Fixed-Term Parliaments Bill — Clause 2 — Early parliamentary general elections — 24 Nov 2010 at 17:15

The majority of MPs rejected a proposal that an early general election, outside the 5 yearly cycle to be introduced by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Bill, could be initiated by a simple majority of the House of Commons subject to the agreement of all main party leaders in the House of Commons.

The original proposal which remained within the Bill was to allow the Speaker of the House of Commons to initiate the calling of a General Election if:

  • Two thirds of MPs vote for one
  • The Government loses a vote of no confidence and no new Government is formed within 14 days.

Clause One of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Bill provides for general elections to be held every five years. Clause Two sets out situations in which an early general election can be called. The vote was on a proposed alternative text for Clause Two.

The rejected amendment proposed replacing the existing requirements for an early parliamentary general election is to take place and would have made clause two read:

  • An early parliamentary general election is to take place
  • 'on an address presented to Her Majesty by the House of Commons praying that a day be the polling day for an early parliamentary general election, Her Majesty appoints this day by proclamation to be the polling day for such an election.
  • (2) No motion shall be made for such an address except by the Prime Minister acting with the agreement of-
  • (a) the Leader of the Opposition; and
  • (b) each member of the House of Commons who at the time of the motion being made is the registered leader of a registered party that received more than 20 per cent. of the total votes cast at the previous parliamentary general election.
  • (3) An early parliamentary general election shall not otherwise take place.
  • (4) Subsection (1) applies for the purposes of the Timetable in rule 1 in Schedule 1 to the Representation of the People Act 1983.
  • (5) In this section-
  • "Leader of the Opposition" means the person who is the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons for the purposes of section 2 of the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975;
  • "registered leader", in relation to a party, means the person registered as that party's leader in accordance with section 24 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000;
  • "registered party" means a party registered in a register of political parties maintained by the Electoral Commission in accordance with section 23 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.'.

A side issue raised by this amendment was the role of the monarch; the original text of the Bill giving the Speaker the responsibility for initiating the election whereas the amendment gives a role to the monarch.

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
Alliance1 00100.0%
Con249 (+1 tell) 7 (+2 tell)084.6%
DUP4 0050.0%
Green0 10100.0%
Independent1 00100.0%
Lab0 227088.3%
LDem50 (+1 tell) 0089.5%
PC3 00100.0%
SDLP1 0033.3%
SNP5 0083.3%
Total:314 235086.0%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

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

Peter BoneWellingboroughCon (front bench)tellaye
Bill CashStoneCon (front bench)aye
Christopher ChopeChristchurchCon (front bench)aye
Bernard JenkinHarwich and North EssexCon (front bench)aye
David NuttallBury NorthCon (front bench)tellaye
Jacob Rees-MoggNorth East SomersetCon (front bench)aye
Laurence RobertsonTewkesburyCon (front bench)aye
Richard ShepherdAldridge-BrownhillsCon (front bench)aye
Andrew TurnerIsle of WightCon (front bench)aye

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