Meaning of free vote in English:

free vote



mainly British
  • A parliamentary division in which members vote according to their own beliefs rather than following a party policy.

    ‘MPs were allowed a free vote on the issue’
    • ‘He also said it was the right decision to give party members a free vote, because the issue was a deeply personal one.’
    • ‘However, he has repeatedly said he would allow free votes on private members' bills on any issue.’
    • ‘Further, all political parties should allow a free vote on the bill according to a legislator's conscience.’
    • ‘Members of the two biggest parties were given a free vote on the issue at a Council meeting.’
    • ‘Apparently her party allows ‘a free vote on moral issues and issues of conscience’.’
    • ‘Harper will stick to his stance on keeping these out of party policy and leaving them to free votes in Parliament.’
    • ‘Not that many would admit it, but one intriguing lesson lies with the fact the Executive had no official policy on the issue and allowed members a free vote.’
    • ‘The prime minister always encourages MPs to speak their minds, said adviser Scott Reid, which is why he promised to allow more free votes in Parliament.’
    • ‘These are generally debates on subjects styled as ‘conscience issues’ on which members are allowed a free vote.’
    • ‘A free vote on an elected second chamber will be allowed.’
    • ‘Having published his own version of events, Marsden has continued to speak to the media about the need for a free vote in parliament.’
    • ‘More free votes and giving members of Parliament a more important public role in government will help restore some confidence in the system.’
    • ‘The issue is considered one of conscience at Westminster, where MPs of all parties are given a free vote.’
    • ‘As I mentioned earlier in this debate, the New Zealand First caucus has allowed its members to have a free vote on this bill.’
    • ‘This incident demonstrates just where the Alliance stands on free votes in Parliament.’
    • ‘Legislation will now depend on a free vote in parliament, but even then it is unlikely to pass, as it will meet opposition in the House of Lords and run out of parliamentary time.’
    • ‘The best way for proportional representation to work is with a congressional system in which all members have a free vote and there's a fixed election date - the way the city council operates.’
    • ‘If any member introduces a member's bill, then all the members of the Labour Party will certainly have a free vote on that issue.’
    • ‘We are absolutely delighted that the Government has announced a free vote on smokefree legislation.’
    • ‘Mr Howard says free votes are rare and reserved for matters like euthanasia, abortion and capital punishment.’