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Etholiad Senedd Ty Uchaf 2006
All 70 seats to the Senedd Upper House
11th May 2006
First party Second party
Ieuan Wyn Jones.jpg Neil Kinnock.jpg
Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones Neil Kinnock
Party Christian Democratic Party Socialist Party
Last election 14 seats 20 seats
Seats won 17 seats 14 seats
Seat change + 3 - 6
Popular vote 957,763 630,907
Percentage 25.2% 16.6%
Election Result 2006 Ty Uchaf.jpg

Seat results. The ruling Plaid Sosialaidd lost seats to Plaid Ymlaen y Ddraig, the losses enough to give enough seats so that the PGCr - PYyDd coalition could secure 29 seats between them. With the aid of Y Blaid Werdd, this gave them control of 34 seats, two short of a majority. However, since one of the new Senators was from Plaid Eryr Gwyn, this left the Upper House deadlocked. As a result, Ieuan Wyn Jones succeeded Neil Kinnock as Chamberlain of the Upper House.
Leader of the Upper House before election
Neil Kinnock
Plaid Sosialaidd
Elected Leader of the Upper House
Ieuan Wyn Jones
Plaid Gwerinwr Cristnogol

The 2006 election to the Senedd Upper House (Ty Uchaf) was contested on the 11th May 2006. The Upper House is not the Governing House of the Welsh Senedd, but a revising Chamber. Its role is to support and monitor the government based in the Lower House (Ty Isod). That is not to say that the Upper House doesn't have its powers. It can block and stall government legislation, preventing the government from fully carrying out its wishes. It also acts as a Secondary Government should the Chancellor's government fall to a vote of no confidence.


The 70 member Upper House is constitutionally fixed to six-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 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 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). During the 2006 election the Chamberlain was Neil Kinnock.

Parties Contesting the Election (right to left by political spectrum)

  • Plaid Eryr Gwyn (White Eagle Party) - Far right
  • Plaid Gatholig (Catholic Party) - Right wing party
  • Plaid Gwerinwr Cristnogol (Christian Democrat Party) - Centre right party
  • Plaid Ymlaen y Ddraig (The Dragon Leads Party) - Centerist party
  • Plaid Gwerinwr Cymdeithasol (Social Democrat Party) - Centre left party
  • Y Plaid Werdd (Green Party) - Environmental party
  • Plaid Sosialaidd (Socialist Party) - Left wing party
  • Plaid Gomiwnyddol (Communist Party) - Far left party

Electoral Regions & Voting System

  • Ynys Mon
  • Gwynedd Uwch Conwy
  • Gwynedd Is Conwy
  • Ceredigion
  • Dyfed
  • Ty Dewi
  • Penfro
  • Ystrad Twyi
  • Seisyllwg
  • Cydweli
  • Gwyr
  • Morgannwg Uchaf
  • Bro Morgannwg
  • Gwent
  • Ddeana
  • Ergyng
  • Brycheiniog
  • Powys Wenwynwyn
  • Powys Fadog
  • Y Mers
  • Henffordd
  • Gwlad yr Haf
  • Dyfnaint Glan Hafren

All the regions elect two Senators from a Single Transferable Vote (STV) system which sees the top two candidates returned as Senior and Junior Senators from 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 gained over a "Super Region".

The system is called | Mixed member proportional representation. The Super Regions are as follows

  • Rhanbarth y Gogledd (North Region): Mon & the two Gwynedds
  • Rhanbarth Canol (Mid Region): Ceredigion & Powys
  • 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): The two Morgannwgs & Gwent
  • Rhanbarth Dwyrain (East Region): Y Mers & Henffordd
  • Rhanbarth y De Ddwyrain Canol (South East Central Region): Brycheiniog, Ergyng & Dean
  • Rhanbarth y Haf (Far South Region): Gwlad yr Haf & Dyfnaint Glan Hafren

In this manner we have 46 directly elected Senators and 24 proportionally elected Senators present in the House.

The Election Campaign

The election campaign opened in the January of 2006 with the King officially dissolving the Upper House, the two main parties (P-GCr & PS) and their respective leaders, Ieuan Wyn Jones and Neil Kinnock began campaigning. The traditional power brokers were the P-GCy, but in the late 1990's a new political party, Ymlaen y Ddraig had begun to increase in popularity. During this campaign, its leader, Iwan Marek, oversaw a surge in its popularity. The months of February and March saw bitter debates from all sides, as this election was being used as a litmus test on the Socialist Government of Dafydd Iwan. Opinion polls held in April put the election down to the wire and all parties waited nervously for the results.

Election Night - 11th May 2006

The exit polls on the 11th May indicated that the results would be close but the results were an earthquake in terms of Welsh politics. Plaid Sosialaidd, led by Neil Kinnock in the Upper House, and part of Iwan's overall Socialist Government lost six seats to Ymlaen y Ddraig. With the P-GCr gaining at the expense of the Catholic Party and the P-GCy, it was Ieuan Wyn Jones who at the end of the election night had a majority of seats. With such a landslide in the Upper Chamber, the Government of Dafydd Iwan now looked on shaky ground.

Party Direct Vote Seats Additional Member Seats
Plaid Gwerinwr Cristnogol - Christian Democratic Party 14 3
Plaid Gwerinwr Cymdeithasol - Social Democrat Party 10 2
Plaid Sosialaidd - The Socialist Party 11 3
Plaid Eryr Gwyn - The White Eagle Party 0 1
Ymlaen y Ddraig - The Dragons Leads 6 6
Y Blaid Werdd - The Green Party 1 4
Plaid Gatholig - The Catholic Party 4 4
Plaid Gomiwnyddol - The Communist Party 0 1
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