STANDING ORDERS CHAPTER 19

DIVISIONS

162 Resolving a question

 

A question that is put by the Chair in the House must be resolved on the majority of voices 'aye' or 'no'. The Chair must state whether the ayes or the noes have it and, if a member challenges the Chair's opinion, the question must be decided by a division.

163 Party vote unless a conscience issue

 

(1)

Where a division is requested, a party vote is held unless the subject of the vote is to be treated as a conscience issue

 

(2)

Where the Speaker has received prior advice from a party whip of a conscience vote, the Speaker will permit a personal vote to be held instead of a party vote.

164 Procedure for a division

 

(1)

When a division is requested, the Clerk will ring the bells for three minutes as indicated by the timer.

 

(2)

When the bells have stopped ringing, the Chair calls for the doors to be locked. After that a member must not leave the Chamber until after the division has been completed.

 

(3)

When successive divisions are taken without any intervening debate, the Chair may direct that the bells be rung for one minute.

165 Procedure for a party vote

 

(1)

After the doors are locked the Chair restates the question.

 

(2)

To cast their votes, members must sit in their allocated places in the Chamber.  By doing so, members of parties are deemed to be voting to support the response of their party members given at the time the Chair originally put the question, unless they inform their whip, or representative, that they intend casting a contrary vote under paragraph (6).

 

(3)

First the Clerk asks any independent member to cast his or her vote.

 

(4)

The Clerk next asks the whip of each party, or their representative, to report the party’s votes; parties are asked to report in the order of the size of their parliamentary membership.

 

(5)

Each whip reports the number of ayes or noes.  The report must only relate to votes cast by members present in the Chamber and every member present must vote.

 

(6)

After the votes have been reported by the parties, any member who is voting contrary to his or her party will cast a vote.

 

(7)

Where it becomes obvious that one member only is voting for either the ayes or the noes, the Chair must immediately declare the resolution of the House. The member who called for the division may ask for his or her dissent to be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings. The Chair then directs the Clerk to record that dissent

 

(8)

The whip of each party, or their representative, may before the result of the vote is announced by the Chair, challenge the report of votes given by another party. Where the report is challenged the Chair may direct that the matter be resolved by a personal vote.

 

(9)

The Chair announces the result to the House.

 

(10)

The whip of each party, or their representative, will immediately advise the Clerk of the names of those members of their party that were not present for the vote

 

(11)

The Clerk will record the result of the vote and the names of those members voting aye and no and publish those details in the Votes and Proceedings.

 

166 Procedure for a personal vote

 

(1)

After the doors are locked the Chair restates the question and directs the ayes to the right side of the Chamber and the noes to the left side of the Chamber. The Chair appoints two or more tellers for each side.

 

(2)

Votes may only be cast by members present in the Chamber and every member present must vote.

 

(3)

If two tellers cannot be found for one side of the question, the Chair must immediately declare the resolution of the House. The member who called for the division may ask for his or her dissent to be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings. The Chair then directs the Clerk to record that dissent.

 

 

(4)

The tellers count the votes and record the members' names. On receiving a report from the tellers, the Chair announces the result to the House.

 

(5)

The names of the members who have voted are recorded in the Votes and Proceedings.

167 Casting vote

 

If the numbers are equal, the Speaker has a casting vote. The Speaker may give reasons for the casting vote and those reasons are entered in the Votes and Proceedings.

168 Points of order

 

If a point of order is taken while a division is taking place, a member may only speak to it with the Chair's permission.

169 Error in tally

 

(1)

If there is confusion about the result, or an error in the numbers, and it cannot be corrected, the Chair must call for another division.

 

(2)

If the numbers reported and announced prove to be wrong, the Chair will direct the Clerk to correct the Votes and Proceedings.

170 Pecuniary interest

 

A member must not vote in the House or a select committee on any question in which he or she has a direct pecuniary interest. If a member does so, his or her vote is to be disallowed