Fixed Term Parliaments Bill — Parliamentary Approval of General Election Date — Committee to Review Operation — 8 Sep 2011 at 14:00

The majority of MPs voted in favour of regular general elections rather than enabling a motion approved both houses Parliament to initiate an election. The majority of MPs also voted for a committee to review the operation of the Fixed Term Parliaments Bill in lieu of proposals to make key provisions of the Bill expire after the next election (with the option of renewal).

MPs were considering the Fixed Term Parliaments Bill[1][2]. The motion approved by the majority of MPs was:

  • That this House
  • insists on its disagreement with the Lords in their amendments 1, 2 and 9 but proposes the following amendment to the Bill in lieu of those amendments:—
  • (a) Page 3, line 23, at end insert—
  • ‘(4) The Prime Minister must make arrangements—
  • (a) for a committee to carry out a review of the operation of this Act and, if appropriate in consequence of its findings, to make recommendations for the repeal or amendment of this Act, and
  • (b) for the publication of the committee's findings and recommendations (if any).
  • (5) A majority of the members of the committee are to be members of the House of Commons.
  • (6) Arrangements under subsection (4)(a) are to be made no earlier than 1 June 2020 and no later than 30 November 2020.’.

This would have added a new subclause (4) to clause 5 of the Bill[3].

Lords amendment 1 states:

  • Page 1, line 6, at beginning insert “If, but only if, a resolution to this effect is approved by each House of the Parliament in question,”

This rejected amendment would have required a resolution of both Houses of Parliament to approve the date of a general election, negating the core principle of the Fixed Term Parliaments Bill.

Lords amendment 2 states:

  • Page 1, line 6, leave out “each” and insert “a”

This would have taken effect on subclause 1(3) which originally stated:

  • The polling day for each subsequent parliamentary general election is to be the first Thursday in May in the fifth calendar year following that in which the polling day for the previous parliamentary general election fell.

This amendment appears to have no effect. Presumably those in favour of it prefer the "a" given had the amendments been approved, the provisions may not have been be renewed, following their expiry and so could have ended up applying for just one general election.

Lords amendment 9 states:

  • Page 3, line 23, at end insert—
  • “( ) Sections 2, 3 and 4(3) shall have effect only until the first meeting of the new Parliament after the next parliamentary general election, but that Parliament or any subsequent Parliament may bring those sections back into force for the Parliament’s own duration and until the first meeting of the following Parliament if a resolution to that effect is approved by each House of the Parliament in question.”

This would have the effect of making the provisions relating to early general elections expire after the first meeting of the next Parliament; allowing, and perhaps prompting, them, if they wish, to reinstate their own provisions. The amendment would also ensure the consequential amendments would take effect or not have effect for each subsequent Parliament depending on whether or not each House has passed a resolution bringing the provisions relating to early general elections back into force.[4]


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 (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Alliance1 00100.0%
Con209 (+2 tell) 10072.2%
DUP1 0012.5%
Green1 00100.0%
Lab0 179 (+2 tell)070.2%
LDem37 0064.9%
PC3 00100.0%
SDLP0 1033.3%
SNP1 0016.7%
Total:253 190069.5%

Rebel Voters - sorted by constituency

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

Richard ShepherdAldridge-BrownhillsConno
David NuttallBury NorthConno
Christopher ChopeChristchurchConno
Andrew TurnerIsle of WightConno
Philip HolloboneKetteringConno
Jacob Rees-MoggNorth East SomersetConno
Philip DaviesShipleyConno
Anne MainSt AlbansConno
Bill CashStoneConno
Peter BoneWellingboroughConno

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