Committee (11th Day) (Continued)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 19th January 2011.

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Photo of Lord Lipsey Lord Lipsey Labour 10:00 pm, 19th January 2011

My noble friend makes a very shrewd point. I look forward to discussing that with officials when we have our exciting meeting on notional electorates. It might mean that we go from three to 4.30 in the morning on Sunday, rather than from 3 to 4 am, but I shall be delighted to do that and to bring him the results of any information that they are able to provide.

This makes at least a basic case that the principle of equality of representation of constituencies, which is the principle that underlies the Bill and which we are not really arguing with, might, if anything, be stronger if the equality that we are seeking was equality of population in constituencies rather than, as we are, the equality of electorates. That is a strong case in its favour. It would require very strong evidence, evidence that I would be surprised to find forthcoming, to prove that the numbers available on electorates are more accurate than those that could be made available on population.

Having made this case reasonably succinctly, I hope, I look forward to the Minister's response. I will be interested to hear what other Members of the House have to say. Should we reach a consensus, perhaps on a measure that combines in some degree electorates and population, I look forward to bringing forward an appropriate amendment on Report to embody it in this legislation going forward. I beg to move.