Monday, June 30, 2008

Odd Bye-election Arrangements

There is widespread speculation that upon the resignation of Labour's David Marshall (left) from his seat at Glasgow East for health reasons that the Bye-election will be held there on 24 July.

This would be an odd date on which to hold a Bye-election because Parliament is due to go into recess on 22 July. David's replacement would not then be able to be sworn in to the Commons as a new MP until the Commons' reassembles on 6 October. This would mean that the newly elected person could not be paid until he or she was sworn in, nor claim expenses for this period of 11 weeks or so. This would make it difficult for the newly elected person to pack up their old job, set up a local office and act officially on behalf of the Constituents of Glasgow Shettleston.

To get around these problems there would seem to be a need either to delay the Commons moving into recess, or to later recall the Commons for a brief spell to allow the newly elected member to take the oath. None of this is impossible and the former option could be done via the Leader of the House's Business Statement on Thursday. But it is just a bit odd. Perhaps the latter option of recalling the Commons, will depend upon who wins the seat!

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