May 2021 Gwladcoedeg general election
All 5 seats of the Senedd
3 seats needed for a majority
Senedd elections in Gwladcoeden utilize a panachage-style electoral system, a form of party-list proportional representation. Under the system, voters have as many votes as there are seats, in this election, five; and they can either choose to cast a list ballot or a candidate ballot. Casting a list ballot is essentially the same as it would be in any other party list system, and all five of their votes simply go to the independent candidate selected, or to the whole political party. If the voter instead casts a candidate ballot, the voter can use their five votes on any candidates on the ballot, with the option of using up to two on any individual candidate. From there, the list and candidate ballots are tallied, and added together (this means that votes cast for individual candidates on party lists go towards the party as well, and vice versa); and the seats are allotted proportionally based on the D'Hondt method.
The Republic of Gwladcoeden was founded in mid-April of 2021 by Iacof ap Antoni and Andrew West, based on a previous Caudonian county of the same name. The final draft of the nation's constitution was created later that month, and in early May, the nation was opened and began accepting new citizens. The first-ever general elections were scheduled for that month, with voting to open at midnight on the 16th of May.
Four political parties and one independent signed up to contest the elections. Of those, the Republicans, a centrist liberal party, and PWMGRANAD, a left wing satirical party, were in the lead throughout effectively the entire run-up to the election. Labour, a left wing progressive and socialist party, the Kings Party, a right wing monarchist party, and independent candidate Mihangel ap Gareth, who ran on a campaign of Welsh language and cultural rights, were all in the second tier of candidates and parties. The Christian Peoples Party, a centrist, Christian democratic party, was largely left lagging behind, mainly due to inactivity, a lack of campaigning, and the party's membership of just one. In the last day before the election, however, Labour doubled its membership from two to four, and became more competitive with the Republicans and PWMGRANAD, though they were still set for a rather poor showing.
A debate was held by the Gwladcoeden Broadcasting Corporation on the eve of the election, with Andrew West, for the Labour Party, Archibald Sinclair and Julian Haigh, for the Republican Party, Mikhail Trolyotov, for PWMGRANAD, and Mihangel ap Gareth all attending.
The nation saw a significant amount of campaigning from the Republicans and Labour, with independent Mihangel ap Gareth and PWMGRANAD also releasing a large amount of campaign material. The Republicans campaigned primarily on their promises to get the Gwladcoedeg judiciary functioning, and to establish a constabulary and defense forces. Labour also ran on a promise to get the nation's Supreme Court functioning, as well as promising to establish international relations and develop the government (namely by establishing ministries). Ap Gareth ran on a platform of establishing a system for creating devolved territories, which would have control over actual territories, and for establishing international relations. However, his run focused primarily on Welsh language and cultural issues, some of which came under attack by the Republican Party over the course of the campaign. Finally, PWMGRANAD did post campaign materials, but, keeping in line with the party's satirical nature, they did not contain any serious promises for the nation's governance.
The election results were released shortly after the close of polls at midnight on the 17th. The results were a bit of a surprise, with the Republicans falling just short of an absolute majority in the Senedd, on about 37% of the vote and two out of five seats. Labour came in second on about 27% of the vote, also receiving two seats, exceeding their expectations and beating out PWMGRANAD, which received 20% of the vote and one seat. As the Gwladcoeden Broadcasting Corporation described it, "All parties were pleased with these results, Labour most of all. Labour had been predicted a poor showing but had pulled through at the last minute, coming out behind the Republicans by only a few votes."
A narrow majority of voters (12 out of 22) cast list votes, which tended to go for the Republicans, who received half of all list votes, and PWMGRANAD, who got a quarter. The remaining quarter of the list vote was split between Labour (which got two list votes) and the Kings Party (which got one). However, Labour overperformed in the candidate vote, receiving 40% of all candidate votes, while the Republicans received 22%, and PWMGRANAD, the Kings Party, and Mr. Ap Gareth all received around 11% of the vote. The Christian Peoples Party had an underwhelming performance, clocking in at only 1 candidate vote, which totalled a mere 0.9% of the overall vote.
Immediately following the announcement of the results, two potential governments seemed to be possible with these results: a. A grand coalition between the Republicans and Labour, which would hold 4 out of the 5 Senedd seats; or b. A left wing government either consisting of a formal coalition government between Labour and PWMGRANAD, or of a Labour minority government supported by PWMGRANAD in confidence and supply. West was reportedly hesitant to form a government with PWMGRANAD, with the Gwladcoeden Broadcasting Corporation stating "Neither of the major parties seem happy with working with PWMGRANAD but the Republicans have expressed interest in working with Labour. As of yet no official statements have been made, and we will just have to wait and see." On the 19th of May, the Pendraig nominated, and the Senedd granted confidence in, a grand coalition government, where Andrew West led the coalition as the Premier, and Archie Sinclair took the position of Deputy Premier. In exchange for Labour leading the Government, the Republicans took a majority of Cabinet positions, with non-Senedd officials and Labour party politicians taking the remaining Cabinet posts. This compromise took place after spirited negotiations, and consultation with the membership of both parties.