Report (3rd Day)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 9th February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Elton Lord Elton Conservative 4:15 pm, 9th February 2011

My Lords, before we come to a conclusion, there is something about which I need to remind myself and your Lordships. It is necessary to keep two or three things in mind. As my noble friend Lord King has already reminded us, at present the Bill permits a variation of 10 per cent, whereas what is proposed is a variation of 15 per cent. I need to remind myself that we are talking not about numbers, areas or acreages but about the value of votes. The proposal is to raise to 15 per cent the discrepancy between the value of a vote in one constituency and another.

The principle of the Bill is to try to reduce the variations so that everybody's vote is roughly equal. My subjective-but not, I think, unreasonable-view is that 10 per cent is quite enough. That gets around an awful lot of arguments that have been made and, for me, it is conclusive.