Home > AV referendum, Parliament > Parliamentary Voting System and Constituency Bill latest

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituency Bill latest

February 10, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituency Bill will return to the Commons on Tuesday as MPs debate the amendments made in the Lords.

The Bill has to become legislation by next Wednesday if the AV referendum is to take place on the 5th May as planned.

The key amendment is the introduction of a 40% turnout threshold, meaning that 1 in 10 of eligible voters must take part for the result to stand. Tory MP Bill Cash tabled a similar motion when the Bill was last in the Commons, but it was soundly beaten 549 votes to 31.

The problem with this threshold is that you could argue it should apply to all elections—why just apply it to an AV referendum?

Tory backbenchers could jump on a separate amendment—relating to the size of constituencies—in order to delay the Bill. The Bill originally wanted the number of votes in each constituency to be within 5% of a number around 76,000. The Lords have increased this to 7.5%.

With Conservatives and Labour opposing different parts of the Bill, there may be some entertaining “ping-pong” action to ensure that Wednesday’s deadline is met.

—update 11/2/11 There should be a written statement from Nick C laying out the Government’s response to the Lords amendments, so keep your eyes peeled!

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