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. 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 Republic of Ireland
- 4 Malawi
- 5 Malaysia
- 6 New Zealand
- 7 South Africa
- 8 Sweden
- 9 Uganda
- 10 United Kingdom
- 11 United States
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes
- 14 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 current Baby of the House is Wyatt Roy (age 25; he was elected at age 20 in 2010, being the youngest person ever to be elected to an Australian parliament) and the current Baby of the Senate is Robert Simms (age 31).
The youngest-ever elected member of the Canadian House of Commons 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. In the past, MPs such as Pierre Poilievre, Andrew Scheer, Claude-André Lachance and Lorne Nystrom have also held the distinction.
The previous youngest current MP was Nicolas Dufour, to represent the riding of Repentigny, Quebec, for the Bloc Québécois; born in June 1987, elected at 21 years and 4 months in age. The youngest current female MP is Laurin Liu, NDP MP for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Québec.
Republic of Ireland
In the Republic of Ireland the term is rarely used, as most TDs are elected usually only in their thirties and later. The current baby of the Dáil is the Fine Gael deputy Simon Harris (Wicklow), who was 24 years old when elected in 2011. The youngest TD of all time was William J. Murphy, elected age 21 years 29 days; the youngest female TD was Kathleen O'Connor, 21 years 7 months.
List of Babies of the Dáil
Baby of Seanad Éireann
In Malaysia the term "Baby of the House" is rarely used. Nowadays, most MPs are elected in their thirties. In the past however, the youngest MPs have been in their early 20s. Of which, this includes the current Prime Minister of Malaysia and President of UMNO, Najib Razak who was elected at 22 years, 6 months years old in the 1976 by-election following the death of his father, Abdul Razak Hussein. He won uncontested primarily due to the nation's grief for the former Prime Minister.
|Name||Electorate||Party||Date of birth||Entered Parliament||Age|
|Zahari Awang||Kuala Krai||PAS||24 August 1974||24|
|Najib Razak||Pekan||BN (UMNO)||23 July 1953||21 February 1976||22|
|Fong Po Kuan||Batu Gajah||DAP||15 September 1973||29 November 1999||26|
|Teo Nie Ching||Serdang||DAP||27 January 1981||8 March 2008||27|
|Zairil Khir Johari||Bukit Bendera||DAP||17 October 1982||5 May 2013||32|
Like Australia, the term "Baby of the House" is rarely used. "Youngest MP" is the usual term. The current Baby of the House is Todd Barclay of the National Party, who was elected on 20 September 2014 aged 24. Barclay succeeded Jami-Lee Ross of the National Party, who was elected to Parliament in the Botany by-election on 5 March 2011, aged 25.
|Name||Electorate||Party||Date of birth||Entered Parliament||Age|
|Moore, MikeMike Moore||Eden||Labour||28 January 1949||25 November 1972||23|
|Waring, MarilynMarilyn Waring||Raglan||National||7 October 1952||29 November 1975||23|
|Hughes, DarrenDarren Hughes||Ōtaki||Labour||3 April 1978||27 July 2002||24|
|Ardern, JacindaJacinda Ardern||(List)||Labour||26 July 1980||8 November 2008||28|
|Hughes, GarethGareth Hughes||(List)||Green||31 October 1981||11 February 2010||28|
|Ross, Jami-LeeJami-Lee Ross||Botany||National||10 December 1985||5 March 2011||25|
|Barclay, ToddTodd Barclay||Clutha-Southland||National||8 June 1990||20 September 2014||24|
The current titleholder is Yusuf Cassim.
|2002||Gustav, FridolinFridolin Gustav||Stockholm Municipality||Green||19||Minister for Education, 2014–present|
|2006||Lööf, AnnieAnnie Lööf||Jönköping County||Centre||23||Minister for Enterprise, 2011–2014|
|2010||Abele, AntonAnton Abele||Stockholm Municipality||Moderate||18|
|2014||Dioukarev, DennisDennis Dioukarev||Jönköping County||Sweden Democrats||21|
|2015||Karlsson Skalberg, JesperJesper Karlsson Skalberg||Gotland County||Moderate||21||Replaced Gustaf Hoffstedt on 19 January 2015|
The current Baby of the House is Mr Dennis Dioukarev (elected in September 2014 at the age of 21). The youngest person ever to be elected MP to a Swedish parliament is Mr 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 is currently the world's youngest MP and youngest ever MP in Africa. Miss Oromait is a member of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in Uganda and a representative of Usuk County.
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 a perusal of the list shows that many babies in fact went on to enjoy long, significant and distinguished parliamentary careers. From 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.
In more recent times, the oldest Baby at first election is Sarah Teather, elected in 2003 aged 29 years 109 days.
List of Babies of the House of Commons
[ (b) – by-election]
Baby of the House of Lords
As of February 2015[update], the youngest member of the House of Lords is The Lord Wei (born 19 January 1977) who entered the house on 3 June 2010 at the age of 33. 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.
While the term is used in the Commonwealth Parliaments, Baby of the House/Senate is not in general contemporary use in the United States, nor does being the youngest member guarantee special treatment in either house of Congress.
Members of the U.S. 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 persons under the age of 25 from serving in the House and persons 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 114th Congress, which began on 3 January 2015, the youngest member of the United States House of Representatives is Elise Stefanik (R-NY 21), who was born on 2 July 1984 . She is also the youngest woman elected to the House in U.S. history. She replaces Patrick Murphy (D-FL 18) who was born on 30 March 1983 , and was first elected in 2012. Murphy is now the second youngest House member.
Currently the youngest U.S. Senator is Tom Cotton (R-AR) born on 13 May 1977 , and first elected in 2014; Cory Gardner (R-CO) is the second youngest senator, and Chris Murphy (D-CT) is the third youngest.
- 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.
- "Australia’s Newest Senator – Robert Simms". Joy 94.9. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
- Banerjee, Sidhartha (4 May 2011). "19-year-old sets record as youngest MP; NDPer planned summer job at golf course". The Canadian Press.
- Members of the House of Commons – Average Age.
- 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.
- Anton, 18, to be youngest ever Swedish MP – The Local
- Prior to 1832 minors could be elected; precise information on those MPs is often unclear.
- The Guardian
- 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 by-election and Patrick Wolrige-Gordon taking his seat after the East Aberdeenshire by-election. (source).
- 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