Welsh Assembly Elections: What Happens?

News | by | 3rd May 2016

Pollign Station sign at Cardiff County hall for Wales Election article voting

Thursday 5th May 2016 is the day of the Welsh Assembly elections and the Police and Crime Commissioners elections.

You should have received a poll card with details on where to vote in the post. You do not need to take your polling card with you to vote on Thursday. If you’ve misplaced your poll card, you can check where you should go to vote on wheredoivote.wales. If you have not received a polling card, contact your local council to see if you’re still on the electoral roll.

How do I vote in these elections?

Most people go to a polling station to vote.

There you will be given three ballots papers, which lists the candidates and their parties.

Two will be for the National Assembly for Wales elections. One for you to vote on who should represent your local constituency in the Senedd. The other is for who you want to represent your region.

The third ballot paper will be for you to select a PCC (Police & Crime Commissioner) for your area.

Example Ballot Paper for Welsh Assembly Election article

When you have all three papers, head to a booth and put a cross in the box next to the person you wish to vote for. You can also spoil your ballot if you so wish.

The deadline for postal votes has passed. If you have a long-term reason why you cannot vote in person, you can get someone to vote for you, this is called voting by proxy and AboutMyVote has more info about it.

If something bad happens on the day  (such as being taken seriously ill), you can apply to vote by proxy for medical reasons up until 5pm on polling day. Polling stations are open between 7am and 10pm.

Rules of the polling station

Toy horse tethered for Welsh Assembly Elections article
Photo Credit: cafemama via Compfight cc

The staff at polling stations are there to ensure a fair vote, not to tell you off and most are friendly and welcoming. There are some rules though…


Election day staff are under instruction to be welcoming to children and young people. They may enter the polling station and if you have a lot of children with you, staff there can oversee them when you enter the voting booth. Your son or daughter is not allowed to draw the cross on your ballot paper for you, this is something you have to do.


You can take your dog in to a polling station, as long as the do not disrupt other people. You will have to leave the horse outside though. There’s no official guidance on cats, rabbits or goldfish.


Big rosettes are a no-no, and clothes with political statements or parties on them should be avoided, though you should be OK in a Che Geuvara t-shirt.

AboutMyVote has a thorough National Assembly for Wales and Police and Crime Commissioner voter guide, including sample ballot papers (.pdf download).

Who should I vote for in the Welsh Assembly elections?

The BBC has produced a couple of guides for voters in Wales. This one looks at each of the major parties manifestos and breaks them down into different areas, such as education and housing. There’s also this more general overview of their manifestos (what they plan and promise to do if they’re in charge).

There’s also a BBC guide for the election of the four Welsh police and crime commissioners, in Gwent, South Wales, Dyfed Powys, and North Wales. Finally there’s www.choosemypcc.org.uk.

Do you have any questions, advice or stories to share? Comment below or submit an article, we’d love to hear your views.

If you’d like to chat about family matters, get in touch with the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline.

  • Phone: 0300 222 57 57
  • Text: 07860 052 905
  • Instant message (see top of page)

We are open 6pm – 10pm Monday to Thursday and 10am – 2pm Friday & Saturday.


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