by derekdeedman on 21 June, 2015
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A Labour amendment to the European Union referendum bill, which would have lowered the voting age to 16 in David Cameron’s promised poll on Britain’s membership of the EU, was voted down in the Commons by 310 votes to 265 on Thursday…
[However] the Lib Dems have 101 members in the Lords. The Conservative party has 228 members, Labour has 212 and there are 178 cross benchers. Speaking ahead of the Commons vote, the Lib Dem chief whip and one of the party’s eight surviving MPs, Tom Brake, said lowering the voting age could be a “crunch issue” in the second chamber.
“When the Lords are pursuing issues, they will look at issues in the Commons where a head of steam has built up,” he said.
Lord Jim Wallace, the Lib Dem leader in the Lords, said: “As far as we are concerned [votes for 16 and 17-year-olds] is party policy.
“The Labour party seem to have also come on board with this and said they would support it too, so there’s a fair chance that it could actually carry in the Lords.”
It is the first time in modern political history that a Conservative government has not also dominated the second chamber. The House of Lords Act 1999 removed the majority of hereditary peers, many of whom were Conservative supporters.