Recess Elections Act 1975 - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 29 February 2012 | Standard notes SN00529

Authors: Isobel White, Oonagh Gay

Topic: By-elections, Elections

The Note explains the provisions of the Recess Elections Act 1975 which allows a writ for a by-election to be moved during a prorogation of Parliament or adjournment of the House.

The Act does not allow the Speaker to issue a warrant for a writ during the recess if a Member has accepted the Chiltern Hundreds or the Manor of Northstead.

The Political and Constitutional Reform Committee recommended that the Act should be amended so that writs could be issued in recess for any vacancies where a MP has effectively resigned. The Government has decided not to bring forward proposals to amend the Act.

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