Peers who voted against AV will now use it in their own by-election

Peers who are currently trying to block a referendum on the use of the Alternative Vote in General Elections are about to use AV to replace one of their own members in the House of Lords.

The BBC’s James Landale reports:

The cause of this absurdity is the late Lord Strabolgi, a legend in the House of Lords, who died last December, aged 96.

He was one of 92 hereditary peers who were allowed to remain in the Lords in 1999 when all the others were kicked out.

It was agreed then that when any of the 92 died, there would be a by-election in the Lords to choose a replacement.

Normally the replacement peer is elected by other hereditaries from his or her own party or group.

But because Lord Strabolgi was one of the 15 so-called Deputy Speakers, the rules state that all members of the House of Lords can vote to choose his replacement.

So if AV is good enough for the House of Lords, they know what to do

Read the full piece here.

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This entry was posted in Election law and Parliament.


  • toryboysnevergrowup 9th Feb '11 - 11:31am

    “Peers who are currently trying to block a referendum on the use of the Alternative Vote” Yawn.

    Just think how annoyed you are when someone misinterprets your own intentions?

  • Are the candidates the heredities who where culled in 1999? If so do those heredities still get a vote? If so, if they’re no longer with us does the eldest son get a vote instead?

  • Err… so what?

    Are internal elections within the Lords so structurally similar to constituency Westminster elections that we should expect them to use the same voting system?

    Honestly, there are many brilliant reasons to support AV. Concentrate on communicating those. You don’t need to resort to this sort of childish, superficial whining against those who disagree with you.

  • Hilary Benn was elected to Parliament in the Leeds Central by-election which had a turnout of less than 20%. Should we mandate minimum turnout in all elections so that Ministers would have to rubber stamb the election of MPs or councillors on elections with less than 40%?

  • Paul – Any hereditary peer can stand for the by-election, and all currently-sitting members of the house can cast a vote.
    Personally, this seems perfectly fair to me – the best 92 hereditaries, from a body of around 750 people, are co-opted into parliament. It’s high time that the life peers had to go through a similar ‘whittling-down’ process.

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