Next Speaker of the British House of Commons election

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Incumbent Speaker John Bercow in 2012.

The next election of the Speaker of the House of Commons is due to take place at the first sitting of parliament after the next UK general election (currently scheduled for May 2022) or sooner should the incumbent Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow leave office before the next election.[1] In October 2018, it was reported that Bercow had informed friends of his intention to step down as Speaker in summer 2019 (ten years after becoming Speaker).[2][3][4] The last speaker election was held on 13 June 2017 following the 2017 general election, and the last contested election of a Speaker was held on 22 June 2009.


The current rules for the election of the Speaker were introduced on 22 March 2001 and are set out in section 1 of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons.[5]

A candidate for Speaker must be a sitting Member of Parliament and be nominated by at least twelve and at most fifteen Members of Parliament, at least three of whom must be from a political party different to that of the candidate. Each MP may only nominate one candidate.[5] The Father of the House (currently Kenneth Clarke) acts as presiding officer of the Commons during the election process.[1] If there is only one candidate, a motion is put before the House asking if the candidate should take the Chair as Speaker. If the question is challenged the decision is made by division (vote).

If there is more than one candidate the House then votes by secret ballot using the exhaustive ballot voting system, with each MP having one vote and an absolute majority required for victory. If no candidate wins a majority then the individual with the fewest votes is eliminated, as are any candidates who receive less than five per cent of the votes cast. The House then continues to vote until one member receives a majority of the vote.[1] A motion is then put before the House asking if the candidate who won a majority in the secret ballot should take the Chair as Speaker. If the motion is passed, the winning candidate is dragged by MPs[6] to the Chair as Speaker-elect. The Speaker is then formally appointed by receiving the Queen's approbation through a Royal Commission in the House of Lords.[1]


Following reports that John Bercow plans to step down in 2019, a number of potential candidates have attracted speculation in the media, including: Chris Bryant (Labour MP for Rhondda),[7] Harriet Harman (Labour MP for Camberwell and Peckham and former cabinet minister),[8] Lindsay Hoyle (Labour MP for Chorley and current Deputy Speaker),[8] Dame Eleanor Laing (Conservative MP for Epping Forest and current Deputy Speaker),[8] Charles Walker (Conservative MP for Broxbourne)[7] and Dame Rosie Winterton (Labour MP for Doncaster Central and current Deputy Speaker)[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Frequently Asked Questions: Speaker's Election". UK Parliament.
  2. ^ "Bercow 'to quit as Speaker next summer'". BBC News. 16 October 2018.
  3. ^ "John Bercow to stand down as speaker next summer after Commons bullying report". The Independent.
  4. ^ "John Bercow 'due to step down next summer' after bullying probe". Evening Standard.
  5. ^ a b "Standing Orders of the House of Commons – Public Business 2001". 12 June 2001. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  6. ^ "Rules and traditions of Parliament". UK Parliament.
  7. ^ a b "Who will be the next Speaker of the House of Commons and how is the role elected?". The Sun. 17 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d "Who is in the running to replace John Bercow as the next Speaker of the House of Commons?". 17 October 2018.

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