Monday, 16 July 2012

General Synod - electronic voting results for adjournment

Updated Monday evening to add a webpage version of the spreadsheet.

The detailed electronic voting results for the vote on the motion

That the debate be now adjourned to enable the new clause 5(1)(c) inserted by the House of Bishops into the draft Measure entitled “Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure” to be reconsidered by the House of Bishops.

at General Synod last Monday are now available for download.

As already announced at the time of the vote the result was 288 votes in favour and 144 against with 15 recorded abstentions.

From the detailed electronic voting results I have calculated how the votes went in each house.

  for against abstain
Bishops 36 10 4
Clergy 136 54 6
Laity 116 80 5
total 288 144 15

From these figures it can be seen that there was a comfortable two-thirds majority in the houses of bishops and clergy. But the majority was only 59% in the house of laity. These figures may or may not be relevant to the vote on final approval in November when a two-thirds majority will be required in each house for the measure to be approved.

I have split the voting lists into houses in this spreadsheet, also available as a webpage. I have also added the names of those members who did not record a vote or abstention. They are marked as absent for convenience but at least one (the Archbishop of York, who was in the chair) was present.

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 12:00pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

It seems that at least three viable episcopal candidates for the throne of St. Augustine either abstained or were absent.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 12:28pm BST

Fr David,

I rather think one of those viable candidates was not absent but chairing....

Posted by: Hannah on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 5:07pm BST

I can not get the spread sheet to open I am afraid.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 6:06pm BST

It is the House of Bishops' figures that are really interesting. Their 'amendment'; came about because they are all chums together and didn't want to hurt their pals. Now we know almost exactly how many of their number they sought to appease and who they are.

Posted by: Concerned Anglicans on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 7:37pm BST


Try downloading the spreadsheet to your computer and open it from there. You can do this in Windows by right clicking on the link and clicking on "Save Link As...". I expect that there is something similar on an Apple Mac.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 8:27pm BST

I can't find +Stepney on the list?

Posted by: Susannah on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 8:32pm BST

Can somebody translate this data for an Ignorant Yank?

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 8:54pm BST

I have added a webpage version of my spreadsheet for those who find this more convenient.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 9:06pm BST


Like most suffragan bishops, the Bishop of Stepney is not a member of the House of Bishops.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 9:08pm BST

"If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound who shall prepare himself for the battle". Having voted in favour of adding amendment 5(1)(c) to the Measure at the House of Bishops meeting - we now find that at the meeting of the General Synod 36 bishops voted to refer the matter back to themselves for possible revision and only 10 voted against. It makes me wonder what tune the bishops are actually playing.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 9:31pm BST

JCF - one attempt at some translation.

Those who wanted to vote on the measure on Monday and not adjourn included:
those who genuinely wanted to get on with the process now;
those who were encouraged by the bishops taking a lead; traditionalists/conservatives who consider this is the strongest provision they are likely to receive;
and other traditionalists/clergy who think it may have been their best chance of getting the legislation kicked out.

Those who voted for the adjournment included:
those who thought that the legislation might fall and not be able to return in this synod (to 2015) which was a risk too great to take;
those who hope a few months space might take the heat out of the emotions; those who feel synod is just not ready for this yet;
those who want the legislation stalled by any and every means;
those who were unsettled by the bishops' amendments and hope the amendments will be withdrawn or the impact reduced;
those who were guided by the Steering Committee's unanimous proposal that the debate be adjourned.

Those who abstained on adjournment included:
those who wanted to get on with main vote, but feared it may not get through - yet felt that adjourning might not achieve any real positive change;
and of course those who felt unable to come to a conclusion.

Because of the diversity of reasoning above - most from comments I heard - I think it is hard to read any clear conclusions from this on
a) how voting in November might go on the measure amended or not; and
b) why some 'viable' episcopal votes were not cast or abstained.

Posted by: Alastair Cutting on Monday, 16 July 2012 at 11:10pm BST

Oh, so it IS really All a Big Mess: not just my wee brain that couldn't figure it out!

Thanks, Alastair. :-)

Posted by: JCF on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 at 8:08am BST

Usual suspects in the usual camps I fear. ++ Sentamu as Chairman had a vote. Not sure why he didn't exercise it. Perhaps he forgot in the excitement and/or there wasn't a gizzmo on the platform!

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 at 7:07pm BST

Can someone explain to me why the voting isn't done by secret ballot?

This is pretty basic stuff I know, but surely it would mean that people would vote according to their consciences and not according to others' expectations of them.

Posted by: Laurence C. on Sunday, 22 July 2012 at 11:38am BST
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