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The election of Deputy Speakers

Published Thursday, July 6, 2017

This note reviews the background to the introduction of elections for Deputy Speakers; notes arrangements for 2015; and reports the results the elections in June 2010 and in October 2013.

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2017 results and arrangements

The election for Deputy Speakers at the beginning of the 2017 Parliament took place on 28 June 2017. The Speaker announced the results on the same afternoon.  Lindsay Hoyle was elected Chairman of Ways and Means, Eleanor Laing was elected First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means, and Dame Rosie Winterton was elected as Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means.  Four candidates had contested the election.

On 22 June 2017, the Speaker announced that the ballot for the election of Deputy Speakers in the 2017 Parliament would take place on Wednesday 28 June 2017. Nominations were to be submitted from 10am to 5pm on 27 June.

The Commons Briefing Note, Ballot for the election of Deputy Speakers (June 2017), set out the arrangements for nominations, the ballot and the count, in more detail. 

On Monday 26 June 2017, the Speaker made a further announcement. He told the House that if only one Conservative MP was nominated they would not be on the ballot paper and would be declared elected as First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means.

Ballots have previously been held to elect Deputy Speakers at the beginning of the 2010 and 2015 Parliaments, and a by election was held in October 2013.

Background to the introduction of elections for Deputy Speakers

This Paper provides background information on the introduction of elections for Deputy Speaker and details of previous results.

In June 2010, the Deputy Speakers were elected by the House of Commons in a secret ballot. Before this, Deputy Speakers had been appointed by the House on a motion moved, without notice, by a Government minister.

In July 2009, the Speaker proposed that the Deputy Speakers should be elected by ballot. Following the Speaker’s announcement, the Procedure Committee decided to examine the matter.  First it considered principles, and set them out in a report, Election of the Deputy Speakers: Principles, in November 2009.  The House endorsed the Procedure Committee’s report in January 2010.

Following that endorsement, the Procedure Committee set out detailed proposals for the election of Deputy Speakers, in its report Election of the Speaker and Deputy Speakers, which was published in February 2010.  A motion to give effect to the Procedure Committee’s recommendations was agreed on 4 March 2010.

Previous results

Early in the 2010 Parliament, on 26 May 2010, the Speaker announced that the ballot to elect the Deputy Speakers would take place on 8 June 2010. Nominations were to be submitted from 10am to 5pm on Monday 7 June. 

Nine candidates were nominated, and on 8 June 2010, Lindsay Hoyle was elected Chairman of Ways and Means, Nigel Evans was elected First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means, and Dawn Primarolo was elected as Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means.

On 11 September 2013, the Speaker announced that Nigel Evans had resigned as a Deputy Speaker. An election to fill the vacancy took place on 16 October.  Seven candidates were nominated.  Eleanor Laing was elected First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means.

At the beginning of the 2015 Parliament, the Speaker announced that the ballot for the election of Deputy Speakers would take place on Wednesday 3 June 2015. Nominations were to be submitted 10 am to 5 pm on Monday 1 June.  When nominations closed, three candidates had been nominated.  The ballot was held to determine which candidate was elected to each position.  On 3 June, the Speaker announced the results: Mr Lindsay Hoyle was elected Chairman of Ways and Means. Mrs Eleanor Laing was elected First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means. Natascha Engel was elected Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means.

Commons Briefing papers SN05375

Authors: Richard Kelly; Adrian Hitchins

Topics: House of Commons, Parliament, Parliamentary procedure, Speaker

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