Speaker of the British House of Commons election, 2000

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Speaker of the British House of Commons, 2000
United Kingdom
← 1992 23 October 2000 2009 →
  Michael Martin MP.jpg
Candidate Michael Martin
Party Labour
Popular vote 370
Percentage 97.88%

Speaker before election

Betty Boothroyd

Elected Speaker

Michael Martin

The 2000 election of the Speaker of the House of Commons occurred on 23 October 2000 after the retirement of Betty Boothroyd as Speaker. The election resulted in the election of Scottish Labour MP Michael Martin. It was the first contested election since 27 April 1992.


Nominated candidates[edit]

Alan Beith
Gwyneth Dunwoody
Sir Alan Haselhurst
Nicholas Winterton
Menzies Campbell
Richard Shepherd

Candidate who withdrew[edit]


This was the last Speaker election to be conducted by means of a conventional parliamentary motion with recorded votes on an amendment for each candidate. With an unusually large number of candidates, a significant number of MPs spoke in favour of switching to a less time-consuming procedure, but Sir Edward Heath, who was presiding in his capacity as Father of the House, declined to allow a vote on this issue.

The repeated ballots took nearly six hours. Each candidate gave their own speech of submission to the will of the House, having each been nominated and seconded by Members in separate speeches. Martin was the front runner going into the ballot and was never in any danger of losing during the election, winning every ballot by at least 76 votes.[1]

As a result of this election, the rules for electing a Speaker were changed the following year to a use a secret and exhaustive ballot. This procedure was first used in the Speaker election of 2009.


Winner Loser
Michael Martin: 345 Sir Alan Haselhurst: 140
Michael Martin: 409 Alan Beith: 83
Michael Martin: 341 Gwyneth Dunwoody: 170
Michael Martin: 317 Sir George Young: 241
Michael Martin: 381 Menzies Campbell: 98
Michael Martin: 257 David Clark: 192
Michael Martin: 340 Nicholas Winterton: 116
Michael Martin: 309 John McWilliam: 30
Michael Martin: 290 Michael Lord: 146
Michael Martin: 287 Sir Patrick Cormack: 130
Michael Martin: 282 Richard Shepherd: 136

Once all Martin's opponents had been eliminated from the contest, the original motion that he be elected Speaker was met with some audible opposition. A division was therefore held, but the motion was approved by 370 votes to 8. Martin was thus conducted to the Chair by the MPs who had nominated and seconded him, Peter Snape and Ann Keen respectively.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2000/oct/24/speaker2000.politicalnews1

External links[edit]

C-Span video featuring part of the election proceedings: http://www.c-span.org/video/?160478-1/election-speaker