Procedures for electing chairs of party
1. A number of submissions to the Committee's
inquiry have referred to procedures used in electing the chairs
of party back-bench committees, but have not set out what these
procedures are. Further investigation has revealed that many of
these procedures are not formally written down. This brief note
has therefore been prepared after consultation with the relevant
parliamentary officers and officials of the three major parties.
It is intended for guidance only.
Parliamentary Labour Party
2. Elections are by secret ballot, using the
'exhaustive ballot' process. Each candidate must be nominated
by at least one PLP member. There is no limit on the number of
candidates who may stand.
3. Nominations close at 2pm on the day before
the day appointed for the election. If there are more than two
candidates, the candidate with the lowest number of votes after
the first round of voting is eliminated, and a further round of
voting is held the following day. Candidates may withdraw from
the contest between rounds.
4. In the most recent election, held in November
2000, there were three candidates and two rounds of voting. Mr
Mackinlay received the lowest number of votes after the first
round and was eliminated. In the ensuing run-off Mr Soley received
more votes than Mr Lloyd.
5. Elections are by secret ballot, using 'exhaustive
ballot' (as for the PLP above). For administrative convenience
nominations close at mid-day on the day before the day appointed
for the election. Voting is by secret ballot, using papers prepared
by the Whips' Office. When the candidate with the greatest number
of votes is elected, the exact number of votes is not announced.
Parliamentary Liberal Democrats
6. Elections are by secret ballot, following
the alternative vote system, although the post has not been contested
in the recent past.
24 January 2001