10 June 2007

The Sunday Whip

Finally, we have a series of interesting votes to discuss, so let's take a look:

Firstly, on Labour's motion about the trams, the SNP proposed an amendment, to which the Tories proposed a further amendment. The SNP supported this, and it passed by 65 votes to 60 with one abstention (Margo MacDonald). All the SNP members voted in favour, as did all the Tories and both the Greens. 45 of the Labour Members voted against - John Park (Mid Scotland & Fife) missed the vote, which means George Foulkes was there for a change - and 15 LibDems joined them. Tavish Scott (Shetland) missed the whole of Decision Time. The amended amendment was then put to a vote, and passed by 65 votes to 62. We had a full complement of SNP, Conservative and Green members voting in favour, with all 46 of Labour's MSPs, the 15 LibDems present and Margo MacDonald voting against. The amended motion passed by 66 to 59. All the SNP, Conservative and Green members voted in favour, along with the first rebel of the new Parliament: Marilyn Livingstone (Kirkcaldy), whose finger slipped according to Labour's spokespeople. Voting no were 43 of Labour's MSPs - Helen Eadie (Dunfermline East) and one of the Whips, David Stewart (Highlands & Islands) missed it, and we know about Livingstone - the 15 LibDems who were there, and Margo MacDonald.

Then we have Labour's vocational education motion. Nothing passed this time: the SNP's amendment was voted down for the first time since the Election, by 49 votes to 78. The 49 were all the SNP and Green members. The 78 were all the Labour and Conservative members, 15 of the 16 LibDem members and Margo MacDonald. The Conservative amendment was also rejected, despite Labour's support. It was defeated by 64 votes to 62 with one abstention (Margo). The 64 were Labour's 46 and the Tories' 16. The 64 consisted of the whole SNP Group, the 15 LibDems and two Greens. Then it was the LibDems' turn, and this crashed and burned: their amendment was thrown out by 110 votes to 16. The supporters were 15 LibDems and Margo MacDonald, the 110 broke down as follows: 46 SNP MSPs were present - Dave Thompson (Highlands & Islands missed it - as was the whole Labour group, all the Conservatives and both Greens. The original Labour motion was then defeated, by 64 votes to 63. The 63 were Labour and the Tories (all of them) plus Margo. The whole SNP group, 15 LibDems and both Greens voted it down.

So apart from the motion establishing the Committees, which went through without dissent, the only resolution passed by the Parliament was:

That the Parliament recognises the different policy positions of various political parties; notes that the Scottish Government has invited the Auditor General to consider the approach to financial and risk management taken in the preparation of the Edinburgh Tram and Edinburgh Airport Rail Link proposals, and welcomes the fact that ministers will report to the Parliament on this matter before the summer recess and calls on the Scottish Executive to bring forward a motion for parliamentary debate within its own time on these issues.

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