How is the First Minister of Wales nominated?

Published 12/05/2021   |   Last Updated 21/02/2024   |   Reading Time minutes

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Votes in the election have all been counted and new Members have been elected to the Senedd. But who becomes the First Minister of Wales?

Let’s break down how the process works.

When is the First Minister nominated?

With new Members and dates set for full meetings of the Senedd, called Plenary, confirmed, the process for nominating the First Minister begins.

The Senedd must nominate a Member for appointment as First Minister within 28 days of a Senedd election.

These nominations will normally happen in the first Plenary meeting, but they can take place in any meeting before the Senedd Business Committee is formed.

What’s the process for nominating a First Minister?

Here’s how the First Minister is nominated by the Senedd:

What happens if more than one Member is nominated to be First Minister?

This is where it gets interesting.

If more than one Member is nominated the Senedd’s Presiding Officer will begin a roll call.

In alphabetical order, Members of the Senedd (MS) will be asked who they’d want to be the First Minister. Members can abstain from this process and the Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer cannot vote.

If two Members are nominated, then MSs will vote to choose who they want to become the First Minister. The candidate who gets the greatest number of votes cast will be declared the nominee for the First Minister of Wales.

If more than two Members are nominated, the Presiding Officer will ask Members to vote for their preferred candidate.

This time a Member needs to receive more votes than all other candidates combined to be declared the nominee.

If they don’t, the process continues, with the candidate with the lowest number of votes being eliminated each time. Further votes by roll call will take place until one candidate has received more than half of the votes cast.

The Result of the Nominations

The Presiding Officer will announce the result to the Senedd and recommend to the Monarch that the member nominated be appointed as First Minister.

Want to Know More?

Find out how the Senedd’s Presiding Officer is elected, how Members are appointed to Business Committee and much more in our Guide to Early Plenary Business

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