Committee (11th Day)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 19th January 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Desai Lord Desai Labour 4:30 pm, 19th January 2011

For the first time I am beginning to understand why things are as complicated as they are. If I understand correctly, the Boundary Commission needs population estimates for the quota to be decided, and for that to happen you do not need the exact population number; estimates should do. For voting, you have to have the exact, accurate electoral register. As my noble friend Lord Sewel asked, why cannot we have interdecennial estimates of population from the Office for National Statistics to decide the quota that the Boundary Commission uses while waiting for the accurate figure? These are two separate things. For voting itself, people have to be resident, but for the boundary to be decided, estimates might be a better thing than exact census numbers.