Representation of the People Bill — 30 Nov 1999
Mr Martin Bell MP, Tatton voted with the majority (No).
[Relevant documents: The Fourth Report from the Home Affairs Committee, Session 1997-98, on Electoral Law and Administration (HC 768), and the Government response published in the Committee's Fourth Special Report, Session 1998-99, (HC 856).]
Order for Second Reading read.
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
It gives me great pleasure to bring before the House this Bill, which aims to modernise our electoral procedures. Much of our electoral legislation dates from the 19th century. The Bill will help to ensure that the procedures are suitable for the next century.
Let me tell the House something about the genesis of the Bill. Following every general election, the Home Office carries out a review to see what, in terms of electoral processes, went well and what could be improved. Previously, that has been purely an administrative exercise, but, following the 1997 general election, I decided that something more fundamental was needed.
Accordingly, I invited my hon. Friend the Member for Knowsley, North and Sefton, East (Mr. Howarth), then the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, to chair a working party to review all our electoral arrangements and to produce recommendations which
"will lead to more open and fairer electoral procedures, command the trust of the electorate and contribute to the democratic renewal of the United Kingdom."
I beg to move, To leave out from "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:
"this House declines to give a Second Reading to the Representation of the People Bill because the Government has failed to undertake a sufficiently comprehensive public consultation on such important and far-reaching changes to the conduct of elections and the publication of electoral registers, because Members of this House have had no time in which to consult with local authorities and
Sadly, the measure that we are discussing would not help.
Question put, That the amendment be made:--
The House divided: Ayes 143, Noes 332.
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||0||134 (+2 tell)||0||84.0%|
|Lab||317 (+2 tell)||0||0||76.7%|