Equality of votes

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25.88If the Contents and Not-contents are equal, the question is decided under Standing Order No 55, according to which legislation is allowed to proceed in the form which is before the House unless there is a majority in favour of rejecting or amending it; and other motions are rejected unless there is a majority in their favour. Thus:

  1. In relation to bills and subordinate legislation, a proposal to reject or amend a bill or instrument in the form in which it is then before the House is decided in the negative unless there is a majority in favour of such rejection or amendment.1 When the House considers Commons amendments, or motions to insist or not to insist on amendments to which the Commons have disagreed, the form of the bill before the House is taken to be the bill as amended by the Commons.
  2. Similarly, a proposal to reject or amend any motion relating to the stages of a bill2 is decided in the negative unless there is a majority in favour of such rejection or amendment.
  3. In relation to all other matters, the question is decided in the negative unless there is a majority in its favour.3

Footnotes

  1. 1. For example, HL Deb (1996–97) 577, c 1099; ibid (30 January 2006) 678, cc 36–37; ibid (2 February 2009) 707, c 510.
  2. 2. In the Standing Order ‘stages of a bill’ is taken to mean first reading, second reading, committee of the whole House, report, third reading and passing, consideration of Commons amendments and consideration of Commons reasons.
  3. 3. For example, LJ (1992–93) 346; ibid (1996–97) 211; ibid (2005–06) 912.