Monday, 22 June 2009

Electing a Speaker - 'live' update (well nearly...)

Just come from the House of Commons where we've just heard from the ten candidates for Speaker. We have until about ten past four to vote then they reckon it will take about an hour to count the first round of votes. The bottom candidate plus anyone with less than five per cent of the poll has to drop out, plus anyone who realises they don't have much support. We could easily drop to four candidates in round two.

I should declare that I have nominated Alan Beith, so I'm not impartial! Alan is a decent man, not a member of the two larger parties (which I think is an advantage in a highly partisan parliament) and has a track record as a select committee chairman and over many years in Parliament of being widely respected around the House.

Anyway, having got that off my chest, the main things I thought about what we have just heard were:

- good performances from George Young (who I voted for last time and who I might well vote for again if Alan Beith drops out), John Bercow and Parmjit Dhanda. Ann Widdecombe was well received but the Labour faces didn't look sympathetic from where I was sitting;
- surprising cheer for Alan Haselhurst (current deputy speaker); hard to tell if it was just from the opposition benches or from the Government as well;
- Margaret Beckett started off (which was not easy) but was very disappointing;

Most interesting idea was from Alan Haselhurst who proposed sensible use of Fridays for private members bills debates with 'deferred votes' (ie you don't spend a whole day out of the constituency simply on the off chance of a single vote on a Bill);

At this stage, my best guess is that the following will be eliminated early on:

- Richard Shepherd, Michael Lord, Patrick Cormack and Parmjit Dhanda.

However, since every candidate needs 12-15 supporters to stand, and the minimum to stay in is five per cent (or around 30), few will be forced out first time round.

I'll post the result as soon as we have it.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Thanks a lot for giving us this interresting description.

Very informative...

Makes me want to read up on the role of the speaker as I'm not very educated on the subject.