Tag Archives: hereditary peers by-election

By-election news: House of Lords

It’s been a very long time since a new Liberal Democrat peerage was created, in fact, my perhaps sketchy research suggests that the last Liberal Democrat life peer to take their seat was Andrew Stunell on 26 October 2015, whilst the last by-election for a Liberal Democrat hereditary peer was in April 2016, when John Thurso was elected to replace Eric Avebury.

But, following the retirement of crossbench peer Viscount Falkland in March, a vacancy has arisen. As he was one of the hereditary peers elected to be a Deputy Chairman of the House in 1999, the vacancy is to be filled by an election of the whole House. And, as he then sat on the Liberal Democrat benches, the expectation is that his replacement will sit on the Liberal Democrat benches.

Accordingly, three candidates have emerged, two of whom come from undoubtedly liberal backgrounds; Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor and Earl Russell (Conrad’s son, John), whilst the third, Lord Belhaven and Stenton, has offered a perfectly acceptable manifesto.

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Seven candidates and an electorate of three – the strangest by-election ever?

By next Tuesday, we’ll have a new parliamentarian, a new hereditary member of the House of Lords. A House of Lords by-election is being held following the death last month of Eric Avebury, who is already very much missed.

I’m not going to lie, that doesn’t sit terribly comfortably with me. The idea that you could get a place determining the laws we all have to live by just because you were lucky enough to be your parents’ firstborn son is the first big problem. The second logically follows on – it’s an all male electorate deciding from an all male field.  Half of me wonders if we couldn’t have just said “No, this is archaic, we aren’t going to do it.” However, is it really that much worse than a parliamentary chamber that’s appointed? We don’t like it, but there’s a lot of good work it can do. We’re saddled with a majority Conservative Government stitching up the political system in its favour despite having been elected by just over a third of the electorate. The Lords have frustrated them on several occasions over really important issues like housing, immigration and tax credits.  Another Liberal Democrat on the benches has to be a good thing.

There are seven candidates for the place and an electorate of just three, the remaining Liberal Democrat hereditary peers, Dominic Addington, Patrick Glasgow and Raymond Asquith.

Ballot papers are available from today and the result will be announced on Tuesday 19th. Electoral Reform Services have been engaged for the not very onerous task of counting the ballot papers and determining the result.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 20 Comments
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