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|2012 Ty Uchaf Senedd Election|
|All 70 seats to the Senedd Upper House|
|10th May 2012|
|First party||Second party|
|Leader||Ieuan Wyn Jones||Eleias Gil|
|Party||Christian Democratic Party||Plaid Y Ddraig Ymlaen|
|Last election||17 seats||12 seats|
|Seats won||15 seats||15 seats|
|Seat change||- 2||+ 3|
|Popular vote||781,668||742, 824|
Gwas Ystafell Senedd before election
Christian Democratic Party
Elected Gwas Ystafell Senedd
Ieuan Wyn Jones
Christian Democratic Party
The dawn of the new century continued the domination of Welsh politics by the old parties Plaid Gwerinwr Cristnogol (PGCr), Plaid Gwerinwr Cymdeithasol (PGCym) and Plaid Sosialydd (PS). The elections of 2006 and 2008 saw the emergence of a new political party in Wales, Y Ddraig Ymlaen/Forward the Dragon (YDY). Those elections saw the YDY emerge as powerbrokers in forming the new government in the Ty Isod, with Iwan Meurig of the YDY emerging as ganghellor eilaidd (lit: secondary chancellor, usually translated to English as deputy chancellor). The coalition government of the PGCr, the YDY and Plaid Catholig (PCh) was hit from the outset by the crash of 2008 however; saw a reasonably stable government from 2008 until 2010 when cracks started to emerge mainly between the PGCr and YDY over economic policy.
Having a tame Ty Uchaf with the PGCr in a position to guide proceedings also ensured that until the Uchaf elections of 2012 the government would face little opposition from that quarter. The economic difficulties facing both the UKES and the Irish Republic bedevilled attempts to bolster the Welsh economy and by 2010 the Welsh Government was facing a similar situation to the Irish in looking for help from the EU to remain solvent. In the end, that level of help was not needed, but the drastic policies initiated by the government saw most of the public ire fall onto the Ganghellor and the PGCr rather than the coalition partners.
The Upper House elections would happen first in 2012 and this was largely being seen as a pre-cursor to the Lower House elections the following year.
The 2012 Ty Uchaf Elections
The 70 member Upper House is constitutionally fixed to 6 year terms of office with no bar to the number of times a Senator may stand for office. The Leader of the Upper House is called the Gwas Ystafell Senedd or the Chamberlain of the Upper House. His role in government is to sit in the Cyfrin-Gyngor y Brenin (Kings Privy Council) and to also act as a Secundus Chancellor should the Government fall. The Chamberlain's role during such a time is to continue the role of government whilst arranging a General Election to provide a new Chancellor and new Government.
The previous 2006 election was fought primarily between three parties, the Christian Democrats, the Social Democrats and the Socialists. The Socialists were the former Communist Party and they had controlled the Upper House since the 2000 elections, and had briefly controlled both Houses (between 2000 and 2003). The outcome of the 2006 election saw the PGCr emerge as the biggest party in the Ty Uchaf with Ieuan Wyn-Jones becoming the Gwas-Ystafell Senedd.
Parties Contesting the Election (right to left by political spectrum)
- Plaid Eryr Gwyn (White Eagle Party) - Far right
- Plaid Catholig (Catholic Party) - Right wing party
- Plaid Gwerinwr Cristnogol (Christian Democrat Party) - Centre right party
- Y Ddraig Ymlaen (Foward the Dragon) - Centerist party
- Plaid Gwerinwr Cymdeithasol (Social Democrat Party) - Centre left party
- Plaid Gwyrdd (Green Party) - Environmental party
- Plaid Sosialydd (Socialist Party) - Left wing party
- Plaid Comiwnyddol (Communist Party) - Far left party
The Election Campaign
The election campaign opened in the January of 2012 with the King officially dissolving the Upper House. The parties then began their campaigns. The Upper House elections are always slightly hampered by the fact that they are not the governing house, with their main role as supporter to the government based in the lower house and their ability to scrutinise and amend legislation being proposed by the government. Senators however even with their clipped role hold enormous power and the position itself is steeped in prestige.
This election campaign saw the YDY push the PGCr hard with the PGCym and the PS both maintaining a strong presence in the opinion polls.
Election Night - 10th May 2012
The exit polls on the 10th May indicated that the results would be close but the results were again an earthquake in terms of Welsh politics. The YDY had managed to pull level with the PGCr in terms of overall seneddwyr (senators). This led to an unusual situation in the Upper House, where the PGCr continued to hold the position of Gwas-Ysafell Senedd as the incumbent even though the YDY equalled them in terms of overall seneddwyr. The other parties jockeyed for positions with the PGCr to prop up but the overall position was a public rift between the two main parties of the coalition government.
When the results came in, it was clear that the YDY had not only managed to maintain a presence in Welsh politics, but to put a gain in terms of overall seats. Indeed it and Plaid Catholig both saw the biggest gains with 3 new seneddwyr with Plaid Sosialydd seeing the biggest loss with 4 lost seats. The communists also lost their sole seat whilst the far right wing party (PEG) maintained their sole seneddwyr from the Rhanbarth y Haf.
|2012 Total Seats||+/- Seats|
| Plaid Gwerinwr Cristnogol
Christian Democratic Party
| Y Ddraig Ymlaen
Forward the Dragon
| Plaid Gwerinwr Cymdeithasol
Social Democrat Party
| Plaid Catholig
| Plaid Sosialydd
| Plaid Gwyrdd
| Plaid Eryr Gwyn
White Eagle Party
| Plaid Comiwnyddol
Breakdown of Results
All the regions elect 2 Senators from a Single Transferable Vote (STV) system which sees the top two candidates returned as Senior and Junior Senators for their region. The ballot paper then holds a Regional List of Additional Members, who are elected according to the proportion of the popular vote the parties gain over a "Super Region".
- Rhanbarth y Gogledd (North Region): Ynys Mon, Gwynedd Uwch Conwy and Gwynedd Is Conwy
- Rhanbarth Canol (Mid Region): Ceredigion, Powys Wenwynwyn and Powys Fadog
- Rhanbarth y Gorllewin (West Region): Ty Dewi, Penfro, Dyfed, and Ystrad Twyi
- Rhanbarth Canol De Orllewin (South West Central): Cydweli, Seisyllwg & Gwyr
- Rhanbarth y De (South Region): Morgannwg Uchaf, Bro Morgannwg and Gwent
- Rhanbarth Dwyrain (East Region): Y Mers & Henffordd
- Rhanbarth y De Ddwyrain Canol (South East Central Region): Brycheiniog, Ergyng & Dean
- Rhanbarth y Haf (lit: Summer Region): Gwlad yr Haf & Dyfnaint Glan Hafren
|1st Past Post Seats Gained||PGCr||PGCym||PS||PEG||YDY||PG||PCh||PCom|
|Rhanbarth y Gogledd||2||1||0||0||3||0||0||0|
|Rhanbarth y Gorllewin||1||1||0||0||3||1||2||0|
|Rhanbarth Canol De Orllewin||1||2||0||0||2||0||1||0|
|Rhanbarth y De||3||0||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Rhanbarth y De Ddwyrain Canol||0||2||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|Rhanbarth y Haf||1||1||0||0||2||0||0||0|
|Additional Seats Gained||PGCr||PGCym||PS||PEG||YDY||PG||PCh||PCom|
|Rhanbarth y Gogledd||0||0||1||0||0||0||2||0|
|Rhanbarth y Gorllewin||1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|Rhanbarth Canol De Orllewin||1||0||1||0||0||0||1||0|
|Rhanbarth y De||0||2||0||0||1||0||0||0|
|Rhanbarth y De Ddwyrain Canol||1||0||1||0||0||1||0||0|
|Rhanbarth y Haf||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||0|