15 May 2008 Golden Dragon of Wales Flag 2018
Etholiadau Seneddol 2013
All 173 seats to the Ty Isod
16 May 2013
Turnout 100%
First party Second party Third party
John Marek - Leader Forward Dragon Party Carwyn Jones - Leader CDP Leanne-Wood Leader SDP
Leader Iwan Meurig Carwyn Jones Leanne Wood
Party Plaid Y Ddraig Ymlaen Christian Democratic Party Social Democratic Party
Leader since 2006 2005 2011
Last election 26 Seats (15.2%) 41 Seats (21.8%) 25 Seats (14.8%)
Seats won 45 32 27
Seat change +19 -9 +3
Popular vote 980,783 674,288 633,422
Percentage 24% 16.5% 15.5%
Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Andreas Davies - Leader Catholic Party Alys Gruffydd - Green Party Sion Bledwyn - Leader Socialist Party
Leader Andreas Davies Alys Gruffydd Sion Bledwyn
Party Plaid Catholig The Green Party Socialist Party
Leader since 2009 2011 2008
Last election 20 Seats (14.1%) 16 Seats (11.3%) 32 Seats (15.2%
Seats won 24 20 18
Seat change +4 +4 -14
Popular vote 633,422 508,781 429,092
Percentage 15.5% 12.45% 10.5%

The 2013 Ty Isod Elections

With the fallout from the previous years upper house elections still resonating throughout Welsh politics the final year of the coalition government was fraught with tensions. With the Welsh election cycle at its perihelion the YDY sensed that the time was ripe to withdraw from formal coalition shortly after the upper house elections, with their leader, Iwan Meurig now supplying votes to the government on a vote by vote basis. This made the last months of Carwyn Jones’ government one of almost perpetual paralysis.

As with the upper house elections, the economy was central to all the parties campaigns with the YDY pushing their business credentials forward at every opportunity.

The 2013 Campaign

King Llewellyn formally ended the governments term of office on the 1st March 2013 with the Upper House taking over the role of government for the duration of the Lower House general election.

From the start it was clear that the main party contesting the election was the YDY. Opinion polls consistently Iwan Meurig’s party out in front with the old main parties struggling to keep up with the vibrant centrist party. The leaders debate on the 10th April saw a battling performance from Carwyn Jones against Iwan Meurig, but although almost all political commentators praised the Canghellor’s televised performance it was not translated into the polls.

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 (Forward 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

Electoral System

For seats in the Ty Isod the Assembly Members are elected by a mixture of First Past the Post (FPTP) constituencies and then the Additional Member system whereby an element of proportionality is introduced to the system. The System is designed to favour the national vote with 111 of the 173 seats coming by way of the National List, with 62 AM's representing the constituencies. This system was first introduced following the Great War of 1939-45 when the American's were influential in trying to prevent a Communist takeover of the country.

The Additional Members are elected via a simple national list. The parties post a list of candidates and these are selected in order according to the percentage of the national vote. This was the first election where the 5% rule was introduced, with parties needing to have won at least 5% of the national vote before additional seats could be gained

Election Night – 16th May 2013

During polling day, the exit polls were consistently predicting not only a large turn out from the voters, but a large swing towards the YDY. As the results started to trickle in it was seen that the polls were for once correct with the YDY rapidly running up good results from the constituency seats. The most notable victim of the night was the Socialist Party. At the previous election in 2008, under Dafydd Iwan, they were swept from power after twelve years. The party in the immediate aftermath tore itself apart in a leadership election, eventually opting for the left wing Sion Bledwyn as the new leader. The party continued to snipe and bicker during the 2008-13 Senedd with the constant in-fighting showing at the ballot box with the party reduced to sixth place.

By the end of the night the YDY were the single biggest party with 45 seats in total, but that was still far short of the 87 seats needed for a majority government.

% of National Vote Number of


Total 2008 Seats 2013 Direct

Vote Seats

2013 Additional Member Seats 2013 Total Seats +/- Seats
Y Ddraig Ymlaen

Forward the Dragon

24% 980,783 26 18 27 45 +19
Plaid Gwerinwr Cristnogol

Christian Democratic Party

16.5% 674,288 41 14 18 32 -9
Plaid Gwerinwr Cymdeithasol

Social Democrat Party

15.5% 633,422 24 10 17 27 +3
Plaid Catholig

Catholic Party

15.5% 633,422 20 7 17 24 +4
Plaid Gwyrdd

Green Party

12.45% 508,781 16 6 14 20 +4
Plaid Sosialydd

Socialist Party

10.5% 429, 092 32 6 12 18 -14
Plaid Eryr Gwyn

White Eagle Party

5% 204, 330 6 1 6 7 +1
Plaid Comiwnyddol

Communist Party

0.55% 22, 746 8 0 0 0 -8
Others/Spoiled Votes 4% 170, 275 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

As in 2006, the winning party had not been able to win a majority vote from the public. This time however, it was the YDY in the driving seat in terms of forming a coalition government. Back in 2006 the PGCr had emerged as the largest single party, but had had to form an alliance with both the YDY and Plaid Catholig in order to form a government. Although the three had been in coalition together, the public had largely punished the PGCr for its majority role.

As a result, Carwyn Jones, in one of his last acts as party leader, refused to enter into talks with Iwan Meurig over any possible coalition, preferring instead to operate as the largest opposition party, partly in the knowledge that it was still a force in the Ty Uchaf.

The YDY looked instead to other parties to help it form a coalition government.

In the end, Iwan Meurig was able to engineer an alliance with both the Catholic Party and the Greens to be able to take a petition of government to the king.

The king gave his consent to the formation of the new government on the 12th June 2013 with the new Canghellor taking up his place in Palas Caerdydd.