Monday, 22 June 2009

Election of a New Speaker

Today is the big day.

Candidates must submit written nominations to the Clerk of the House between 09.30 and 10.30 this morning. To be valid these nominations must be signed by between 12 and 15 supporting members, including at least three from other parties. I know that some aspiring candidates have collected nominations that are not linked to promises of support in the ballot (which is why you shouldn't be surprised if some candidates get less than 12 votes).

All validly nominated candidates will then address the House.

The first ballot will last for 30 minutes. If one candidate has over 50% they will be elected. If none achieves that candidates will drop out who
  • receive the fewest votes in that round
  • get less than 5% of votes cast
  • withdraw of their own accord

Subsequent ballots will take place - with the same rules about dropping out until the winner emerges.

In the UK system the Speaker leaves the political party under whose banner they were elected. Unlike in the House of Representatives, the Speaker is expected to be impartial.