Candidates for Commons select committee chairs announced

08 June 2010

For the first time, the majority of select committee chairs will now be elected by their fellow MPs. This follows the adoption by the House of Commons of recommendations from the Reform of the House of Commons Committee.


Nominations for the posts closed on Tuesday 8 June and the ballot for the election of contested select committee chairs takes place between 10am and 5pm on Wednesday 9 June.

This applies to the 19 departmental committees, like the Health Select Committee and Education Select Committee, as well as the Environmental Audit, Political and Constitutional Reform, Procedure, Public Administration and Public Accounts committees.

The proportion of chairs of select committees falling to each party was agreed by the House on May 26 2010.

    The election process

    The ballot will be counted under the Alternative Vote (AV) system.  MPs will receive a ballot paper for each committee with names of candidates listed in alphabetical order. They can then vote by ranking as many candidates as they wish in order of preference, marking one by the name of their first preference, two by the name of their second preference, and so on.

    Any candidate who receives more than half the first preferences shall be elected. If no candidate receives half the votes, the candidate or candidates with the lowest number of first preference votes is eliminated and their votes distributed among the remaining candidates.

    If no candidate has more than half the votes, the process of elimination and distribution is repeated, until one candidate has more than half the votes.

    As soon as practicable after the closing of the ballot, the results will be published under the direction of the Speaker. Select committee chairs will take up their position when the members of the relevant committee have been nominated by the House.

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