PLANS to introduce controversial all-posting voting in North Yorkshire were thrown into doubt yesterday by a threatened rebellion in the House of Lords.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott wants the European Parliament elections on June 10 to take place by postal vote only, in a bid to boost turnout.

But Liberal Democrat and Tory peers have tabled an amendment to remove Yorkshire - and the North West - from the experiment, leaving only the North-East and the East Midlands.

By joining together, the parties can muster enough votes to sink the European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill.

Opposition parties said the Electoral Commission had originally recommended only two regions for all-postal voting, the East Midlands and the North-East.

David Curry, Tory local government spokesman, said: "Only this Government could consider an experiment involving 14 million people a pilot scheme.

"What's the point in having an independent Electoral Commission if the Government just ignores its findings?"

The vote in the Lords is due on February 23. The measure has to be on the statute book well before May to be in time for the run-up to June 10.

That threatens to present ministers with the choice of giving in or losing the whole pilot scheme package due to lack of parliamentary time.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Constitutional Affairs said the Government intended to push to keep the experiment in all four regions.

The decision to go-ahead with two extra areas was taken after talks with electoral administrators in the regions, she said.