House of Lords (Elections and Reform) Bill (HL Bill 163)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision to establish elections for members to the House of Lords; to
restrict the number of voting members in the House of Lords to 292; to exclude
all remaining hereditary peers; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Exclusion of remaining hereditary peers

1 Exclusion of remaining hereditary peers

(1) The House of Lords Act 1999 is amended as follows.

(2) Omit section 2, section 3(2) and paragraph 1 of Schedule 1.

(3) 5At the end of section 3 (removal of disqualifications in relation to the House of
Commons) insert—

“unless he or she is elected to the House of Lords by virtue of the House
of Lords (Elections and Reform) Act 2019.”

(4) Any writ of summons issued for the present Parliament in right of a hereditary
10peerage and pursuant to the House of Lords Act 1999 shall not have effect after
the coming into force of this section.

Composition of the House of Lords

2 Composition of the House of Lords

The House of Lords is to consist of—

(a) 15for a transitional period of four years, 146 life peers entitled to sit and
vote (see section 11) and 146 elected members entitled to sit and vote
(see sections 3 to 10);

(b) thereafter, 292 elected members entitled to sit and vote (see sections 3
to 10);

(c) 20other life peers entitled to sit but not vote (see section 12); and

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(d) the Lords Spiritual entitled to sit but not vote (see section 12).

Elections for members

3 Elections to the House of Lords

(1) A person elected to the House of Lords under this section is entitled to receive
5a writ of summons to attend the House of Lords and to sit and vote therein in
relation to each Parliament which meets while the person is a member.

(2) For the purpose of each election to the House of Lords, England is divided into
nine electoral regions and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are each
single electoral regions.

(3) 10The number of members to be elected for each electoral region is as follows—

  • East Midlands 10

  • Eastern 14

  • London 16

  • North East 6

  • 15North West 16

  • South East 20

  • South West 12

  • West Midlands 14

  • Yorkshire and the Humber 12

  • 20Scotland 12

  • Wales 8

  • Northern Ireland 6.

(4) The Secretary of State may make regulations in order to implement the
provisions of this section.

4 25Voting system in Great Britain

(1) The system of election of members in an electoral region other than Northern
Ireland is to be a regional list system.

(2) The system of election must comply with the following conditions.

(3) A vote may be cast for a registered party or an individual candidate named on
30the ballot paper.

(4) The first seat is to be allocated to the party or individual candidate with the
greatest number of votes.

(5) The second and subsequent seats are to be allocated in the same way, except
that the number of votes given to a party to which one or more seats have
35already been allocated is to be divided by the number of seats allocated plus
one.

(6) In allocating the second or any subsequent seat there are to be disregarded any
votes given to—

(a) a party to which there has already been allocated a number of seats
40equal to the number of names on the party’s list of candidates, and

(b) an individual candidate to whom a seat has already been allocated.

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(7) Seats allocated to a party are to be filled by the persons named on the party’s
list of candidates in the order in which they appear on that list.

(8) The Secretary of State may make regulations in order to implement the
provisions of this section.

(9) 5Regulations made under this section must—

(a) make provision for the nomination of registered parties in relation to an
election in such a region, and

(b) require a nomination under paragraph (a) to be accompanied by a list
of candidates numbering no more than the members to be elected for
10the region.

5 Voting system in Northern Ireland

The system of election of members in Northern Ireland is to be a single
transferable vote system under which—

(a) a vote is capable of being given so as to indicate the voter’s order of
15preference for the candidates, and

(b) a vote is capable of being transferred to the next choice—

(i) when the vote is not required to give a prior choice the
necessary quota of votes, or

(ii) when, owing to a deficiency in the number of votes given for a
20prior choice, that choice is eliminated from the list of
candidates.

6 Vacant seats

In respect of elections under section 3, the Secretary of State must by
regulations make provision prescribing the procedure to be followed when a
25seat is or becomes vacant.

7 Entitlement to stand in an election

(1) A person is disqualified for standing for an election under section 3 if—

(a) the person is disqualified for membership of the House of Commons
under section 1 of the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975
30(disqualification of holders of certain offices and places);

(b) the person is a member of the House of Commons; or

(c) the person is under the age of 18 on the day on which the person is
nominated as a candidate to be an elected member.

(2) A person is not disqualified for standing for election because the person is or
35has been a member of the House of Lords.

8 Entitlement to vote in an election

A person is entitled to vote as an elector at an election under section 3 if on the
day of the poll the person would be entitled to vote as an elector at a
parliamentary election under section 1 of the Representation of the People Act
401983 (parliamentary electors).

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9 Offences

Sections 60 to 66B of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (offences) have
effect in respect of elections under this Act.

10 Date of elections and terms of office

(1) 5The first polling day for an election under this Act is to take place on the first
Thursday in June following the end of the period of twelve months beginning
with the day on which this Act is passed.

(2) The polling day for each subsequent election under this Act is to be the first
Thursday in June in the fourth calendar year following that in which the
10polling day for the previous election fell.

(3) The number of members elected to the House of Lords in any election under
section 3 is 146.

(4) The members elected to the House of Lords under section 3 are members of the
House of Lords for a term of eight years and, at the end of that term, cease to
15be members of the House of Lords.

Transitional members

11 Transitional members

(1) For the transitional period, 146 life peers who are members of the House of
Lords may continue to sit and vote in the House of Lords as transitional
20members.

(2) The transitional period is the period of four years beginning with the day of the
first election under this Act.

(3) The 146 transitional members are to be selected in accordance with Standing
Orders of the House of Lords.

(4) 25Standing Orders under subsection (3) must provide for each member of the
House who is a life peer to be allocated points according to—

(a) the number of sitting days the member attended the House of Lords as
a proportion of the total number of sitting days the member was
eligible to attend,

(b) 30the number of times the member spoke in the House of Lords, and

(c) the number of times the member voted in divisions in the House of
Lords,

in the three calendar years preceding the day on which this Act is passed.

(5) Standing Orders must provide that the 146 members with the highest number
35of points are to be the transitional members for the transitional period.

(6) After the transitional period the 146 transitional members may continue to sit
in the House of Lords and exercise the same rights as a member elected by
virtue of sections 3 to 10, but may not vote therein (and any writ of summons
shall have effect accordingly).

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Other life peers and the Lords Spiritual

12 Other life peers and the Lords Spiritual

(1) Subject to subsection (2), this Act does not affect the power of Her Majesty to
confer life peerages under the Life Peerages Act 1958.

(2) 5Any writ of summons already issued in respect of a life peerage at the time the
first election is held under this Act, or issued after the first election is held
under this Act, has effect so as to entitle the holder of the life peerage to sit and
exercise the same rights as a member elected by virtue of sections 3 to 10, but
not to vote in the House of Lords.

(3) 10Lords Spiritual continue to be members of the House of Lords on the same
basis as holders of life peerages and as such Lords Spiritual may sit and
exercise the same rights as a member elected by virtue of sections 3 to 10, but
may not vote in the House of Lords.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply to the transitional members during the
15transitional period.

General

13 Regulations

(1) Regulations made under this Act must be made by statutory instrument.

(2) Regulations may not be made under this Act unless a draft of the statutory
20instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House
of Parliament.

14 Interpretation

In this Act—

  • “life peerage” means a peerage conferred under the Appellate Jurisdiction
    25Act 1876 or the Life Peerages Act 1958; and

  • “registered party” means a party registered under Part 2 of the Political
    Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 or the group of crossbench
    members of the House of Lords.

15 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) 30This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(2) Sections 1 and 2 come into force on the first Thursday in June following the end
of the period of twelve months beginning with the day on which this Act is
passed.

(3) Sections 3 to 14 come into force at the end of the period of twelve months
35beginning with the day on which this Act is passed.

(4) This section comes into force on the day on which this Act is passed.

(5) This Act may be cited as the House of Lords (Elections and Reform) Act 2019.