Leader of the Opposition in the Senedd
Leader of the Opposition
Incumbent
Andrew RT Davies

since 7 May 2021
StyleMember of the Senedd (MS)
Term lengthWhile leader of the largest political party in the Senedd that is not in government
Inaugural holderDafydd Wigley
FormationMay 1999
Salary£13,578 + £1,044 per group member (up to £37,601) in addition to £66,847 AM's salary [1]

In the Senedd, the Leader of the Opposition (Welsh: Arweinydd yr Wrthblaid) (officially the Leader of the Opposition in the Senedd) is the leader of the largest political party in the Senedd that is not part of government and provides the official opposition to the government. Since 7 May 2021 the Leader of the Opposition in the Senedd is Andrew RT Davies (Conservative). To date the office has been held by six individuals, three from Plaid Cymru and three from the Welsh Conservatives. Only one, Ieuan Wyn Jones, has gone on to serve in the Welsh Government.

History

Between July 2007 and May 2011, Nick Bourne served as Leader of the Opposition, even though the Conservatives were the third largest group in the Assembly. This was a result of the Welsh Government's make-up consisting of Labour and Plaid Cymru, which were the largest and second largest groups respectively.

Following the 2016 election, Plaid Cymru (led by Leanne Wood) became the largest group not in government, having won 12 seats to the Welsh Conservatives' 11. On 14 October 2016 Dafydd Elis-Thomas left Plaid Cymru to sit as an independent, which resulted in Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives both holding 11 seats. During this period Leanne Wood was not referred to as Leader of the Opposition but was instead referred to as the leader of Plaid Cymru.[2] The Conservative group grew to 12 following Mark Reckless's defection from UKIP to the Conservative Group on 6 April 2017, and Andrew R. T. Davies was once again referred to as Leader of the Opposition.[2]

On 29 March 2021 Nick Ramsay left the Welsh Conservative party,[3] meaning that the group had lost its title as the largest party not in government as by this point both the Welsh Conservatives and Plaid Cymru were tied on 10 seats each, with no official office holder of the Leader of the opposition in the final period before the 2021 Senedd election.

Following the 2021 Senedd election the Welsh Conservatives returned 16 seats making them comfortably the second party ahead of Plaid Cymru who won 13 and as a result Andrew RT Davies once again became Leader of the Opposition.[4]

List of Leaders of the Opposition in the Senedd

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Constituency/Title
Term of office Political party First Minister
1
Dafydd Wigley (cropped).jpg
Dafydd Wigley
(1943–)
AM for Caernarfon
12 May
1999
16 March
2000
Plaid Cymru Alun Michael
Rhodri Morgan
2
Ieuan Wyn Jones 2011.jpg
Ieuan Wyn Jones
(1949–)
AM for Ynys Môn
16 March
2000
11 July
2007
Plaid Cymru Rhodri Morgan
3
Nick Bourne
(1952–)
AM for Mid and West Wales
11 July
2007
6 May
2011
Conservative Rhodri Morgan
Carwyn Jones
Paul Davies AM (28170823155).jpg
Paul Davies
Acting

(1969–)
MS for Preseli Pembrokeshire
6 May
2011
14 July
2011
Conservative Carwyn Jones
4
Andrew RT Davies 2016.jpg
Andrew RT Davies
(1968–)
MS for South Wales Central
14 July
2011
5 May
2016
Conservative
5
Leanne Wood AM (27555056394).jpg
Leanne Wood
(1971–)
MS for Rhondda
5 May
2016
14 October
2016[5]
Plaid Cymru
Not in use
14 Oct 2016 – 6 April 2017
During this period both Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives were tied on 11 seats each. Leanne Wood was not referred to as Leader of the Opposition during this period and was instead referred to as leader of Plaid Cymru.[2] The Conservative group grew to 12 following Mark Reckless's defection from UKIP to the Conservatives on 6 April, and Andrew R. T. Davies was referred to as Leader of the Opposition once more.[2]
(4)
Andrew RT Davies 2016.jpg
Andrew RT Davies
(1968–)
MS for South Wales Central
6 April
2017
27 June
2018
Conservative
6
Paul Davies AM (28170823155).jpg
Paul Davies
(1969–)
MS for Preseli Pembrokeshire
27 June
2018 [6]
23 January

2021

Conservative Carwyn Jones
Mark Drakeford
(4)
Andrew RT Davies 2016.jpg
Andrew RT Davies
(1968–)
MS for South Wales Central
24 January

2021[7]

29 March

2021

Conservative Mark Drakeford
Not in use
29 March – 7 May 2021
During the final period before the 2021 Senedd election both the Welsh Conservatives and Plaid Cymru were tied on 10 seats each. This happened after Nick Ramsay left the Welsh Conservatives Party and group in the Senedd to stand as an independent in the Senedd Election.[8]
(4)
Andrew RT Davies 2016.jpg
Andrew RT Davies
(1968–)
MS for South Wales Central
7 May
2021
Incumbent
Conservative

See also

References

  1. ^ Determination on Members’ Pay and Allowances 2018 — 2019 Point 3.1.4 Table 1
  2. ^ a b c d "About the Record of Proceedings". senedd.wales.
  3. ^ "Wales election: Nick Ramsay leaves Welsh Tories to stand as independent". BBC News. 29 March 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Opposition". Senedd Cymru / Welsh Parliament. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  5. ^ The day Dafydd Elis-Thomas left Plaid Cymru to sit as an independent AM.
  6. ^ Served as acting leader from 27 June to 6 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Andrew RT Davies returns as Welsh Conservatives leader". BBC News. 24 January 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Election 2021: Nick Ramsay leaves Welsh Tories to stand as independent". BBC News. 29 March 2021. Retrieved 29 March 2021.