MPs have voted for a early parliamentary general election

29 October 2019

MPs have voted in favour of the Early Parliamentary General Election Bill, which allows a parliamentary general election to be held on 12 December 2019.

The Early Parliamentary General Election Bill allows a parliamentary general election to be held on 12 December 2019. It was presented to Parliament by the Government on Tuesday 29 October 2019 and passed its Commons stages on the same day.

First Reading

On Tuesday 29 October 2019, the Bill was introduced to the House of Commons and given its first reading.

This stage is simply to introduce the bill; there is no debate. After the first reading the Bill is published.

Business of the House Motion

MPs voted 312 to 295 to approve Amendment (a) to the Business of the House motion on an Early Parliamentary General Election. Tabled by Stella Creasy MP, this makes it easier for MPs to table further amendments at a later stage if necessary.

Second Reading

The second reading of the Early Parliamentary General Election Bill has been approved without division.

Second readings allow MPs to debate the substance of the Bill after it has been published.

Committee Stage

A Committee of the whole House scrutinised the Bill. A Committee of the whole House takes place in the main chamber and allows all MPs to take part in the debate and to vote on the Bill's contents.

The Chairman of Ways and Means selected the following amendments:

  • Jeremy Corbyn – the amendment would change the date of the proposed general election to Monday 9 December, which would change the title of the Bill.
    MPs voted 315 to 295 against this amendment.
  • Oliver Dowden – the amendment would align the registration deadline for Scotland with the registration deadline in the rest of the United Kingdom, by removing the need for the St Andrew’s Day bank holiday in Scotland to be taken into account.
    MPs voted to approve this amendment without division.
  • Jeremy Corbyn – this amendment is dependent on Jeremy Corbyn’s first amendment passing. This amendment changes the wording of the Bill to reflect the new title of the Bill.
    As MPs voted against Jeremy Corbyn's first amendment, this amendment was dropped. 

MPs agreed without a division that all clauses – including the amended Clause 1 – remain as part of the Bill.

Third Reading

MPs voted 438 to 20 to approve the Early Parliamentary General Election Bill, as amended.

The third reading offers MPs the chance for a final debate on the contents of the Bill, which cannot be amended at this point. The Bill will go to the House of Lords for its next stages.

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