Second reading of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill

07 September 2010

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg introduced the second reading of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill in the Commons. It passed with a vote and will be considered further in Committee of the Whole House

Summary of the Bill

This Bill would make provision for a referendum on the voting system for parliamentary elections and provide for parliamentary elections to be held under the alternative vote system if a majority of those voting in the referendum are in favour. It would also make provision about the number and size of parliamentary constituencies.

Committee of the whole House

When a Bill passes its second reading and is considered in detail, this usually takes place in a Public Bill Committee held outside the Chamber. These Committees -which are made up of between 16 and 20 MPs - reflect the political makeup of the House, so the government always has a majority.

But occasionally a Bill will be considered by a Committee of the whole House and this discussion takes place in the Commons Chamber itself, where all MPs can take part.

Any Bill can be referred to a Committee of the whole House, but the procedure is normally reserved for finance bills and other important or controversial legislation.

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