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Committee of the whole House: 12 October 2010            

344

 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, continued

 
 

Single transferable vote system: amendments

 

Mr Angus Brendan MacNeil

 

Jonathan Edwards

 

Hywel Williams

 

Mr Elfyn Llwyd

 

NC16

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

In Schedule 1 to the 1983 Act (Parliamentary elections rules), after rule 37 there

 

is inserted—

 

“How votes are to be given

 

37A(1)  

A voter votes by marking the ballot paper with—

 

(a)    

the number 1 opposite the name of the candidate who is the

 

voter’s first preference (or, as the case may be, the only

 

candidate for whom the voter wishes to vote),

 

(b)    

if the voter wishes, the number 2 opposite the name of the

 

candidate who is the voter’s second preference,

 

            

and so on.

 

      (2)  

The voter may mark as many preferences (up to the number of

 

candidates) as the voter wishes.”.

 

(2)    

After rule 45 in that Schedule there is to be inserted—

 

“How votes are to be counted

 

45A(1)  

This rule sets out how votes are to be counted, in one or more stages

 

of counting, in order to give effect to the preferences marked by voters

 

on their ballot papers and so to determine which candidate is elected.

 

First stage

 

45B(1)  

The returning officer shall sort the valid ballot papers into parcels

 

according to the candidates for whom first preference votes are given.

 

      (2)  

The returning officer shall then—

 

(a)    

count the number of ballot papers in each parcel;

 

(b)    

credit the candidate receiving the first preference vote with

 

one vote for each ballot paper; and

 

(c)    

record those numbers.

 

      (3)  

The returning officer shall also ascertain and record the total number

 

of valid ballot papers.

 

The quota

 

45C(1)  

The returning officer shall divide the total number of valid ballot

 

papers for the constituency by a number exceeding by one the number

 

of members to be elected at the election for that constituency.

 

      (2)  

The result of the division under paragraph (1) (Ignoring any decimal

 

places), increased by one, is the number of votes needed to secure the

 

return of a candidate as a member (in this Schedule referred to as the

 

‘quota’).


 
 

Committee of the whole House: 12 October 2010            

345

 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, continued

 
 

Return of members of House of Commons

 

45D(1)  

Where, at any stage of the count, the number of votes for a candidate

 

equals or exceeds the quota, the candidate is deemed to be elected.

 

      (2)  

A candidate is returned as a member of the House of Commons when

 

declared to be elected in accordance with paragraph 8(1).

 

Transfer of ballot papers

 

45E(1)  

Where, at the end of any stage of the count, the number of votes

 

credited to any candidate exceeds the quota and, subject to paragraphs

 

5 and 8, one or more vacancies remain to be filled, the returning officer

 

shall sort the ballot papers received by that candidate into further

 

parcels so that they are grouped—

 

(a)    

according to the next available preference given on those

 

papers; and

 

(b)    

where no such preference is given, as a parcel of non-

 

transferable papers.

 

      (2)  

The returning officer shall, in accordance with this paragraph and

 

paragraph 5, transfer each parcel of ballot papers referred to in sub-

 

paragraph (1)(a) to the continuing candidate for whom the next

 

available preference is given on those papers and shall credit such

 

continuing candidates with an additional number of votes calculated in

 

accordance with sub-paragraph (3).

 

      (3)  

The vote on each ballot paper is transferred under sub-paragraph (2)

 

shall have a value (‘the transfer value’) calculated as follows—equation: over[(*x9437184x*)char[A],char[B]]

 

            

where:

 

            

A = the value which is calculated by multiplying the surplus of the

 

transferring candidate by the value of the ballot paper when received

 

by that candidate; and

 

            

B = the total number of votes credited to that candidate, the calculation

 

being made to five decimal places (any remainder being ignored).

 

      (4)  

For the purposes of sub-paragraph (3)—

 

“transferring candidate” means the candidate from whom the ballot paper

 

is being transferred; and

 

“the value of the ballot paper” means—

 

(e)    

for a ballot paper on which a first preference vote is given for the

 

transferring candidate, one; and

 

(f)    

in all other cases, the transfer value of the ballot paper when

 

received by the transferring candidate.

 

Transfer of ballot papers: supplementary provisions

 

45F(1)  

If, at the end of any stage of the count, the number of votes credited to

 

two or more candidates exceeds the quota the returning officer shall—

 

(a)    

first sort the ballot papers of the candidate with the highest

 

surplus; and

 

(b)    

then transfer the transferable papers of that candidate.


 
 

Committee of the whole House: 12 October 2010            

346

 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, continued

 
 

      (2)  

If the surpluses determined in respect of two or more candidates are

 

equal, the transferable papers of the candidate who had the highest

 

number of votes at the end of the most recent preceding stage at which

 

they had unequal numbers of votes shall be transferred first.

 

      (3)  

If the numbers of votes credited to two or more candidates were equal

 

at all stages of the count, the returning officer shall decide, by lot,

 

which candidate’s transferable papers are to be transferred first.

 

Exclusion of candidates

 

45G(1)  

If one or more vacancies remain to be filled and—

 

(a)    

the returning officer has transferred all ballot papers which are

 

required by paragraph 5 or this paragraph to be transferred; or

 

(b)    

there are no ballot papers to be transferred under paragraph 5

 

or this paragraph, the returning officer shall exclude from the

 

election at that stage the candidate with the then lowest

 

number of votes.

 

      (2)  

The returning officer shall sort the ballot papers for the candidate

 

excluded under sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph into parcels so that

 

they are grouped—

 

(a)    

according to the next available preference given on those

 

papers; and

 

(b)    

where no such preference is given, as a parcel of non-

 

transferable papers.

 

      (3)  

The returning officer shall, in accordance with this article, transfer

 

each parcel of ballot papers referred to in sub-paragraph (2)(a) to the

 

continuing candidate for whom the next available preference is given

 

on those papers and shall credit such continuing candidates with an

 

additional number of votes calculated in accordance with sub-

 

paragraph (4).

 

      (4)  

The vote on each ballot paper transferred under sub-paragraph (3)

 

shall have a transfer value of one unless the vote was transferred to the

 

excluded candidate in which case it will have the same transfer value

 

as when transferred to the candidate excluded under sub-paragraph

 

(1).

 

      (5)  

This paragraph is subject to paragraph 45H.

 

Exclusion of candidates: supplementary provisions

 

45H(1)  

If, when a candidate has to be excluded under paragraph 6—

 

(a)    

two or more candidates each have the same number of votes;

 

and

 

(b)    

no other candidate has fewer votes, sub-paragraph (2) applies.

 

      (2)  

Where this sub-paragraph applies—

 

(a)    

regard shall be had to the total number of votes credited to

 

those candidates at the end of the most recently preceding

 

stage of the count at which they had an unequal number of

 

votes and the candidate with the lowest number of votes at that

 

stage shall be excluded; and


 
 

Committee of the whole House: 12 October 2010            

347

 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, continued

 
 

(b)    

where the number of votes credited to those candidates was

 

equal at all stages, the returning officer shall decide, by lot,

 

which of those candidates is to be excluded.

 

Filling of last vacancies

 

45I(1)  

Where the number of continuing candidates is equal to the number of

 

vacancies remaining unfilled, the continuing candidates are deemed to

 

be elected.

 

      (2)  

Where the last vacancies can be filled under this paragraph, no further

 

transfer shall be made.

 

By-elections

 

45J(1)  

Where a vacancy occurs in any constituency, paragraphs (45A) to

 

(45H) apply to the subsequent by-election.

 

      (2)  

Where more than one vacancy exists in a constituency when a writ for

 

a by-election in that constituency is moved, only one by-election is to

 

be held for the vacant seats and this rule applies as if the number of

 

members to be elected is the total number of seats vacant in that

 

constituency.”.’.

 


 

Candidates at general elections to the National Assembly for Wales

 

Jonathan Edwards

 

Hywel Williams

 

Mr Elfyn Llwyd

 

NC17

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘In section 7 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 (Candidates at general

 

elections), subsections 5 (c) and 6 (c) are repealed.’.

 


 

Overseas constituency

 

Andrew Rosindell

 

NC18

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The 1986 Act after section 1(1) there is inserted—

 

“(1A)    

There shall for the purposes of paraliamentary elections be a constituency

 

named the Overseas constituency, returning a single member, for British

 

subjects of Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies who have

 

expressed a wish to participate in United Kingdom parliamentary

 

elections.


 
 

Committee of the whole House: 12 October 2010            

348

 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, continued

 
 

(1B)    

A Boundary Commission may make a report under section 3 of this Act

 

(Reports of the Boundary Commissions) if in its view the number of

 

members to be elected from the Overseas constituency should increase,

 

in which case references in that section to “the part of the United

 

Kingdom” should be disregarded.

 

(1C)    

If a Boundary Commission mades a report under subsection (1B) of this

 

Act, sections 3A (Reviews and proposed recommendations by Boundary

 

Commissions), 4 (Orders in Council) and 5 (Notices) of this Act apply to

 

that report.

 

(1D)    

Entitlement to vote in the Overseas constituency must be based on the

 

register prepared under section (2)(1A) of the Parliamentary Voting

 

System and Constituencies Act 2010.”.’.

 


 

New Schedule

 

Mr Angus Brendan MacNeil

 

Jonathan Edwards

 

Hywel Williams

 

Mr Elfyn Llwyd

 

NS1

 

To move the following Schedule:—

 

The single transferable vote system: further amendments

 

Part 1

 

Amendments of the Parliamentary Elections Rules

 

1          

Schedule 1 to the 1983 Act (parliamentary elections rules) is amended as

 

follows.

 

2          

For rule 18 (poll to be taken by ballot) there is substituted—

 

“18      

The votes at the poll shall be given by ballot in accordance with rule

 

37A below, the result shall be ascertained in accoredance with rule

 

45A below and the successful candidate shall be declared to have

 

been elected.”.

 

3          

In rule 29 (equipment of polling stations), in paragraph (5), for the words after

 

“the notice” there is substituted—

 

“Rememberuse 1, 2, 3, etc... at this electionthis is an

 
 

election using the Single Transferrable Vote system.

 
 

Put the number 1 next to the name of the candidate who is

 
 

your first choice (or your only choice, if you want to vote for

 
 

only one candidate). You can also put the number 2 next to

 
 

your second choice, 3 next to your third choice, and so on.

 
 

You can mark as few or as many choices (up to the number of

 
 

candidates) as you wish.

 
 

Do not use the same number more than once.

 
 

Put no other mark on the ballot paper, or your vote may not

 
 

be counted.”.

 

 
 

Committee of the whole House: 12 October 2010            

349

 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, continued

 
 

4          

In rule 44 (attendance at counting of votes), in paragraph (5), for “the candidate

 

for whom the vote is given” there is substituted “the candidates to whom votes

 

are allocated under rule 45A below”.

 

5    (1)  

In rule 46 (re-count), for paragraph (1) there is substituted—

 

  “(1)  

At the time when any stage of the counting or re-counting of the

 

votes is completed, a candidate or candidate’s election agent who is

 

then present may request the returning officer to have the votes re-

 

counted or again re-counted in respect of any or all of the stages so

 

far completed.

 

    (1A)  

The returning officer may refuse to comply with a request under

 

paragraph (1) above if in the officer’s opinion it is unreasonable.”.

 

      (2)  

In paragraph (2) of that rule, after “on the completion of” there is inserted “any

 

stage of”.

 

      (3)  

After that paragraph there is inserted—

 

  “(3)  

At any time before the declaration of the result, the returning officer

 

may, if the officer thinks fit, have the votes re-counted or again re-

 

counted in respect of any or all of the stages.”.

 

6    (1)  

In rule 47 (rejected ballot papers), in the heading there is inserted at the end

 

“and invalid markings”.

 

      (2)  

In paragraph (1) of that rule—

 

(a)    

for sub-paragraph (b) there is substituted—

 

“(aa)    

on which the number 1 has not been marked

 

against the name of any of the candidates, or

 

(b)    

on which the number 1 has been marked against

 

the name of more than one candidate, or”,

 

(b)    

in sub-paragraph (d), for “void for unertainty” there is substituted “is

 

marked in a way that does not indicate a clear choice as to the voter’s

 

first (or only) preference”;

 

(c)    

for the words after that sub-paragraph there is substituted “shall,

 

subject to the following provisions, be rejected as void and not

 

counted at any stage.”.

 

      (3)  

For paragraph (2) of that rule there is substituted—

 

  “(2)  

A ballot paper on which a number is marked elsewhere than in a

 

proper place shall not be deemed to be void for that reason alone.

 

    (2A)  

If a ballot paper is marked with the same number (other than the

 

number 1) against the name of more than one candidate, that

 

number (each time it appears) and any numbers after the repeated

 

numbers shall be ignored for the purposes of rule 45A above.

 

    (2B)  

If—

 

(a)    

one or more preferences are validly marked on a ballot

 

paper, and

 

(b)    

other marks are made on the paper which do not indicate a

 

clear intention as to the voter’s next preference,

 

            

those other marks shall be ignored for the purposes of rule 45A

 

above.


 
 

Committee of the whole House: 12 October 2010            

350

 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, continued

 
 

    (2C)  

A ballot paper on which the voter makes any mark which—

 

(a)    

is clearly intended to indicate a particular preference for a

 

particular candidate, but

 

(b)    

is not a number (or is a number written otherwise than as an

 

Arabic numeral),

 

            

shall be treated in the same way as if the appropriate number

 

(written as an Arabic numeral) had been marked instead.

 

    (2D)  

In paragraph (2C) above a reference to a mark includes a reference

 

to more than one mark.

 

    (2E)  

Paragraphs (2B) and 2(C) above apply only if the way the paper is

 

marked does not itself identify the voter and it is not shown that the

 

voter can be identified by it.”

 

      (4)  

After paragraph (3) of that rule there is inserted—

 

“(3A)  

Where—

 

(a)    

any mark on a ballot paper is ignored by reason of

 

paragraph (2A) or (2B) above, and

 

(b)    

the vote in question is not reallocated in accordance with

 

rule 45A above, but would have been if the mark had been

 

treated as indicating a preference for a remaining

 

candidate,

 

            

the returning officer shall endorse the ballot paper in question with

 

the words “not reallocated” and an indication of the stage at which

 

the mark was ignored.

 

    (3B)  

Where the returning officer endorses a ballot paper as mentioned in

 

paragraph (3A), the officer shall add to the endoresement the words

 

“decision objected to” if an objection is made by a counting agent

 

to the decision.”.

 

      (5)  

In paragraph (4) of that rule—

 

(a)    

for sub-paragraph (b) there is substituted—

 

“(aa)    

not marking the number 1 against the name of any

 

of the candidates;

 

(b)    

marking the number 1 against the name of more

 

than one candidate;”;

 

(b)    

for sub-paragraph (d) there is substituted—

 

“(d)    

unmarked or marked in a way that does not

 

indicate a clear choice as to the voter’s first (or

 

only) preference.”.

 

7    (1)  

For rule 49 (equality of votes), and the heading, there is substituted—

 

“Equality of votes: which candidate to be eliminated

 

49  (1)  

This rule applies to determine which candidate is eliminated under

 

rule 45A(3) above in a case where—

 

(a)    

there are two or more candidates with fewer votes than the

 

others but an equal number to each other, or

 

(b)    

there are three or more candidates, or remaining

 

candidates, and they all have an equal number of votes to

 

each other.

 

            

The candidates with an equal nunber of votes to each other are

 

referred to in this rule as “the tied candidates”.


 
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