Big names top MPs bill ballot

This year's Private Members Bills ballot has thrown up a number of big names with a realistic chance of having their bills debated.

Conservative grandee Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who only returned to the Commons a few weeks ago, is second on the list, with former International Development Secretary Clare Short in third.

Top of the pile though is Marsha Singh, Labour MP for Bradford West.

Making up the top six are Labour's Mark Lazarowicz and Tom Clarke and the Conservatives' Anne McIntosh.

Those in the top six normally have the opportunity to see their bill debated with the possibility of it becoming law.

Titles of the bills they intend to introduce will be formally presented to the House on the fifth sitting Wednesday. That will be June 22 in this Parliament.

Of the Private Members Bills that have become law in the last 20 years, more than half came through the ballot system.

This is because the top 20 names in the ballot are placed at the top of the order paper when there is time for private legislation, thus enjoying a crucial advantage.

The best chance of success though would be if the Government of the day chooses to back the bill.