‘Alternative Vote’ Bill committee stage: day 8

13 January 2011

Members of the House of Lords voted against an amendment on the means of improving young-voter registration, during the eighth day of committee stage of the Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill on Wednesday 12 January.

Baroness Thornton introduced amendment 58ZZZB that sought to increase the proportion on 17 to 24 year olds registered to vote. Baroness Thornton said that over 50% of young people eligible to vote have not yet registered. She said, ‘We have to be even more imaginative if we are to get young people on the register and keep them there.’

Under the proposals in the amendment, which was supported by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town, local authorities would have to demonstrate that they had ‘sought out their youthful populations and got them to register before the Boundary Commission starts on what will be a very demanding task.’
The amendment was defeated by 133 votes to 203.

Proposals for amendments to a Bill are published in a marshalled list of amendments one day before the Bill stage takes place.

The committee stage will continue on Monday 17 January.

Committee stage: day seven

The House of Lords discussed amendments to Clause 10: Reports of the Boundary Commissions during the seventh day of committee stage of the Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill on Monday 10 January.

Committee stage: day six

The House of Lords discussed amendments to Clause 8 : Commencement or repeal of amending provisions and Clause 9 : The alternative vote system during the sixth day of committee stage of the Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill on Monday 20 December.

Committee stage: day five

The House of Lords defeated amendments on party political funding for a referendum and declaring the result of a referendum by constituency, during the fifth day of committee stage of the Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill on Wednesday 16 December.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton introduced the amendment that sought to prevent funding for a referendum being limited by reference to political parties which, he explained, 'fails to understand the point of the referendum.' Lord Falconer’s amendment also sought to avoid a high limit of funding for permitted parties – such as individuals, organisations, companies and trade unions, as this could 'allow for abuses of the funding system '.

The amendment was defeated by 169 votes to 194. 

The House also voted on an amendment that concerned the declaration of the result of a referendum. Lord Grocott, who introduced the amendment, suggested that results should be declared on a constituency basis. He explained that this amendment would relate "the conduct and outcome of the election to the very heart of what this change in our constitution, should it be carried, is all about."

This amendment was defeated by 90 votes to 161

Proposals for amendments to a Bill are published in a marshalled list of amendments one day before the Bill stage takes place.

Committee stage of the Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill continues on Monday 20 December when further amendments will be discussed.

Further information

The Bill provides for the next General Election to be held under the Alternative Vote system, provided this change is endorsed in a referendum on 5 May 2011 and boundary changes have been made to reduce the size of the House of Commons to 600.

Committee stage involves the detailed line-by-line examination of the separate parts – clauses and schedules – of the Bill. Any Member of the Lords can take part.

Committee stage can last for one or two days to eight or more. It usually starts no fewer than two weeks after the second reading.

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