Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill — Part 3 — Question for referendum on the system for electing MPs — 12 Oct 2010 at 23:00

The majority of MPs voted not to include an option allowing people to express a preference for voting systems expected to result in proportional representation during the referendum on the system used to elect MPs.

The majority of MPs voted against a proposal by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas which suggested first asking if the system should be changed at all, then moving on to ask voters to rank the alternative vote, the additional member system, and the ‘single transferable vote’ system with multi-member constituencies, in order of preference.

During the debate prior to the vote Caroline Lucas said:

  • "We owe it to the electorate to put before them a choice that includes a genuinely proportional system"[1]

The rejected amendment would have deleted the original question contained within the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill[2] which read:

  • Do you want the United Kingdom to adopt the “alternative vote” system instead of the current “first past the post” system for electing Members of Parliament to the House of Commons?

The questions Caroline Lucas MP was seeking to have that referendum question replaced with were[3]:

  • (1) Do you want to change the current “first past the post” system for electing Members of Parliament to the House of Commons?
  • (2) If there were a change, list your order of preference, 1, 2, 3, for the United Kingdom to adopt:
  • (a) The ‘alternative vote’ system,
  • (b) The ‘additional member’ system, or
  • (c) The ‘single transferable vote’ system with multi-member constituencies?”.

Caroline Lucas explained during debate that she had tabled the amendment on the basis that

  • "it is contradictory for the coalition to be talking about electoral reform while seeking to offer little more than a Hobson's choice, between AV and first past the post"[4].

Caroline Lucas' amendment sought to include the options of STV and the additional member system, which would be much more likely to result in "Proportional Representation" ie. with the fraction of MPs in the commons from a particular party reflecting the fraction of the national vote.

Debate in Parliament | Source |

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Party Summary

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.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Alliance0 10100.0%
Con284 (+1 tell) 2 (+1 tell)094.1%
DUP6 0075.0%
Green0 10100.0%
Lab2 2 (+1 tell)01.9%
LDem54 (+1 tell) 0096.5%
PC0 2066.7%
SDLP0 30100.0%
SNP0 60100.0%
Total:346 17057.1%

Rebel Voters - sorted by name

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Douglas CarswellClactonContellaye
Jonathan EvansCardiff NorthConaye
Philip HolloboneKetteringCon (front bench)aye
Kelvin HopkinsLuton NorthLab (minister)no
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLabno

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