The 14 non-Lib Dem MPs who backed the Single Transferable Vote

The House of Commons yesterday voted by 365 votes to 187 to hold a UK-wide referendum on changing the voting system next year from first-past-the-post to the alternative vote. The Lib Dems reluctantly voted for the alternative vote, as the most modest of improvements on the current, broken system.

But the party, in the person of Cambridge MP David Howarth, also moved an amendment to leave out ‘an alternative-vote’ and insert ‘a single transferable vote’ – in other words, to ask Parliament to approve an electoral system which would at last reflect the votes cast for parties across the country, as happens in the vast majority of parliamentary democracies.

When the Lib Dem amendment was put to the vote, it secured 69 votes, of which 55 were Lib Dem MPs. So let’s salute the 14 non-Lib Dem MPs who chose to go into the lobby with the Lib Dems in support of a fair voting system. They were:

    Cousins, Jim (Lab)
    Durkan, Mark (SDLP)
    Galloway, Mr. George (Respect)
    Hosie, Stewart (SNP)
    Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn (Plaid)
    Mason, John (SNP)
    Naysmith, Dr. Doug (Lab)
    Pelling, Mr. Andrew (Con)
    Purnell, rh James (Lab)
    Robertson, Angus (SNP)
    Smith, rh Mr. Andrew (Lab)
    Weir, Mr. Mike (SNP)
    Williams, Hywel (Plaid)
    Wishart, Pete (SNP)

Especially interesting to see likely future Labour leadership contender James Purnell among the 14 non-Lib Dem MPs voting for STV. Genuine progressive belief, or clever positioning? Time may tell.

For the record here are the Lib Dem MPs who voted for David’s STV amendment:

    Alexander, Danny
    Baker, Norman
    Brake, Tom
    Breed, Mr. Colin
    Brooke, Annette
    Browne, Mr. Jeremy
    Bruce, rh Malcolm
    Burstow, Mr. Paul
    Burt, Lorely
    Cable, Dr. Vincent
    Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
    Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
    Clegg, rh Mr. Nick
    Davey, Mr. Edward
    Farron, Tim
    Featherstone, Lynne
    Foster, Mr. Don
    Gidley, Sandra
    Goldsworthy, Julia
    Hancock, Mr. Mike
    Harris, Dr. Evan
    Harvey, Nick
    Heath, Mr. David
    Holmes, Paul
    Horwood, Martin
    Howarth, David
    Hughes, Simon
    Huhne, Chris
    Hunter, Mark
    Keetch, Mr. Paul
    Kramer, Susan
    Lamb, Norman
    Laws, Mr. David
    Leech, Mr. John
    Mulholland, Greg
    Oaten, Mr. Mark
    Öpik, Lembit
    Pugh, Dr. John
    Reid, Mr. Alan
    Rennie, Willie
    Rowen, Paul
    Russell, Bob
    Sanders, Mr. Adrian
    Smith, Sir Robert
    Stunell, Andrew
    Swinson, Jo
    Teather, Sarah
    Thurso, John
    Webb, Steve
    Williams, Mark
    Williams, Mr. Roger
    Williams, Stephen
    Willis, Mr. Phil
    Willott, Jenny
    Younger-Ross, Richard
    Tellers for the Ayes:
    Dan Rogerson and
    John Hemming
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This entry was posted in Parliament.


  • Andrew Suffield 10th Feb '10 - 7:26pm

    Sad but unsurprising. A partisan split mostly, rather than a principled one.

  • I thought Douglas Carswell was in favour of STV?

  • Do we salute George Galloway’s courage, strength and indefatigability?

    Niklas SMith: no room for sentiment in FPTP. Labour he is, and so, he must go.

  • Niklas,

    I find your charachterisation of Andrew Smith quite extraordinary. He may have come across well when he visited your school but he’s been consistently let down his constituents.

    He’s utterly shameless about saying one thing and doing another. He voted against Simon Hughes’ 10:10 motion then spoke at a rally in support of 10:10 the following weekend. He’s been photographed by the local paper collecting signatures to save a post office he had voted to close.

    You are talking about a man who will change views on subjects to what his most politically convienent. He’s done so shamelessly over tuition fees (several times) and air traffic privatisation.

    While he talks about being a rebel, public whip has him down as rebelling on about 1 in every 100 divisions. In contrast, to genuine Labour rebels like Jeremy Corbyn and Kate Hoey who rebel in 1 in 4 divisions. He has happily followed the government whips instructions over Iraq, ID cards and tuition fees. He also has a truly disgraceful record on the environment.

    When voters say they don’t trust politicians, it’s people like Smith they have in mind. That’s why Lib Dems in Oxford are working so hard to replace Smith with a genuinly decent man.

    Mark Mills
    District councillor, Oxford city

  • Isn’t Andrew Pelling suspended from the Conservative Party and standing as an independent against them at General Election in his Croydon Central Constituency?

  • John W Booth 11th Feb '10 - 10:40am

    Why didn’t all 63 Lib Dem MPs vote for the STV amendment?

  • Which LD MPs did not vote for the STV amendment, and why not?

2 Trackbacks

  • By How can we sell the Single Transferable Vote to the public? on Thu 11th February 2010 at 10:27 am.

    […] the Tories, are desperate to hold onto the electoral system that secures their cosy hold on power: just five Labour/Tory MPs voted to include STV in any referendum on voting […]

  • By Top of the Blogs: The Golden Dozen #156 on Sun 14th February 2010 at 7:27 pm.

    […] Chris Huhne in Eastleigh by Stephen Tall on Lib Dem Voice. Few pick a fight with Chris and win. 2. The 14 non-Lib Dem MPs who backed the Single Transferable Vote by Stephen Tall on Lib Dem Voice. Only 249 more MPs to convince, and we’ll get a majority for […]

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