Of course, voting in general does not require that the voters understand what they are voting on.

In a formal setting, when the vote is about a written document, it could be required that the voters have read the document.

In the house of commons in the UK, are the MPs required to have read a bill before voting?

Possibly in a way that allows for exceptions in cases where the vote is not practicality a free vote, because the voter is expected to vote according to somebody else?

  • That's a good question. I'm not sure about the UK, but where I live, I doubt that many MPs understand most of the stuff they vote for.
    – Alexei
    Jan 22, 2023 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


No. It's usually expected that somebody has read it, and this is supposed to happen in the committee stage. It's not formally required by the process.

Very few votes are free votes: most are to some extent "whipped", where MPs are expected to follow the party line. The "three line whip" is where the statement of how they are expected to vote has been underlined three times, and going against that usually comes with consequences.

While party discipline has broken down a lot lately, Johnson did expel a number of MPs from the Conservative party for not following the party line.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .