Different types of elections

There are six types of election in the UK, and referendums can also be called as a way of asking the public a question.  As a poll approaches you will be provided with information on the election but you won’t be able to take part unless you are registered to vote.

Local Council Elections

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has 11 electoral divisions to which a total of 33 councillors are elected via the first past the post election method. Elections to the one community council in Bedlinog is generally combined with the county borough election.

The next local election will be held in May 2017. 

UK Parliamentary Election

MPs are voted into the House of Commons at a Parliamentary General Election.

Merthyr Tydfil currently combines with the northern part of the county borough of Caerphilly (upper Rhymney valley) to form the Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney Constituency.  However, on 24 March 2016 the Boundary Commission for Wales announced the start of the 2018 Review of Parliamentary Constituencies in Wales, and the details can be found on their website.

Except in very exceptional circumstances, Parliamentary Elections will be held every 5 years, on the first Thursday in May. 

The next elections are scheduled for 2020.

National Assembly for Wales Elections

The National Assembly for Wales is a devolved assembly with power to make legislation in Wales. Everyone in Wales has five Assembly Members; one for the constituency you live in and four that represent the region you live in.

When you vote in a National Assembly for Wales election you have two votes – one to elect your constituency member and one to elect your regional member. In Merthyr Tydfil you will be voting for a Merthyr and Rhymney constituency member and 4 regional members for South Wales East. The Assembly comprises 60 members:

  • 40 AMs represent geographical constituencies and are elected by the first past the post method; and
  • 20 AMs from five electoral regions using the D’Hondt method of proportional representation.

The next elections are scheduled for 2021

Police and Crime Commissioner Election

Elections for the Police and Crime Commissioners are held every four years.

When you vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections you use the Supplementary vote system.  For example, the elector will be asked to choose a first preference candidate and a second preference candidate.  If there is not a majority of 50% + 1 from the first preference votes, the second preference votes will be taken into account.  If only two candidates stand in your area the first-past-the-post system is used.

The Merthyr Tydfil County Borough falls within the South Wales police area.

The last Police and Crime Commissioner election took place in May 2015, and the next election is scheduled for 2019.

The next elections are scheduled for 2021

European Elections

European Parliamentary elections are held every five years and the electoral region of Wales returns four Members to the European Parliament.

Britain is one of eight countries - including Germany and France - to use a "closed list" system. So you vote for a party, rather than an individual (although Independent candidates can stand in their own right). The parties themselves decide who goes on the candidate list for each of the 12 electoral regions. The ones at the top stand the best chance of being elected. The way seats are allocated within each European constituency uses the D'hondt system, which is a form of proportional representation.

The next elections are scheduled for 2019.


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