New Clause 88 — Referendum on voting systems

Part of Bill Presented — Climate Change (Sectoral Targets) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:32 pm on 9th February 2010.

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Photo of Alan Haselhurst Alan Haselhurst Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means 5:32 pm, 9th February 2010

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: amendment (a), leave out "31 October" and insert "30 May".

Amendment (b), leave out "an alternative-vote" in subsection (2)(a) and insert "a single transferable vote".

Amendment (c), leave out "the alternative-vote" in subsection (3) and insert "a single transferable vote".

Amendment (j), leave out "describing an alternative-vote system" and insert

"setting out the mechanism, and the advantages and disadvantages, of

(a) an alternative-vote system,

(b) a two-round runoff system,

(c) the existing voting system (commonly referred to as "first past the post").".

Amendment (k), leave out from 'voters' to end of line 12 and insert

"to select one of three options set out in the Command Paper.".

Amendment (l), at end insert-

"(6A) In this section "two-round runoff system" means a system under which, for each constituency-

(a) one candidate is elected;

(b) a second ballot may be held if a candidate is not elected on the first ballot;

(c) for a candidate to be elected they must secure more than fifty per cent. of the votes cast on either the first or second ballot;

(d) on the first ballot voters must nominate a single candidate;

(e) on the first ballot there is no limit to the number of candidates which may stand;

(f) votes are allocated to candidates and, if one candidate has more than fifty per cent. of the votes cast, that candidate is elected;

(g) if not, the two candidates with the most votes on the first ballot enter a second ballot to be dealt with as follows-

(i) the second ballot must be held one week after the first ballot;

(ii) voters must nominate a single candidate;

(iii) no new candidate may enter the second ballot;

(iv) votes are allocated to candidates and the candidate with the most votes is elected;

(h) if in the second ballot it appears that there is an equality of votes between both candidates, the returning officer shall decide between them by lot and proceed as if the candidate on whom the lot then falls had received an additional vote.".

Amendment (e), leave out subsection (8).

Government new clause 89- Entitlement to vote.

Government new clause 90- Referendum period.

Government new clause 91- Role of Electoral Commission.

Government new clause 92- Payments to counting officers.

Government new clause 93- Taxation of counting officer's account.

Government new clause 94- Restriction on legal challenge to referendum result.

Government new clause 95- Referendums: person may not be "responsible person" for more than one permitted participant.

Government new clause 96- Referendums: expenses incurred by persons acting in concert.

New clause 32- Referendum on electoral reform-

"(1) The Secretary of State shall be under a duty to ensure that a referendum on reforming the electoral system for the House of Commons is held before 28 October 2010.

(2) The referendum must offer a choice between the existing method of voting and a preferential system.

(3) If the result of the referendum is in favour of changing the electoral system for the House of Commons, the Secretary of State shall be under a duty to lay implementing measures before Parliament within three months of the date of the referendum.

(4) In this section-

"implementing measures" means measures designed to and likely to implement the result of the referendum before the general election next following the referendum, and includes bills and statutory instruments;

"preferential voting system" means a system of voting in which electors may express their support for individual candidates in order of preference and in which they are not restricted to expressing a fixed number of preferences.".

Government amendment 136.

Amendment 135, in clause 62, page 33, line 38, after "Part", insert

"and section [ Referendum on electoral reform]".

Government amendment 137.

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