Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Tellers are MPs or peers who count the votes during a division (vote) and then announce the result.

They are usually also whips.

There must be four tellers at each division - two to count the ayes and two to count the noes.

Each pair of tellers consists of one member who declares that they will vote aye and one who will vote no - to check each other's results.

If at the time that the division is called there are not four members prepared to be tellers then the voting will not take place.

For instance, if there are two tellers for the ayes present but only one for the noes then the Speaker will declare that "the ayes have it".

More from BBC Democracy Live
Compare who does what across the UK and Europe
Our A-Z of words used in the business of politics
Discover what BBC Democracy Live has to offer you


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific