Whole Act

Publication Date:January 01, 2006
 
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Government of Wales Act 2006

2006 Chapter 32

An Act to make provision about the government of Wales.

[25th July 2006]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 National Assembly for Wales

Part 1

National Assembly for Wales

The Assembly

The Assembly

S-1 The Assembly

1 The Assembly

(1) There is to be an Assembly for Wales to be known as the National Assembly for Wales or Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru (referred to in this Act as "the Assembly").

(2) The Assembly is to consist of—

(a) one member for each Assembly constituency (referred to in this Act as "Assembly constituency members"), and

(b) members for each Assembly electoral region (referred to in this Act as "Assembly regional members").

(3) Members of the Assembly (referred to in this Act as "Assembly members") are to be returned in accordance with the provision made by and under this Act for—

(a) the holding of general elections of Assembly members (for the return of the entire Assembly), and

(b) the filling of vacancies in Assembly seats.

(4) The validity of any Assembly proceedings is not affected by any vacancy in its membership.

(5) In this Act "Assembly proceedings" means any proceedings of—

(a) the Assembly

(b) committees of the Assembly, or

(c) sub-committees of such committees.

S-2 Assembly constituencies and electoral regions

2 Assembly constituencies and electoral regions

(1) The Assembly constituencies are the parliamentary constituencies in Wales (as specified in the Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Electoral Regions (Wales) Order 2006 (S.I 2006/1041 )).

(2) There are five Assembly electoral regions.

(3) The Assembly electoral regions are as specified in the Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Electoral Regions (Wales) Order 2006.

(4) There are four seats for each Assembly electoral region.

(5) For provision about alterations in the Assembly electoral regions and in the allocation of seats to those regions see Schedule 1.

(6) Subsections (1), (3) and (4) are subject to any Order in Council under the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (c. 56) , as that Act has effect as extended by that Schedule.

General elections

General elections

S-3 Ordinary general elections

3 Ordinary general elections

(1) The poll at an ordinary general election is to be held on the first Thursday in May in the fourth calendar year following that in which the previous ordinary general election was held, unless provision is made for the day of the poll by an order under section 4.

(2) If the poll is to be held on the first Thursday in May, the Assembly—

(a) is dissolved by virtue of this section at the beginning of the minimum period which ends with that day, and

(b) must meet within the period of seven days beginning immediately after the day of the poll.

(3) In subsection (2) "the minimum period" means the period determined in accordance with an order under section 13.

(4) In calculating any period of days for the purposes of subsection (2)(b), the following days are to be disregarded—

(a) Saturday and Sunday

(b) any day which is a bank holiday in Wales under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act  1971 (c. 80) , and

(c) any day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

S-4 Power to vary date of ordinary general election

4 Power to vary date of ordinary general election

(1) The Secretary of State may by order provide for the poll at an ordinary general election to be held on a day which is neither—

(a) more than one month earlier, nor

(b) more than one month later

than the first Thursday in May.

(2) An order under this section must make provision for the Assembly—

(a) to be dissolved on a day specified in the order, and

(b) to meet within the period of seven days beginning immediately after the day of the poll.

(3) In calculating any period of days for the purposes of provision made by virtue of subsection (2)(b), the following days are to be disregarded—

(a) Saturday and Sunday

(b) Good Friday

(c) any day which is a bank holiday in Wales under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act  1971 (c. 80) , and

(d) any day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

(4) An order under this section may make provision for—

(a) any provision of, or made under, the Representation of the People Acts, or

(b) any other enactment relating to the election of Assembly members,

to have effect with such modifications or exceptions as the Secretary of State considers appropriate in connection with the alteration of the day of the poll.

(5) No order is to be made under this section unless the Secretary of State has consulted the Welsh Ministers about it.

(6) A statutory instrument containing an order under this section is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

S-5 Extraordinary general elections

5 Extraordinary general elections

(1) The Secretary of State must propose a day for the holding of a poll at an extraordinary general election if subsection (2) or (3) applies.

(2) This subsection applies if—

(a) the Assembly resolves that it should be dissolved, and

(b) the resolution of the Assembly is passed on a vote in which the number of Assembly members voting in favour of it is not less than two-thirds of the total number of Assembly seats.

(3) This subsection applies if any period during which the Assembly is required under section 47 to nominate an Assembly member for appointment as the First Minister ends without such a nomination being made.

(4) If the Secretary of State proposes a day under subsection (1), Her Majesty may by Order in Council—

(a) dissolve the Assembly and require an extraordinary general election to be held,

(b) require the poll at the election to be held on the day proposed, and

(c) require the Assembly to meet within the period of seven days beginning immediately after the day of the poll.

(5) If a poll is held under this section within the period of six months ending with the day on which the poll at the next ordinary general election would be held (disregarding section 4), that ordinary general election is not to be held.

(6) But subsection (5) does not affect the year in which the subsequent ordinary general election is to be held.

(7) In calculating any period of days for the purposes of subsection (4)(c), the following days are to be disregarded—

(a) Saturday and Sunday,

(b) Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Good Friday,

(c) any day which is a bank holiday in Wales under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act  1971 (c. 80) , and

(d) any day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

S-6 Voting at general elections

6 Voting at general elections

(1) Each person entitled to vote at a general election in an Assembly constituency has two votes.

(2) One (referred to in this Act as a "constituency vote") is a vote which may be given for a candidate to be the Assembly constituency member for the Assembly constituency.

(3) The other (referred to in this Act as an "electoral region vote") is a vote which may be given for—

(a) a registered political party which has submitted a list of candidates to be Assembly regional members for the Assembly electoral region in which the Assembly constituency is included, or

(b) an individual who is a candidate to be an Assembly regional member for that Assembly electoral region.

(4) The Assembly constituency member for the Assembly constituency is to be returned under the simple majority system.

(5) The Assembly regional members for the Assembly electoral region are to be returned under the additional member system of proportional representation provided for in this Part.

(6) In this Act "registered political party" means a party registered under Part 2 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41) .

S-7 Candidates at general elections

7 Candidates at general elections

(1) At a general election a person may not be a candidate to be the Assembly constituency member for more than one Assembly constituency.

(2) Any registered political party may submit a list of candidates for return as Assembly regional members for a particular Assembly electoral region at a general election.

(3) The list must be submitted to the regional returning officer.

(4) The list must not include more than twelve persons (but may include only one).

(5) The list must not include a person—

(a) who is included on any other list submitted for the Assembly electoral region or any list submitted for another Assembly electoral region,

(b) who is an individual candidate to be an Assembly regional member for the Assembly electoral region or another Assembly electoral region, or

(c) who is a candidate to be the Assembly constituency member for an Assembly constituency.

(6) A person may not be an individual candidate to be an Assembly regional member for the Assembly electoral region if that person is—

(a) included on a list submitted by a registered political party for the Assembly electoral region or another Assembly electoral region,

(b) an individual candidate to be an Assembly regional member for another Assembly electoral region, or

(c) a candidate to be the Assembly constituency member for an Assembly constituency.

(7) In this Act "regional returning officer", in relation to an Assembly electoral region, means the person designated as the regional returning officer for the Assembly electoral region in accordance with an order under section 13.

S-8 Calculation of electoral region figures

8 Calculation of electoral region figures

(1) This section and section 9 are about the return of Assembly regional members for an electoral region at a general election.

(2) The person who is to be returned as the Assembly constituency member for each Assembly constituency in the Assembly electoral region is to be...

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