Procedure for the election of Speaker tomorrow

From PoliticsHome on 12th June:

9:30: Michael Martin is no longer Speaker of the House. The Chair is immediately assumed by the Father of the House, who is currently Alan Williams – the Labour Member for Swansea West since 1964.

09:30 to 10:30: There is a one hour window for nominations to be Speaker to be formally lodged with the clerks at the Table Office. Nominations must be in writing, and must consist of a signed statement of intent by the candidate, accompanied by not fewer than twelve and not more than fifteen signatures of other Members, of which at least three must be from a different party than their own. No Member can nominate more than one person.

11:00: Lists of the candidates are placed in the lobby and published.

14:30: The candidates are permitted each to address the House. The order of speaking will be decided by lot (arranged by the Father of the House). After all the candidates have spoken, proceedings will move directly to the first ballot. The presiding member (Alan Williams) will not be allowed to vote.

16:00: The first secret ballot takes place in the lobbies. Each member will be provided with a ballot paper with the list of candidates listed in alphabetical order. After half an hour the ballot shall be declared closed.

16:00-17:00: Counting takes place by the Clerk of the House, and as soon as possible the results of the first ballot are announced to the House.

If any candidate has received more than half the votes cast, the Presiding Member will put the question to the House that the member becomes the Speaker.

If no candidate has received more than half the votes cast, the candidate who received the fewest votes is removed, as well as any candidates who received less than 5% of the votes, and any candidates who have voluntarily withdrawn.

There is then a second ballot, and so on, until a candidate gets more than 50% of the House’s support.

Dragging to the Chair

Once a candidate is agreed, they will immediately become the Speaker-Elect, and will be conventionally dragged to the Chair by their supporters.

The appointment needs to be approved by the Monarch, through the commissioners in the Lords. If the Lords is still in business at the hour that a candidate is agreed on, he or she can be confirmed straight away, and can ascend the Chair as Speaker.

Who will win? My hope is for Sir George Young, but Ben Brogan favours Sir Patrick Cormack and the Labour whips are trying to whip up support for the discredited Margaret Beckett or John Bercow.

It would be ridiculous for MPs to vote for anyone implicated in the expenses scandal, but MPs haven’t shown great judgment so far.

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