Much of the Bill concerns financial powers for the National Assembly. However, the Bill also includes some details concerning elections to the National Assembly. Specifically:
- It will “extend Assembly terms permanently from four to five years, making it less likely that Assembly elections will coincide with Westminster parliamentary elections in future.”
- The Bill also intends to “Prohibit ‘double jobbing’, by preventing Assembly Members from also being MPs”
- Third, the Bill includes a provision to “Remove the prohibition on candidates in Assembly elections standing in a constituency and on the regional list.”
As Blog readers may recall, this latter provision was something about which I gave evidence to the Welsh Affairs Select Committee on the draft Bill earlier this year.
I am delighted that the UK government have retained their original proposal to remove the ban on dual candidacy. As I argued previously, this ban was internationally highly anomalous; was based on no sound arguments or evidence whatsoever; and gave every impression of being deeply partisan. Frankly, it shamed Wales. Removing the ban will put right a wrong.
Elections in Wales just got a little bit better.