Published 01/12/2020   |   Last Updated 23/12/2020   |   Reading Time minutes

When the Senedd is required to make a decision on any item of business Members are invited to agree that business. If any Member objects, it must be put to the vote. Members may be asked to vote immediately, or may be asked to do so at a designated ‘voting time’.

Voting time

Voting time is a point on the Plenary Agenda, decided by the Business Committee, when all votes which have been deferred are taken. The number of votes to be taken can vary, but a message will appear on every Member’s screen asking them to vote at the necessary time.

Electronic voting

The Siambr is an electronic debating chamber. At the base of every Member’s computer there is a slot for a card which identifies them. There are also three buttons:

  • Green: to vote in favour
  • White: to decline to vote (referred to as ‘abstaining’)
  • Red: to vote against

Members press the button of their choice and the results are shown on the Siambr plasma screens at the end of each vote. Once the vote is closed it is not possible to change the vote cast.

Other forms of voting

Certain votes have to be taken in certain ways. For example, if there is more than one candidate for the role of Presiding Officer, the election must take place by means of a secret ballot. If there is more than one candidate for the role of First Minister, a roll call must take place.  . If the electronic voting system fails, the Presiding Officer can choose to take the vote by show of hands or by roll call.

Voting results

All voting results are published after the meeting in a document called the Votes and Proceedings and the Record of Proceedings. A Vote Summary is also published containing the full details of how each Member voted on each item of business.