The Electoral Commission has investigated a complaint about the layout and typography of the South Wales Central Constituency ballot paper used in today’s Welsh Assembly Elections which appears to give undue emphasis to Plaid Cymru and its Leader Leanne Wood.
The long grey “Regional List” ballot paper for parties contesting the South Wales Central constituency (which includes Penarth) lists all the candidates and the 12 different parties taking part in today’s election – but has only put one party leader’s name in bold type – that’s Leanne Wood Leader of of Plaid Cymru.
The word “Leader” also appears in bold type alongside her name – an emphasis which some voters may consider unfair on the other party leaders who don’t get the same treatment. The appelation is repeated in bold type in Welsh.
The issue was first highlighted by PDN commenter “Archie” – who later raised the matter directly with the Electoral Commission.
The Electoral Commission has investigated the report and found that Plaid Cymru was the only party which – in submitting details to the returning officers – incorporated the name of its leader within the name of the party itself.
That meant that the “party name” included Leanne Wood’s name and her position as its leader . The Electoral Commission said that it was not illegal to do what Plaid Cymru had done and the other parties could have done the same thing – and amalgamated their respective leaders’ names with the party names on ballot papers , if they had wished do.
It appears however that it never occurred to any of the other parties to adopt the same tactic – aimed at grabbing the attention of voters as they marked their ballot papers – but for Plaid Cymru it appears to have been a ploy that worked.