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Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021

Section 126 – Voting system

546.Section 7 of this Act makes provision enabling a principal council to choose its voting system, the choices being between first past the post or single transferable vote. Section 126 requires merger regulations to specify which system is to be used for the first elections of a council created by voluntary merger.

547.It will fall to the merging councils in the first instance to agree among themselves which system should be used for the first elections to the new authority, and to make that choice known to the Welsh Ministers (probably in the merger application).

548.If the merging councils fail to agree the formula set out in subsection (2)(b) will apply. The Welsh Ministers would first specify the voting system used in all or the majority of the merging councils immediately before the date of the merger application; if both systems were used in an equal number of merging councils, the Welsh Ministers would take the decision after consulting the merging councils.

549.Under section 175(6), the provisions in Part 1 of this Act, relating to the choice of voting system, come into force on 6 May 2022 (the day after the first scheduled ordinary local government elections after the passing of the Act). If a voluntary merger application is submitted before the choice of voting system provisions in Part 1 come into force, the first elections to the resulting new council must be held using the first past the post system (subsection (4)).

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