Election of Commons Backbench Business Committee

29 June 2010

The results for the election to the Backbench Business Committee have been announced. The ballot to elect members of the House of Commons Backbench Business Select Committee took place between 10am and 12 noon on Tuesday 29 June 2010. Nominations closed at 5pm on Monday 28 June 2010.


The following candidates have been elected to serve on the BackBench Business Committee:

The Commons agreed to establish a Backbench Business Committee on 15 June 2010 following the report, 'Rebuilding the House', published in the previous Parliament and produced by the Reform of the House of Commons Select Committee.

On Tuesday 22 June Natascha Engel MP was elected by the House of Commons to be Chair of the Backbench Business Committee.

Nomination process

Nominations were received in writing between 10am and 5pm on Monday 28 June accompanied by the signatures of not fewer than 12 nor more than 15 MPs.

Election process

The ballot took place between 10am and 12 noon on Tuesday 29 June and was counted under the Single Transferable Vote system (STV).

Every MP will have one vote, which is transferable. Each MP will rank candidates in order of preference on a ballot paper by marking 1, 2, 3 etc against their name. 

Winning candidates must reach or exceed a certain quota of votes in order to be declared elected. The quota is the number of valid votes cast divided by the number of places to be filled plus one (i.e. votes cast divided by seven committee members plus one).

If a candidate has more votes than the quota, that candidate’s surplus votes are then transferred to the remaining candidates in proportion to the next stated preferences on the elected candidate’s ballot papers.

Votes cast for a candidate who is excluded from the ballot with the lowest number of votes at a stage in the count are transfered using the next stated preferences on those ballot papers.

Election rules

The Order of the House of 15 June provides that constraints shall be applied to the count so that: the membership corresponds to the party composition determined by Mr Speaker which, including the Chair, shall reflect as closely as possible the composition of the House; and at least two women and two men shall be elected.

On 23 June, following the election of the Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, the Speaker announced that, in addition to the Chair, the Committee would be composed of four Conservative Members, two Labour and one Liberal Democrat. Nominations may be received only in respect of Members of these parties.

If a continuing candidate cannot be elected because of the election rules above, then the candidate’s votes are transferred according to the next stated preferences on the ballot papers.

Further information

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