Your questions answered

 

Why is this election important?

At this difficult time for our communities, what Wales needs now is strong leadership and Plaid is determined to move our party and nation forward in 2012.

Who can stand?

Any Assembly Member from Plaid Cymru’s group can put their name forward to become leader. Over the next 3 weeks or so, we’ll see candidates from the Assembly group announcing their intention to lead our party and our nation with clear ideas on how to address the challenges facing Wales today.

 

Who can vote?

All members of the party will receive a vote. Anyone who joined Plaid before midnight on the 26th of January will have a vote in this leadership election.

 

What is the timetable for the election?

  • Assembly Member who wants to put their name forward to lead our party must do so by the 26th of January.

  • On the 26th of January the Membership List which will provide the electoral roll for this election will also close – so if you want to vote then you have to be a member of Plaid by the 26th.

  • Then during February the candidates will travel the length and breadth of Wales to take part in debates where Plaid Members and others will have an opportunity to hear what the candidates have to say.

  • All members will receive a ballot paper in the post – and they will be sent out on the 27th of February.

  • Members will then send them back to us by post and the votes will be counted and the announcement made on the 15th of March.

 

How does the election work?

Unlike some of the other parties, this election is held on the basis of one member one vote. So each member of the party will receive a ballot paper through the post which they need to fill and send back to us and then we will count the ballot papers and announce the vote on the 15th of March.

The votes will be counted using the Alternative Transferable Vote System, which means that every voter will have the opportunity to rank the candidates according to preference – which means that the candidates will have to work hard for the votes across a broad cross-section of the party in order to win – which makes the new leader even more representative of the party’s choice.

 

How does the AV system work?

The AV system asks voters to rank candidates in order of preference. People can nominate as many preferences as they like. Only first preference votes are counted initially. Anyone getting more than 50% of these is elected automatically. If that doesn't happen, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their second choices allocated to the remaining candidates in a second round of counting. If one candidate then has more than 50% of the votes in this round they are elected. If not, the remaining candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their second preferences (or third preferences if they were the second choice of someone who voted for the first candidate to be eliminated) reallocated. This continues until one candidate has 50% or more of the vote in that round of counting, or there are no more votes to be distributed.