House of Commons portcullis
House of Commons
Session 2010 - 11
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill


Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 10 — The alternative vote system: further amendments
Part 1 — Amendments of the parliamentary elections rules

285

 

Schedule 10

Section 9

 

The alternative 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

5

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 accordance with

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

10

have been elected.”

3          

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

after “the notice” there is substituted—

 

“Remember—use 1, 2, 3 etc at this election—this is an election using the

 
 

alternative vote system.

 

15

 

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

 

20

 

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.”

 

4          

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

25

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

30

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.”

35

      (2)  

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

“any stage of”.

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 10 — The alternative vote system: further amendments
Part 1 — Amendments of the parliamentary elections rules

286

 

      (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

5

“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

10

(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 uncertainty” there is substituted

“is marked in a way that does not indicate a clear choice as to the

voter’s first (or only) preference”;

15

(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

20

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.

25

     (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,

30

           

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

above.

     (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

35

(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

40

to more than one mark.

     (2E)  

Paragraphs (2B) and (2C) 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.”

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 10 — The alternative vote system: further amendments
Part 1 — Amendments of the parliamentary elections rules

287

 

      (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

5

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

10

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 endorsement the

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

agent to the decision.”

15

      (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

20

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.”

25

7          

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

30

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 number of votes to each other are

35

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

      (2)  

The candidate to be eliminated where there has been a previous

elimination is—

(a)   

whichever of the tied candidates was allocated the fewer

or fewest votes in accordance with voters’ first

40

preferences, or

(b)   

if that fails to resolve the tie, whichever of them had the

fewer or fewest votes after the next stage of counting (if

any),

           

and so on.

45

      (3)  

Where there has been no previous elimination, or where there has

been a previous elimination but the tie is not resolved under

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 10 — The alternative vote system: further amendments
Part 1 — Amendments of the parliamentary elections rules

288

 

paragraph (2) above, the returning officer shall forthwith decide

by lot which of the tied candidates is to be eliminated.

Equality of votes: which candidate to be elected

49A   (1)  

This rule applies to determine which candidate is elected under

rule 45A above—

5

(a)   

in a case where there are only two remaining candidates

and they have an equal number of votes, or

(b)   

in the case of an election with only two candidates who

receive an equal number of votes.

      (2)  

Where paragraph (1)(a) applies, the candidate to be elected is—

10

(a)   

whichever of the remaining candidates was allocated the

more votes in accordance with voter’s first preferences, or

(b)   

if that fails to resolve the tie, whichever of them had the

more votes after the next stage of counting (if any),

           

and so on.

15

      (3)  

Where paragraph (1)(a) above applies but the tie is not resolved

under paragraph (2) above, or where paragraph (1)(b) above

applies, the returning officer shall forthwith decide by lot which of

the two candidates is to be elected.”

8          

In rule 50 (declaration of result), in paragraph (1), for sub-paragraphs (a) to

20

(c) there is substituted—

“(a)   

declare the number of votes obtained by each candidate

(including any reallocated in accordance with rule 45A

above), starting with the candidate with the fewest and

proceeding in order to the candidate with the most;

25

(aa)   

declare which is the candidate who (in accordance with

that rule) is elected;

(ab)   

declare the stage at which each eliminated candidate was

eliminated and the stage at which the elected candidate

was elected;

30

(b)   

return the name of the elected candidate to the Clerk of the

Crown;

(c)   

give public notice of the name of the elected candidate, the

number of rejected ballot papers under each head shown

in the statement of rejected ballot papers, the number of

35

votes allocated to each candidate in accordance with

voters’ first preferences, and for each subsequent stage of

counting—

(i)   

the name of the eliminated candidate,

(ii)   

the number of votes reallocated to each of the

40

remaining candidates, and

(iii)   

the number of votes of the candidate eliminated at

the previous stage that were not reallocated.”

9          

In rule 53 (return or forfeiture of candidate’s deposit), in paragraph (4), for

the words after “is completed,” there is substituted “the number of first-

45

preference votes obtained by the candidate is found to be not more than one-

twentieth of the total number of first-preference votes obtained by all the

candidates.”

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 10 — The alternative vote system: further amendments
Part 1 — Amendments of the parliamentary elections rules

289

 

10    (1)  

In rule 61 (deceased independent candidate wins), in paragraph (1), for “the

majority of votes is given to the deceased candidate” there is substituted “the

deceased candidate would have been elected (in accordance with rule 45A

above) had he not died”.

      (2)  

In paragraph (2) of that rule, for sub-paragraph (a) there is substituted—

5

“(a)   

declare the number of votes obtained by each candidate

(including any reallocated in accordance with rule 45A

above), starting with the candidate with the fewest and

proceeding in order to the candidate with the most,

(aa)   

declare that the deceased candidate would have been

10

elected had he not died,”.

      (3)  

For sub-paragraph (c) of that paragraph there is substituted—

“(c)   

give public notice of the number of rejected ballot papers

under each head shown in the statement of rejected ballot

papers, the number of votes allocated to each candidate in

15

accordance with voters’ first preferences, and for each

subsequent stage of counting—

(i)   

the name of the candidate eliminated,

(ii)   

the number of votes reallocated to each of the

remaining candidates, and

20

(iii)   

the number of votes of the candidate eliminated at

the previous stage that were not reallocated.”

11    (1)  

For rule 62 (deceased independent candidate with equality of votes) there is

substituted—

“62   (1)  

This rule applies in relation to an election mentioned in rule 60(1)

25

above.

      (2)  

The reference in rule 45A(3) above to the candidate with the fewest

votes, in a case where—

(a)   

there are two or more candidates with fewer votes than the

others but an equal number to each other, and

30

(b)   

one of them is a deceased candidate,

           

shall be taken as a reference to the deceased candidate.

      (3)  

The reference in rule 45A(4) or (5) above to the candidate with

more votes than the other remaining candidates put together, in a

case where—

35

(a)   

there are only two remaining candidates,

(b)   

those two candidates have an equal number of votes, and

(c)   

one of them is a deceased candidate,

           

shall be taken as a reference to the candidate other than the

deceased candidate.

40

      (4)  

Where paragraph (2) or (3) above applies, it applies in place of rule

49 or 49A above.”

12    (1)  

The Appendix of forms is amended as follows.

      (2)  

In the Form of Front of Ballot Paper—

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 10 — The alternative vote system: further amendments
Part 2 — Amendments of other provisions of the 1983 Act

290

 

(a)   

for “VOTE FOR ONE CANDIDATE ONLY” there is substituted—

 

“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.

 

5

 

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.”

 

(b)   

the numbers on the left-hand side are omitted, together with the

vertical rule separating them from the particulars of the candidates.

10

      (3)  

In the directions as to printing the ballot paper—

(a)   

in paragraph 2(a), for “the direction to vote for one candidate only”

there is substituted “the directions beginning “Put the number 1 next

to the name of the candidate who is your first choice” and ending

“Do not use the same number more than once.””;

15

(b)   

in paragraph 2(b), for the words “the vertical rules separating those

particulars from the numbers on the left-hand side and the spaces on

the right” there is substituted “the vertical rule separating those

particulars from the spaces on the right”.

      (4)  

In the Guidance for Voters—

20

(a)   

for paragraph 1 there is substituted—

 

“1

When you are given a ballot paper go to one of the compartments.

 
  

Put the number 1 on the ballot paper in the box to the right of the

 
  

name of the candidate who is your first choice (or your only

 
  

choice, if you want to vote for only one candidate).

 

25

  

You can also put the number 2 in the box to the right of the name

 
  

of the candidate who is your second choice, the number 3 in the

 
  

box to the right of the name of the candidate who is your third

 
  

choice, and so on.

 
  

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

 

30

  

candidates) as you wish.

 
  

Do not use the same number more than once.”

 

(b)   

in paragraph 2, the words “Vote for one candidate only.” are

repealed.

Part 2

35

Amendments of other provisions of the 1983 Act

13         

The 1983 Act is amended as follows.

14    (1)  

In section 66 (requirement of secrecy), in subsection (2)(b), for “the candidate

for whom any vote is given on any particular ballot paper” there is

substituted “how any particular ballot paper has been marked”.

40

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 10 — The alternative vote system: further amendments
Part 2 — Amendments of other provisions of the 1983 Act

291

 

      (2)  

In subsection (3)(b) and (c) of that section, for “the candidate for whom”

there is substituted “how”.

      (3)  

In subsection (3)(d) of that section, for “the name of the candidate for whom

he has or has not” there is substituted “how he has”.

      (4)  

In subsection (4)(d) of that section, for “the candidate for whom any vote is

5

given on any particular ballot paper” there is substituted “how any

particular ballot paper has been marked”.

      (5)  

In subsection (5) of that section, for “the candidate for whom” there is

substituted “how”.

      (6)  

Subsections (7) and (8) of that section are repealed.

10

      (7)  

The amendments made by this paragraph do not apply to a local

government election (within the meaning given by section 204(1) of the 1983

Act) in Scotland.

15         

In section 113 (bribery), in subsection (7)—

(a)   

for “this section the expression” there is substituted “this section—

15

(a)   

the expression”;

(b)   

at the end there is inserted—

“(b)   

a reference to voting or refraining from voting, in the

case of a parliamentary election, includes a reference

to marking or refraining from marking preferences on

20

the ballot paper;

(c)   

a reference to the vote of any voter, in the case of a

parliamentary election, includes a reference to the

marking of a voter’s preferences on the ballot paper.”

16         

In section 114 (treating), at the end there is inserted—

25

“(4)   

Subsection (7)(b) of section 113 above has effect for the purposes of

this section as it has effect for the purposes of that one.”

17         

In section 115 (undue influence), at the end there is inserted—

“(3)   

Subsection (7)(b) of section 113 above has effect for the purposes of

this section as it has effect for the purposes of that one.”

30

18    (1)  

In section 117 (savings as to parliamentary elections), in subsection (2)(b), for

“to record his vote for any particular candidate” there is substituted “to vote

in any particular way”.

      (2)  

In subsection (2)(c) of that section, for “recording his vote for any particular

candidate” there is substituted “voting in any particular way”.

35

19    (1)  

In section 139 (trial of election petition), in subsection (6) the words “the

parliamentary elections rules or”, in both places, are repealed.

      (2)  

After that subsection there is inserted—

“(6A)   

If the petition relates to an election conducted under the

parliamentary elections rules and it appears that there is an equality

40

of votes between any candidates (a “tie”)—

(a)   

rule 49, 49A or 62 of those rules (whichever is relevant) shall

apply for the purposes of the petition;

(b)   

where under rule 49 or 49A the tie falls to be resolved by lot—

 
 

 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 2010
Revised 26 October 2010