Ballot bills introduced in the House of Commons since 1997Jump to full report >>
This note lists the 20 successful MPs drawn in the Commons ballot for private Members' bills (PMBs) at the start of each parliamentary session since 1997. Five ballot bills received Royal Assent in the 2016-17 session.
The 2017-18 Commons ballot was held on Thursday 29 June 2017 and can be viewed on parliamentlive.tv.
Parliamentary business in the Commons is governed by the Standing Orders (SOs) of the House of Commons and links to the relevant SO are provided in the text below.
The ballot procedure (SO No.14.10) is one of three ways a backbench MP can introduce legislation. The ballot is held on the second sitting Thursday of the session. The 20 MPs successful in the ballot present their titles and nominate a date for Second Reading on the fifth sitting Wednesday of the session. Only the title of the bill is needed for the presentation, First Reading, of the bill; the full text of the bill is often not available until shortly before the Second Reading of the bill.
MPs can also introduce bills under the 10 Minute Rule procedure (SO No.14.6.c) and by ordinary presentation (SO No.23.2). Bills introduced under these procedures have to wait for ballot bills to be presented before they can be introduced. Ballot bills therefore take precedence in terms of parliamentary time available, see below.
For more information on the procedure for public bills in Parliament, including the various types of PMBs, see the Commons Library briefing on public bills in Parliament.
The time set aside by the House for consideration of private Members' legislation is limited by SO NO. 14(8) to 13 Fridays in each session. Four extra Fridays were made available in the long 2010-12 session, following the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011.
In the 2017-19 parliamentary session, the House agreed to give precedence to PMBs on 21 & 28 October 2016, 4,18 & 25 November 2016, 2 & 16 December 2016, 13,20 & 27 January 2017, 3 & 24 February 2017 and 24 March 2017 [HC Deb 17 Jul 2017 c636-59]. Moving the motion, the Leader of the House announced that the Government expected to provide additional days in due course.
The first seven of these Fridays are reserved for Second Reading debates. Therefore bills that have made progress take precedence. Members drawn high in the ballot can nominate the first seven Fridays for their Second Reading and consequently their bills have more chance of making progress.
MPs cannot introduce bills under the ordinary presentation or ten minute rule procedures until all the ballot bills have been presented, on the fifth sitting Wednesday of the session. This means that these bills will be slotted in behind the ballot bills on one of the available Fridays with less time available to debate them.
Debates on private Members legislation are not programmed and are susceptible to being ‘talked out’. The Procedure Committee held an inquiry on Private Members’ Bills and its recommendations are published in the Committee’s third report of session 2015-16, HC 685 18 April 2016.
Bill proceedings and documents
The titles of the bills in the list link through to the Bill Pages on the Parliament website where you can find all the associated bill documents and proceedings on the bill.
Successful private Members’ bills
See the Commons briefing on successful private Members’ bills since 1983 for a list of all bills introduced by backbench MPs that have received Royal Assent.
For statistics on the number of public bills (including PMBs) introduced and the number gaining Royal Assent, see the Commons briefing giving a summary of public bills introduced since 1983.
Ballot Bills in the House of Lords
Peers are also able to introduce private members' bills. In 2014 the House of Lords agreed that, from the start of the 2015-16 session, a ballot should be held on the evening of State Opening to determine the order of introduction of private members' bills. The results of the Lords ballot are available on the Parliament website:
The procedure for the Lords ballot is set out in the House of Lords companion to the Standing Orders 2015, para 8.13. On 9 May 2015 the House of Lords approved a change to the timetable so that the ballot is held on the day following State Opening.
Please send any comments or corrections to: Parliamentary Information Lists Editor, Parliament and Constitution Centre, House of Commons, London SW1A OAA.
Suggestions for new lists welcomed.
Commons Briefing papers SN04055
Author: Sarah Priddy