Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

At the conclusion of debate on a proposed motion or amendment in Parliament, the House will be asked if it accepts the proposal.

A to Z: Divisions

In the Commons, the Speaker asks MPs to call out "Aye" if they are in favour or "No" if they are against.

Similarly, in the upper chamber the Lord Speaker asks peers to call out "Content" or "Not Content".

If it is unclear which side has more supporters from this verbal vote, or if the judgement of the Speaker of Lord Speaker is contested, then a division is called for.

This means that MPs and peers have to walk through the appropriate lobby if they wish to register their vote.

In the unlikely event of a tie, the Speaker of the House of Commons has a casting vote.

In the Lords, the Lord Speaker has no such privilege, and a vote needs a majority to have any effect.

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