Reform have sights set on Senedd elections in 2026

A man with short brown hair, a blue suit and tie looking at the camera
Oliver Lewis said he was "ecstatic" with the result but voting system "desperately unfair". [BBC]

The Reform party have set their sights on the Senedd elections after receiving the third largest share of the votes in Wales.

Candidate Oliver Lewis predicted the party could get 20 to 25 seats from the 2026 vote.

Mr Lewis lost out after coming second to Labour in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr in the general election.

He said he was "ecstatic" at the result, but added the first past the post system was "desperately unfair".

Reform received 223,018 votes in Wales, making them the party with the third largest share of votes.

Speaking after the result was announced, Mr Lewis said he would be standing in the next Senedd election.

He said that last night's result sent a message to parties in the Senedd that Reform could be a "very powerful force in Welsh politics".

Mr Lewis also said the electoral system needed to change after the party gained zero seats in Wales.

He continued that the zero seats was a "consequence of first past the post".

"You have this entrenched mentality that it's Labour verses Conservative, so you are battling that system," he said.

"What really frustrates us across the UK is that we polled half a million more votes than the Liberal Democrats, they get 70 MPs, and we get four.

"You're fighting an entrenched issue with our electoral system which is desperately unfair."

Mr Lewis said he was "very pleased to have put the Conservatives into third place" and while he was not expecting the result, he was "mildly optimistic".

"There was definitely a feeling of change and optimism in the air in regards to Reform," he added.

A girl with blonde hair tied back wearing a black top and apron looking at the camera
Faith Higgin said she didn't get the chance to vote due to an issue with the application [BBC]

Faith Higgon, 20, from Llanelli, was not able to vote because of an issue with an application.

"I think it was pretty dead set, but none of them deserve to win, we need a change. Labour are probably the best to do it," she said.

She added that a lot of people have said they want Reform and change.

"People my age, surprisingly actually , have voted Reform," she said.

An older woman with short white hair, wear a long white sleeved top and a grey scarf
Glenys Davies said she believes "people are rebelling" [BBC]

Glenys Davies, 73, who works on a stall in Llanelli market said "businesses and kids are struggling."

"I think people are rebelling, they're looking for an alternative," she said.

"The way it's going, if things don't change, people will go for something different."