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Election of the Lord Speaker 2021

Lord McFall of Alcluith has been elected Lord Speaker following an election that took place from 13-15 April.

Lord McFall takes office as Lord Speaker on 1 May.

This election followed the announcement by Lord Fowler, on 25 February 2021, that he would be stepping down as Lord Speaker in late April 2021. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this election was conducted remotely. Read full details in the notice from the Clerk of the Parliaments (PDF).

Timetable for the election of the Lord Speaker



Friday 19 March, 12 noon

Deadline for candidatures to be registered. Each candidate requires a proposer and a seconder.

Deadline for election addresses of up to 500 words and election video of up to 3 minutes length.

Deadline for members to register for a postal vote. (Only members with accessibility needs or who do not have a parliamentary email address may request a postal vote).
Tuesday 23 March

List of candidates published and emailed to all members, together with a statement of each candidate’s parliamentary service, their entry in the Register of Lords’ Interests, election addresses of up to 500 words and link to a video clip of up to 3 minutes.

Full instructions on how to vote using the on-line voting system will be included.
Thursday 25 March Virtual hustings event at 2pm.
Monday 29 March Ballot papers sent to those requesting a postal vote.

Monday 12 April

Instructions and link to vote online sent to the parliamentary email address of all members eligible to vote.

Tuesday 13 April

Online voting opens.

Virtual hustings event at 10am.

Thursday 15 April, 5pm Deadline for online voting and postal votes to be returned.
Wednesday 21 April

Announcement of the result of the election.

The Clerk of the Parliaments to report the result of the election to the House at the start of business. Her Majesty The Queen's approval of the House's choice of Lord Speaker to be notified.

Full results will be made available online.

Saturday 1 May

New Lord Speaker expected to take office.

Tuesday 4 May

New Lord Speaker expected to sit on the Woolsack for the first time at the start of business.

Read the Clerk of the Parliaments’ notice for further details on the timetable (PDF).

List of candidates

Three candidates stood for election:

Find out more about the candidates.


The Hansard Society hosted two hustings events for the 2021 election of the Lord Speaker.

The first event took place on 25 March and was hosted by Mark D'Arcy, the BBC's parliamentary correspondent. The second session was held on Tuesday 13 April and was hosted by Jackie Ashley, former political correspondent and broadcaster.

Eligibility to vote

All members of the House who took the oath in this Parliament by 25 March were eligible to vote, except those who were:

  • subject to statutory disqualification;
  • suspended from the service of the House; or
  • on leave of absence.

Voting system

The Alternative Vote system has been used for this election. Voters placed the figure 1 in the box next to the name of the candidate they most strongly support, the figure 2 against the next most favoured candidate, and so on. Voters could cast as many or as few votes as they wish.

In order to be elected, the successful candidate must receive at least as many votes as all the other candidates put together. In the event of this not happening after first-preference votes have been allocated, the votes of the candidates receiving the lowest number of first-preference votes would be shared out according to the second preference marked on them. This would be repeated until one candidate has at least half of the total valid votes.

Further information



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