House of Lords: Largest Votes Recorded

What have been the largest ever votes in the House of Lords? This briefing provides a list of divisions since 1999 where 500 or more Members have voted.

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Since 1999, there have been 44 divisions in the House of Lords where 500 or more Members voted. 13 of these took place in 2018. There have been 14 divisions of such size since January 2020.   

What was the biggest Lords vote?

The biggest recorded vote saw 634 Members, almost 4 in 5 of those eligible to participate, voting in a division on 7 March 2017. In this vote, the House of Lords voted at report stage on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill by 366 votes to 268 to agree to an amendment moved by Lord Pannick (Crossbench). 

This remains the largest total number of Members voting in a single division on record.

The 7 March 2017 vote beat the previous largest vote of 621, recorded on 14 July 1993. On this occasion, Members voted by 445 to 176 against an amendment to the European Communities (Amendment) Bill, which would have required a referendum to be held. The Times called it the “biggest turnout of peers in modern times”. In terms of the proportion of Members eligible to vote at that time, this represented about three in five.

Until 2017, the 1993 vote was thought to have been the largest since 1831. This has been widely assumed to mean a larger vote took place in 1831, possibly on the Great Reform Bill. However, the House was not large enough at that time to vote in such numbers: figures available for 1830 suggest the House had 399 Members. However, in rejecting the Great Reform Bill on 7 October 1831 a total of 357 Members voted. On the basis that the House had around 400 Members in 1831 this would have equated to almost nine in ten of Members voting in that division.

Introduction of remote voting

On 15 June 2020, the House of Lords held divisions using a remote voting system for the first time. The system was introduced as part of the House’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

To date, Member turnout has reached 500 or more in 13 of the remote votes held. The largest of these was on the Fisheries Bill on 22 June 2020, which saw 561 Members voting. 


The excel spreadsheet provided details votes held since 11 November 1999 (the date of royal assent for the House of Lords Act, which removed over 600 hereditary Members) where the number of Members voting totalled 500 or more.

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