Questions relating to the politics of Wales, including Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales.

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain.

Executive power is exercised by Welsh Government under the auspices of the Government of Wales Act (1998) and subsequent legislation.

Legislative power (granted following a referendum in 2011) is exercised by the National Assembly for Wales.

The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The highest court is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

The Welsh political system is a multi-party system. Throughout much of the 19th century, Wales was a bastion of the Liberal Party. From the early 20th century, the Labour Party has emerged as the most popular political party in Wales, before 2009 having won the largest share of the vote at every UK General Election, National Assembly for Wales election and European Parliament election since 1922. The Welsh Labour Party has traditionally been most successful in the industrial south Wales valleys, north east Wales and urban coastal areas, such as Cardiff, Newport and Swansea.

The Welsh Conservative Party has historically been the second political party of Wales, having obtained the second largest share of the vote in Wales in a majority of UK general elections since 1885. In three General Elections (1906, 1997 and 2001) no Conservative MPs were returned to Westminster, while on only two occasions in the 20th century (1979 and 1983) have more than a quarter of Welsh constituencies been represented by Conservatives. However, in the 2009 European Parliament elections the Conservatives polled higher than the Labour party in Wales.

Party of Wales/Plaid Cymru is the principal Welsh nationalist political party in Wales. The Party was formed in 1925, but did not contest a majority of Welsh seats in any UK general election until 1959. In 1966 the first Plaid Cymru MP was returned to Parliament. Plaid Cymru's share of the vote since has averaged 10%, with the highest share ever - 14.3% - gained in the 2001 general election. Plaid Cymru is strongest in rural Welsh-speaking areas of north and west Wales.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are part of the UK Liberal Democrats, and were formed by the merger of the Social Democratic Party (the SDP) and the Liberal Party in 1988. Since then they have gained an average vote share of 14% with the highest share - 18% - gained at the 2005 general election. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have the strongest support in rural mid and west Wales. The party performs relatively strongly in local government elections.

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