Lords amendments to Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill

16 February 2011

The House of Commons considered Lords Amendments to the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill on Tuesday 15 February.

Explanatory notes on the Lords Amendments were prepared by the Cabinet Office in order to assist the reader of the Bill.

MPs considered Lords Amendments 1-104

Amendments 1 and 8

Lords Amendment 1 provides that if less than 40% of the electorate vote in the referendum, then the result (either 'Yes' in response to the referendum question or 'No') is not binding. Lords Amendment 8 provides a definition of the terms "electorate" and "vote", and determines how the turnout figure should be calculated.

Lords Amendment 1 was disagreed to on a division, 317 to 247 and Lords Amendment 8 was disagreed to without a division.

Amendments 16 and 19

Lords Amendments 16 and 19 insert a new rule (5A) into the Bill, which would allow a Boundary Commission to propose a constituency that is 7.5% either side of the UK electoral quota for constituency sizes.

Lords Amendment 16 was disagreed to on a division, 317 to 250 and Lords Amendment 19 was disagreed to on a division, 320 to 249.

Amendments 17 and 20

Lords Amendments 17 and 20 would prevent any constituency from including part of the Isle of Wight and part of the mainland. Lords Amendment 17 was disagreed without a division and Lords Amendment 20 was disagreed on a division, 311 to 244.

The Commons proposed that Amendments (a) to (e) be made to the Bill in lieu of Lords Amendments 17 and 20. Amendments (a) to (e) provide that there shall be two constituencies in the Isle of Wight and were agreed on a division, 318 to 233.

All other Lords Amendments

Lords Amendments 2-7, 9-15, 18 and 21-104 were agreed without a division.

Reasons Committee

The Commons appointed a Committee to draw up reasons why the Commons had disagreed with Lords Amendments 1, 8, 16 and 19. The Committee reported that the Commons disagree to Lords Amendments 16 an 19 for the following reason:

"Because the amendments would produce too much variation in the electorate of constituencies and would result in a system that was unduly difficult to operate".

The Committee reported that the Commons disagree to Lords Amendments 1 and 8 for the following reason:

"Because the outcome of the referendum should be determined by those who vote in it and should not depend on how many do not vote".

House of Lords to consider House of Commons Amendments

The House of Lords will considered the Commons Amendments to the Bill and the reasons why the Commons disagreed with their Amendments on Wednesday 16 February.

Watch and read the views expressed by MPs during the debate and find out further information about the Bill and how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

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