MPs Complain About Remote Voting System Shambles

Procedure Committee Chair Karen Bradley sought the views of her backbench colleagues in a private Tory MP’s whatsapp group yesterday, following the first ‘remote voting’ trial. From 1600 to 1615, members were asked to carry out a trial vote on the motion ‘This House Prefers Spring to Autumn’ in order to test out the system. It did not go well…

Guido has got his hands on the group-chat conversation where backbench Tories express their frustrations. On top of the public demonstrations, in private MPs were not happy…

Hi Karen I took part in the trial. I pressed “cast vote” and it just came up “loading” for the full 15 minutes and I never got through to actually cast the vote. Safe to say it seems like a shambles to me! – Philip Davies

Looking like a high percentage of us were disenfranchised by technology. – Edward Timpson

Ditto. I still have the spinning loading thingy… – Jane Stevenson

Ditto. – Stephen McPartland

Ditto. – Jonathan Lord

Me too with the loading. I tried on parliament laptop and personal phone. – Tracey Crouch

Still loading here! – Crispin Blunt

I tried on two different laptops. Same issue with both I’m afraid. – Dean Russell

Ditto just a spinning wheel for me – Stuart Anderson

My vote worked ok but string of messages from colleagues points to a serious failure overall! – Bob Blackman

It worked beautifully… from my laptop… The “but” is I haven’t had access to MemberHub for a week now through my phone which is where 95% of this stuff gets done and what I would like to use to vote on. Thanks! Robin Miller 

Voting was to close at 16:15 [ten minutes ago] according to the test. – Steve Baker

Wheel of death on iPad. – James Wild

And also on my phone. – Dan Poulter

Same here. Just the spinning wheel of technological fortune 🙂 – Adam Afriye

Hi Karen. I just got loading. – Sheryll Murray

Just got loading message for 15mins. Now red box saying they can’t connect – David Simmonds

Same with me – Peter Bone

I didn’t take part this afternoon- but I assume if more colleagues did, the system would be even more overwhelmed…? – William Wragg

There were a number of us in a select committee so definitely not the full complement. – Simon Hoare

Former Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom ended up floating the idea that instead of relying on technology, it would be better to “temporarily extend the Proxy Voting we introduced last year”, suggesting one member attending the House “could vote for up to 50 colleagues, perhaps?” Sounds a lot more sensible than the technological shambles that took place yesterday afternoon…

UPDATE: For those of you interested, of those MPs who actually managed to vote they overwhelmingly supported spring over autumn by 150 Ayes to 56 Noes

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