Baby of the House
Baby of the House is the unofficial title given to the youngest member of a parliamentary house. The term is most often applied to members of the British parliament from which the term originated. The title is named after the Father of the House, which is given to the longest serving member of the British and other parliaments.
- 1 Australia
- 2 Canada
- 3 Hong Kong
- 4 Hungary
- 5 Iran
- 6 Ireland
- 7 Italy
- 8 Malawi
- 9 Malaysia
- 10 New Zealand
- 11 Philippines
- 12 South Africa
- 13 Sweden
- 14 Uganda
- 15 United Kingdom
- 16 United States
- 17 See also
- 18 Notes
- 19 References
In Australia the term is rarely used. Most MPs and Senators are elected usually only in their thirties and later but some prominent MPs have been elected rather early in life including Prime Ministers Malcolm Fraser and Paul Keating who were both elected at age 25 in 1955 and 1969 respectively. The youngest Baby of the House was Wyatt Roy. He was elected at age 20 in 2010, being the youngest person ever to be elected to an Australian parliament.
The youngest-ever elected member of the House of Commons of Canada is Pierre-Luc Dusseault, who was elected at the age of 19 years and 11 months in 2011. Dusseault is the youngest MP in Canadian history and currently serving as well. In the past, MPs such as Sean O'Sullivan, Pierre Poilievre, Andrew Scheer, Claude-André Lachance and Lorne Nystrom have also held the distinction.
In Hong Kong the term is rarely used. The current baby of the Legislative Council is Au Nok-hin who won in the Hong Kong Island by-election, 2018 after three younger members of the Legislative Council, the youngest-ever elected member Nathan Law, Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung were all disqualified over the oath-taking controversy.
|1991||James To||Kowloon Southwest GC||United Democrats||28|
|1998||Bernard Chan||Insurance FC||Nonpartisan||33|
|2008||Chan Hak-kan||New Territories East GC||DAB||32|
|2012||Steven Ho||Agriculture and Fisheries FC||DAB||32|
|2016||Nathan Law||Hong Kong Island GC||Demosistō||23|
|2016||Ho Kai-ming||Labour FC||FTU||31|
|2018 (b)||Au Nok-hin||Hong Kong Island GC||Independent||30|
|István B. Rácz||FKGP||1945–1947|
|Elected||Member||Affiliation||Age when elected|
|2016||Fatemeh Hosseini||List of Hope||30|
In the Republic of Ireland the term is rarely used, as TDs normally enter the Dáil after a political career in local government, usually only in their thirties and later. The current baby of the Dáil is the Fianna Fáil deputy Jack Chambers (Dublin West), who was 25 years old when elected in February 2016.
List of Babies of the Dáil
Baby of Seanad Éireann
In Malaysia the term is rarely used. Most MPs and Senators are elected usually only in their thirties and later but some prominent MPs have been elected rather early in life including Prime Minister Najib Razak who was elected at 22 years and 6 months in age in 1976. The youngest-ever elected member of the Dewan Rakyat is Prabakaran Parameswaran, who was elected at the age of 22 years and 3 months in 2018. Prabakaran is the youngest MP in Malaysian history and currently serving as well.
The term "Baby of the House" is rarely used in New Zealand. The current Baby of the House is Chlöe Swarbrick of the Green Party, who was elected on 24 September 2017 aged 23. Swarbrick succeeded Todd Barclay of the National Party, who had been elected at the 2014 general election at age 24.
|Name||Electorate||Party||Date of birth||Became baby||Age|
|James Stuart-Wortley||Christchurch Country||Independent||16 January 1833||1 October 1853||20 years, 258 days|
|Robert Campbell||Oamaru||Independent||8 January 1843||6 April 1866||23 years, 88 days|
|Ralph Richardson||Suburbs of Nelson||Independent||1848||23 January 1871||22|
|William Pearson||Ashley||Independent||1854||9 December 1881||27|
|Arthur Rhodes||Gladstone||Independent||20 March 1859||26 September 1887||28 years, 190 days|
|Jackson Palmer||Waitemata||Independent Liberal||1867||5 December 1890||23|
|Patrick O'Regan||Inangahua||Liberal||6 February 1869||20 December 1893||24 years, 317 days|
|Thomas Wilford||Wellington Suburbs||Liberal||20 June 1870||4 December 1896||26 years, 167 days|
|Harry Bedford||City of Dunedin||Liberal||31 August 1877||25 November 1902||25 years, 86 days|
|Francis Fisher||Wellington Central||Liberal||22 December 1877||6 December 1905||27 years, 349 days|
|Tom Seddon||Westland||Liberal||2 July 1884||13 July 1906||22 years, 11 days|
|John A. Lee||Auckland East||Labour||31 October 1891||7 December 1922||31 years, 37 days|
|George Black||Motueka||United||21 November 1903||14 November 1928||24 years, 359 days|
|Keith Holyoake||Motueka||Reform||11 February 1904||1 December 1932||28 years, 294 days|
|Terry McCombs||Lyttelton||Labour||5 September 1905||24 July 1935||29 years, 322 days|
|Ormond Wilson||Rangitikei||Labour||18 November 1907||27 November 1935||28 years, 9 days|
|Joseph Cotterill||Wanganui||Labour||26 September 1905||15 October 1938||33 years, 19 days|
|Tapihana Paraire Paikea||Northern Maori||Labour||26 January 1920||24 September 1943||23 years, 241 days|
|Warren Freer||Mt Albert||Labour||27 December 1920||24 September 1947||26 years, 271 days|
|Jim Edwards||Napier||Labour||1927||13 November 1954||27|
|Basil Arthur||Timaru||Labour||18 September 1928||21 July 1962||33 years, 306 days|
|Brian MacDonell||Dunedin Central||Labour||19 May 1935||30 November 1963||28 years, 195 days|
|Jonathan Hunt||New Lynn||Labour||2 December 1938||26 November 1966||27 years, 359 days|
|Murray Rose||Otago Central||National||14 December 1939||29 November 1969||29 years, 350 days|
|Mike Moore||Eden||Labour||28 January 1949||25 November 1972||23 years, 302 days|
|Marilyn Waring||Raglan||National||7 October 1952||29 November 1975||23 years, 53 days|
|Simon Upton||Waikato||National||7 February 1958||28 November 1981||23 years, 294 days|
|Nick Smith||Tasman||National||24 December 1964||27 October 1990||25 years, 307 days|
|Nanaia Mahuta||List||Labour||21 August 1970||12 October 1996||26 years, 52 days|
|Darren Hughes||Ōtaki||Labour||3 April 1978||27 July 2002||24 years, 115 days|
|Jacinda Ardern||List||Labour||26 July 1980||8 November 2008||28 years, 105 days|
|Gareth Hughes||List||Green||31 October 1981||11 February 2010||28 years, 103 days|
|Jami-Lee Ross||Botany||National||10 December 1985||5 March 2011||25 years, 85 days|
|Todd Barclay||Clutha-Southland||National||8 June 1990||20 September 2014||24 years, 104 days|
|Chlöe Swarbrick||List||Green||26 June 1994||23 September 2017||23 years, 89 days|
In the Congress of the Philippines, the term "Baby of the House" is rarely used, nor is being the youngest member of either chamber given special treatment. The minimum age for being a member of the House of Representatives is 25 years old, while for the Senate, it is 35, as stipulated in the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. In 1933, Benigno Aquino, Sr. became senator at the age of 33; the Jones Law, which created the Senate, had prescribed the minimum age of 30.
|2002||Gustav Fridolin||Stockholm Municipality||Green||19||Minister for Education, 2014–present|
|2006||Annie Lööf||Jönköping County||Centre||23||Minister for Enterprise, 2011–2014|
|2010||Anton Abele||Stockholm Municipality||Moderate||18|
|2014||Dennis Dioukarev||Jönköping County||Sweden Democrats||21|
|2015||Jesper Skalberg Karlsson||Gotland County||Moderate||21||Replaced Gustaf Hoffstedt on 19 January 2015|
|2018||Ebba Hermansson||Skåne County||Sweden Democrats||22|
The current Baby of the House is Ebba Hermansson (entered in September 2018 at the age of 22). The youngest person ever to be elected MP to a Swedish parliament is Anton Abele who was only aged 18 when elected in September 2010. Current record holder for the world's youngest-ever elected MP is Anton Abele, who was at 18 years elected to the Swedish Parliament for his activism against street violence.
At 19 years old, Proscovia Alengot Oromait was the world's youngest MP and youngest ever MP in Africa when elected in 2011. Oromait is a member of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in Uganda and was a representative of Usuk County until 2016
Becoming the Baby of the House is regarded as something of an achievement despite the lack of any special treatment that comes with the title. However, some MPs who have held the position for a considerable period – Matthew Taylor was the Baby of the House for over ten years – have found it somewhat embarrassing, as it may suggest that they have a lack of experience, although many holders of the title have gone on to enjoy long and distinguished parliamentary careers.
At the turn of the twenty-first century (August 1999 to September 2001), all three of the leaders of the main political parties had been the youngest MPs in their party when they began their political careers (William Hague, Tony Blair, Charles Kennedy).
Of those whose ages can be verified, the youngest MP since the Reform Act of 1832 is Mhairi Black, elected in 2015 aged 20 years 237 days. The age of candidacy for Parliament was lowered from 21 to 18 by the Electoral Administration Act of 2006. William Pitt the Younger was elected at 21 and became Prime Minister two years later in 1783.
List of Babies of the House of Commons
[ (b) – by-election]
Youngest member of the House of Lords
The title 'Baby of the House' is not used in the House of Lords, though the youngest member is recorded on the House website. As of 2018[update], the youngest member of the House of Lords is The Baroness Bertin (born 14 March 1978) who was created a life peer on 2 September 2016, at the age of 38. Hereditary peer Lord Redesdale (born 18 July 1967) was created a life peer on 18 April 2000 at the age of 32, becoming the youngest ever life peer, to enable him to continue to sit after the removal of the majority of hereditary peers.
Standing Orders state that "No Lord under the age of one and twenty years shall be permitted to sit in the House". When most members of the Lords were hereditary peers, a peer who had inherited his or her peerage(s) while under age was entitled to take a seat on his or her 21st birthday. In theory, such a hereditary peer could be elected to sit in the House at that age; in practice, the youngest hereditary peer is Lord Freyberg (born 15 December 1970), who was elected in October 1999 at the age of 28.
List of youngest members of the Scottish Parliament
This is a list of youngest members of the Scottish Parliament created in 1999.
|Elected||Name||Constituency/region||Party||Age when elected|
|1999||Duncan Hamilton||Highlands and Islands region||SNP||25|
|2003||Richard Baker||North East Scotland region||Labour||28|
|2007||John Lamont||Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire constituency||Conservative||31|
|2011||Humza Yousaf||Glasgow region||SNP||26|
|2016||Ross Greer||West Scotland region||Scottish Green||21|
While the term is used in the Commonwealth Parliaments, Baby of the House or Senate is not in general contemporary use in the United States, nor does being the youngest member confer special treatment in either house of Congress.
Members of the US Congress tend to be older than parliamentarians elsewhere in the English-speaking world, a main factor being that the minimum ages for members of Congress is written into Article One of the United States Constitution, which forbids those under the age of 25 from serving in the House, and those under the age of 30 from serving in the Senate. Moreover, election to the federal Congress is expensive and requires extensive contacts and recognition across a very wide area. Individuals aiming to serve in the federal legislature generally seek election to the state legislature (which generally have lower minimum ages for entry) or other state office before seeking to serve in Washington.
In the 116th Congress, which began on 3 January 2019, the youngest member of the United States House of Representatives is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was born on 3 October 1989 , and was first elected in 2018. She is also the youngest woman elected to the House in U.S. history.
- of the House: House of Commons Background Paper – Commons Library Standard Note from UK Parliament, accessed on 1 January 2015.
- "Australia's youngest MP says future PM suggestion is 'ridiculous'". news.com.au. 4 October 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
- "Jordon Steele-John, the 'political nerd' who is ringing the changes". The Guardian. 11 November 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- Banerjee, Sidhartha (4 May 2011). "19-year-old sets record as youngest MP; NDPer planned summer job at golf course". The Canadian Press.
- Nasrin Vaziri. "اعضای هیات رئیسه سنی در 10 مجلس شورای اسلامی/چهار رئیس سنی تا کنون درگذشتهاند" (in Persian). Khabar Online. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 July 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "Malaysia's youngest MP Prabakaran joins PKR". Malay Mail. 13 May 2018. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
- "Penjalanan Pilihan Raya: Calon". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
- "Chloe Swarbrick, 23, set to become NZ's youngest MP in 42 years". The New Zealand Herald. 23 September 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
- Rutherford, Hamish (29 April 2014). "Who is National's Todd Barclay?". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
- "Election 2014: Southland decides". The Southland Times. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
- "FAST FACTS: Trivia on the Philippine Senate". Rappler. 2016-10-16. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
- Anton, 18, to be youngest ever Swedish MP – The Local Archived 15 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
- Prior to 1832 minors could be elected; precise information on those MPs is often unclear.
- MacAskill, Ewen; Ratcliffe, Rebecca (8 May 2015). "Mhairi Black: the 20-year-old who beat a Labour heavyweight". Retrieved 6 January 2018 – via www.theguardian.com.
- Joseph Aloysius Sweeney did not take his seat; the youngest MP actually sitting in the House of Commons was Oswald Mosley (Conservative, aged 22).
- Became the youngest MP for a second time, on the death of the previous youngest MP.
- Tony Benn was first elected at the Bristol South East by-election, 1950, aged 25, the day after Thomas Teevan, who was aged 23, but Benn took the oath the day before Teevan, and so was Baby of the House for a single day.
- Tony Benn became the youngest MP again after the 1951 general election, on the defeat of Teevan.
- Elected on an abstentionist ticket, Philip Clarke did not take his seat. Peter Kirk was first elected at the 1955 general election, when he became the youngest MP to take his seat, but only became the youngest MP with the disqualification of Philip Clarke later in the year.
- Basil de Ferranti was the youngest MP for 15 days between his taking his seat after the Morecambe and Lunesdale by-election, 1958 and Patrick Wolrige-Gordon taking his seat after the East Aberdeenshire by-election, 1958.
- Elected on an abstentionist ticket, Bobby Sands and Owen Carron did not take their seats; Stephen Dorrell remained the youngest MP actually sitting in the House of Commons.
- Although several sources claim Claire Ward was the youngest MP during this period, she was 50 days older than Chris Leslie.
- Parliament.UK – House of Lords FAQS – Membership and principal office holders at parliament.uk
- McColm, Euan (8 March 2017). "This time the SNP will get real". The Scotsman. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- Hess, Abigail (7 November 2018). "29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez makes history as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress". Retrieved 27 November 2018.