Tag Archives: Fixed Term Parliaments Bill

House of Lords waters down fixed-term Parliaments legislation

In a vote this week the House of Lords decided to make it significantly easier for future Parliaments to change the rules for fixed-term Parliaments.

The legislation going through Parliament to remove the power of the Prime Minister to fix election dates to their own convenience cannot make them fixed in perpetuity as no Parliament can bind future Parliaments in that way. So the question is how difficult is it for a future Parliament to change the rules – and hence how rigidly fixed the terms of Parliaments really are.

The government’s proposals would have required future Parliaments to pass primary legislation …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged | 9 Comments

Weekend voting: not ruled in, not ruled out

As part of Parliament’s deliberations over the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill, this week the House of Lords debated the possibility of moving to weekend voting.

In The two electoral tests the Coalition should run, I made the point that,

Weekend voting has been once briefly trialled (in Watford a decade ago). It was not a success then, but there are good reasons to try again given the details of how the trial was conducted – especially holding the weekend elections just after the usual national round of local elections, with the result that residents in Watford were seeing in all the national

Posted in Election law | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

Fixed-term Parliaments: better by standing orders?

Last week Malcolm Jack, the Clerk of the House of Commons, got a little flurry of media coverage for his evidence before a Parliamentary committee considering the proposed legislation for fixed-term Parliaments. “Parts of the government’s plans to bring in fixed-term parliaments are vulnerable to legal challenge” was how the BBC reported it.

It is understandable why that got the headlines, but lurking in the detail are important questions about how Parliament operates and whether its administration is competent. Jack’s evidence, and concerns about the legislation, really fall into three parts.

First, as might be expected from an official whose …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 11 Comments

Revealed: the AV referendum question

The wording of the question that voters will be asked in next May’s AV referendum has been published:

Do you want the United Kingdom to adopt the ‘alternative vote’ system instead of the current ‘first past the post’ system for electing Members of Parliament to the House of Commons?

The wording of the question is contained in the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, published last week. (The question will also be made available in Welsh.) The Electoral Commission is statutorily required to consider the intelligibility of the question, before reporting back to Parliament, who will consider the comments and have …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment
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  • User AvatarRichard Wheeler 6th May - 4:52am
    Congratulations to Willie Rennie in regaining NE Fife for the Lib Dems. I've been watching the results live on the BBC in Thailand, where I...
  • User AvatarRichard 6th May - 4:38am
    ... and Caries Anne Dumbleton took a seat from the Labour Party in the Rokeby & Overslade Ward of Rugby Borough Council too.
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 6th May - 4:20am
    Great news and we need to listen to election winners to see what we can learn.
  • User AvatarMichael BG 6th May - 2:25am
    The topics suggested by Eddie Sammon are very poor topics for discussion. We should rather be considering is have we improved on our 2015 vote...
  • User AvatarJonathan Brown 6th May - 2:25am
    A couple of other reasons Stuart: 1) the refugee children Europe are already here. Even if their need is less than of some of those...
  • User AvatarRob 6th May - 2:24am
    And across the river in Grimsby have gained East Marsh and Park wards. East Marsh result Lib Dem 901 Lab 507 Con 81 ( We...
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