General Election 2019

Election 2019 – Student Tuition Fees

Student tuition fees are a favourite for Politicians when it comes to General Elections and are used to attract student votes however, it is not always as it seems …

Fees are set by the current Government; England and Wales, have the second highest University tuition fees in the developed world. Within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) group of nations, only the US has higher fees.

In England and Wales, universities can charge up to £9250 per year for an undergraduate degree and most universities charge the full amount. Scotland has no fees, for Scottish students.

Where do political parties stand on student tuition fees ? It usually depends on whether the party is interested in attracting the student vote, or does it depend on which way the wind’s blowing?

The Labour party actually implemented tuition fees in the first place and here is the history of tuition fees from the beginning in 1997.

  • 1997 – Pre election, Labour policy is no tuition fees
  • 1997 – Labour win the election and … introduce tuition fees in 1998
  • 2001 – Pre election, Labour promises not to raise tuition fees
  • 2001 – Labour won
  • 2003 – Plans announced to increase fees to £3000
  • 2005 – Labour won General Election
  • 2006 – Fees increased to £3000
  • 2009 – Fees increased to 3290
  • 2010 – Pre election, Lib Dems – pledge to abolish tuition fees
  • 2010 – Tories and Lib Dems form coalition government
  • 2010 – Lib Dems abandon policy and support proposal to increase fees to £9000
  • 2015 – Tories win General Election and change repayment terms of student loans
  • 2016 – Tories raise fees to £9250
  • 2017 – Pre Election, Labour policy is to scrap fees altogether
  • 2017 – Tory party win General Election
  • 2017 – Tory party freeze fees at £9250 and tinker with repayment terms
  • and currently

  • 2019 – Pre election, Tory proposal to reduce fees to £7500 abandoned
  • 2019 – Pre election, Labour policy to scrap tuition fees and restore maintenance grants for disadvantaged students
  • 2019 – Pre election, Liberal Democrats :”The idea that we can have zero tuition fees is a fantasy.”
  • The moral of this story is

    Beware of Politicians bearing gifts‘ it may not be all that it seems !!


    Early Parliamentary General Election Bill

    The Prime Minister will present a Bill to Parliament today, 29 Oct 2019, to make provision for a Parliamentary General Election to be held in December 2019.

    The passage of this Bill requires a simple majority and overrides the requirements of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

    The Government has confirmed that it will not bring back the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill for further debate.

    MPs have 6 hours of debate allocated with the Government wanting to complete all stages of the Bill in a single day.

    Labour have just announced that they will back the call for a General Election in December with Jeremy Corbyn stating

    “I have consistently said that we are ready for an election and our support is subject to a no-deal Brexit being off the table. We have now heard from the EU that the extension of Article 50 to 31 January has been confirmed, so for the next three months, our condition of taking no deal off the table has now been met. We will now launch the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change our country has ever seen.”

    This means that it becomes more or less certain that an election will be held in December.


    The Bill as introduced:

    Early Parliamentary General Election Bill 2019-20

    Early General Election Bill (pdf)

    Early General Election Bill Notes (pdf)

    The Bill was introduced to the House of Commons and given its First Reading on Tuesday 29 October 2019. This stage is formal and takes place without any debate.

    MPs will next consider the Bill at Second Reading, to be followed by Committee of the Whole House and Third Reading. All to be completed in 6 hours.

    (Expect the usual unrelated jibber-jabber – this is a vote on whether to hold an early General Election … so lets include as much unrelated stuff as possible to keep it going and show we are earning our salaries )

    Update: 2nd Reading

    The PM opened the debate on the 2nd reading of the Bill at 14:23. The debate proceeded until around 17:40 when it formally passed the 2nd Reading. The Bill now entered the next stage of its passage through Parliament, the Committee Stage, where each clause (part) and any amendments (proposals for change) to the Bill are debated.

    A number of Amendments were selected from the many proposed.

    Committee of the Whole House Amendments as at 29 October 2019 (pdf)

    Chairman of Ways and Means’s provisional grouping and selection of Amendments

    Selected amendments were

    Amendment 2: This amendment would change the date of the proposed general election to Monday 9 December.

    Amendment 3: This is a consequential amendment changing the title of the Bill if amendment 2 was made.

    Amendment 14: This amendment has the effect of aligning the registration deadline for Scotland with the registration deadline in the rest of the United Kingdom, by removing the need for the St Andrew’s Day bank holiday in Scotland to be taken into account.

    Rejected amendments varied from the attempt to allow 16-17 year olds to have a vote in the election, allow non-uk EU citizens to have a vote, a 2nd referendum etc. and can be read in the attached documents.

    Further inconsequential debate continued until 20:00 when a vote on the amendments to the Bill were taken: For amendment 2, the result was 295 votes in favour with 315 votes against, so that the amendment was rejected.

    Amendment 14 was accepted together with changes to Clause 1 and Clause 2 as it stands and made without a further vote.

    The Committee Stage was completed and proceeded through the Report Stage and to 3rd Readin.

    A further vote was taken on the 3rd Reading of the Bill which passed by 438 votes in favour with 20 votes against.

    The Bill now goes to the House of Lords for approval and passes through the same process sequence in the House of Lords.

    Update: House of Lords

    The Bill completed all stages through the House of Lords on 30 October 2019.

    Both Houses agreed on the text of the Bill which now waits for the final stage of Royal Assent This is when the Queen formally agrees to make the bill into an Act of Parliament (law). Royal Assent is scheduled for 31 October. This is when the Queen formally agrees to make the bill into an Act of Parliament (law).

    Update: 31 October 2019

    The Early Parliamentary General Election Act was given Royal Assent and became Law.

    There will now be a General Election, to be held on Thursday 12 December 2019.

    Under provisions in the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, Parliament is dissolved automatically 25 working days before a general election. The date of the next general election is 12 December 2019, accordingly this Parliament will dissolve on 6 November 2019.

    Following the general election on 12 December 2019, the next general election will be scheduled to take place on the first Thursday of May 2024 – 2 May 2024, Parliament will be dissolved on Tuesday 26 March 2024.


    Parliament rejects call for General Election

    Today, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, called for an early General Election to be held on 12 December 2019.

    Because of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, the motion requires 2/3 of all MPs to agree in order to pass. Following debate, a vote was taken with the result 299 votes in favour and 70 votes against. Although there was a majority in favour, the numbers did not reach the majority required under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act and thus fails.

    Following the vote, the PM notified Parliament of the Governments intention to present a short (one-line) Bill calling for a General Election to be held on Thursday 12 December 2019. If this Bill is passed, only requiring a majority of votes, it will circumvent the requirements of the Fixed Term Parliament Act and allow a General Election to be held.


    Will there be a General Election in December 2019 ?

    MPs are due to debate and vote on a motion later today (28 October 2019), in the House of Commons, to hold an early General Election on December 12 2019. Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, an early election can only take place if it is supported by at least two thirds of MPs.

    If agreed, the PM will attempt to pass the legislation for the current deal in the time before Parliament is dissolved (6 November 2019).

    Labour have indicated that they will not support the motion.

    The SNP and Liberal Democrats parties together have proposed their own plan to trigger an election. This, they say, could be achieved by introducing a Bill to amend the Fixed Term Parliament Act and setting a specific date of 9 December 2019 for the next General Election.


    Early Parliamentary General Election (No. 2)

    The Prime Minister moved a motion, on 9 Sep 2019, calling for a early parliamentary general election under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.

    The motion was put to a vote after 90 minutes of debate with the result 293 votes in favour and 46 votes against.

    Most of the Labour MPs abstained together with members of the SNP party, thus rejecting the possibility of an early General Election.

    The Government lost because it didn’t reach the majority required under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.