Points of Order DebateFull Debate: Read Full Debate
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-BrownMain Page: Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Conservative) - The Cotswolds)
I am amazed that the hon. Gentleman did not raise that in 2010, when I stood. You have managed to cope with the system all this time. You have managed to accept it until now, and I find it quite strange for this suddenly to be raised at the last minute. The House has been aware of this voting system and it has accepted it. However, I think that this is slightly premature because at 6 o’clock we will know how the system will work and whether one candidate is automatically elected. That may be a woman—I am not sure. It might be better if we waited until 6 pm to see what the system throws up because this answer will be different, depending on what happens.
However, I assure the House that I was not impressed with this system in 2010. The House has had many chances to change it. If Members are unhappy, it is up to the House to change the system. Please do so, because back in 2010 I genuinely thought that it was not the best. If you are still telling me that it is not good now, there is a way to do something, but I find it strange that we have waited all this time to raise this.
Standing Order No. 2A sets out the rules on the election of Deputy Speakers. There is a secret ballot. Candidates are in alphabetical order. Members can vote for as many or as few candidates on the ballot paper as they wish, marking the candidates in order of preference. Ballots are counted under the single transferable vote. Nominations close at 6 pm this afternoon—so we will know the list, which may help. See paragraph 10 of the briefing notes—Members each have one vote, which is transferable. The wording will be on the ballot paper, with an explanation of that. What time it is declared will depend on the count and how quick that is, but obviously, other business will defer the announcement of it. My understanding is that the vote takes place between 10 am and 1.30 pm, as I stated earlier—I pointed out what time the ballot is open. Hopefully, that is helpful to Members and we can move on, as we have a long night ahead of us.