due to demographic changes .

A rough estimate based on the Local Council elections  assessment could see the  Assembly  Constituency Seats falling in this manner 

Plaid 2/4 Current 5
Lib Dems 01/  current 1
Cons 0/2 Current 6
Lab 24/26 Current 28

So despite  a loss of 10 constituency seats Labour will comfortably be in a lead here .

The Topup seats  are more difficult.. The system is not truly proportional.


Assuming Labour get around 44% of the vote  Con and Plaid between about 20% each  LibDems 8% and others 8%

This could see the allocation for the top up could be
Plaid 8/12
Con 8/12
LibDem 2/3
Lab 2/4
Other 2/3 

The Polls may change dramatically on the next couple ot years and it is not impossible for Labour to win all 30 constituency seats ;But 28 is clearly not beyond their aspiration.

Where will leave the other Parties with only 2 Constituency seats . Labour will argue that they have no real mandate. One Party will hold nearly all the Constituency seats could  and even fail to get any Top up seats.

Supposing then Labour were denied power by a Grand Coalition which mainly consisted of AM's elected under the Top up system. Much as I'm no fan of Labour Hegemony in Wales. I would feel very uncomfortable with a Government comprising of AM's mainly from regional seats.

But  I would feel equally uncomfortable with a system as proposed by Peter Hain of 30 seats of two members elected under the first past the . Which could se Labour winnining over 50 of the 60 seats with less than 50% of the vote.

It will come as no surprise that I see STV as the solution what worries me is that the Parties in the Assembly that claim to support this system have not vigorously argued for in the Senedd. 

Perhaps Plaid and the LibDems should unite on this and start a All party campaign for STV for Wales?

We are not going to get change if we accept 30/30 as a done deal.

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