Tuesday, February 9, 2023
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:  MPs back referendum on voting system

MPs have backed government plans to hold a UK-wide referendum on changing the voting system next year.

Voters would be asked if they want to keep "first past the post" or switch to the "alternative vote", which ranks candidates in order of preference.

But it is not certain the bill will become law before Parliament is dissolved ahead of the election.

Even if it does, the process could be reversed should the Conservatives take control of the Commons after the general elections.

Of course, the gamble here is that the public will want the chance to vote on reform enough that it will lead them to return Labour to a majority.

In regards to whether it will even make to law in time:

the wide-ranging Bill has to go through various Parliamentary stages before becoming law and is expected to face opposition in the House of Lords. Downing Street has also admitted "time is tight" to change the law ahead of a general election, widely expected in May.

The numbers:

MPs backed the referendum plan by 365 votes to 187 – a majority of 178 for the government.

A Liberal Democrat amendment to hold a referendum earlier and on a different voting system – the single transferable vote – was defeated by 476 votes to 69.

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