Lords by-election (death Viscount Simon)

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colinp

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Oct 12, 2021, 4:08:12 AMOct 12
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The timetable for the by-election caused by the death of Viscount Simon on 15 August has been announced.

His successor will be elected by the whole House as Lord Simon was one of the 15 hereditary peers elected in 1999 to serve as Deputy Speakers or other officers though there is no expectation that his successor need do so.  By convention his successor will also be a Labour peer.

Candidates will be announced on 29 October, the election will be held 9/10 November and the result will be announced on 11 November.



colinp

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Oct 29, 2021, 10:18:36 AMOct 29
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The list of candidates is as follows:

Lord Biddulph (Consrvative) (!)
Lord Hacking (Labour)
Lord Kennet (Labour)

Henry W

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Oct 30, 2021, 7:09:56 AMOct 30
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Lord Biddulph (born 1959, succ 1988). Sat in the unreformed House as a Conservative. He did run to remain as a Conservative hereditary, but was unsuccessful. Has run in many by-elections, only ever getting  0, 1 or 2 votes.
Lord Hacking (born 1938, succ 1971). Sat in the unreformed House as a Conservative until 1998, then Labour until 1999. He did not run to remain in 1999.  He ran as a Crossbencher in by-elections in 2009/10/11, but it does not appear since. His best performance in 2011 saw him rank 3rd in a Whole House by-election.
Lord Kennet (born 1957, succ 2009). Has ran as a Lib Dem in by-elections as recently as 2017. His best performance was a distant 4th in a 2014 Whole House by-election.

On basis of age I think Lord Kennet is favoured.

colinp

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Oct 30, 2021, 7:38:55 AMOct 30
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Strange that Lord Kennet says he first joined Labour Party in 1979.  Perhaps he left to join the Lib Dems and then has rejoined Labour since 2017.  I can't imagine the Labour peers in the HoL will look on any of the candidates with very much favour

Henry W

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Oct 30, 2021, 8:02:39 AMOct 30
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Lord Kennet's candidate statement in 2014 (by-election to replace Lord Metheun):
My politics started when I was seven years old, addressing envelopes in Paddington
North. I later joined the SDP and the LibDems.
Between family, business and arts/cultural interests, I have stood in elections for the
LibDems whenever and wherever appropriate, including peers’ by-elections since
inheriting my title in 2009, and council elections.
If elected, I will give the best service I can as a working peer and a dutiful member of
your lordships’ house

His father, the 2nd Baron Kennet, had a similar journey, joining the SDP in 1981 on its formation having been a Labour minister under Harold Wilson.  He sided with David Owen in the late 80s and joined the continuing SDP rather than the Lib Dems.  He seemed to return to the Labour fold in the 90s (he ran to be a remaining Labour peer in 1999), ran as Independent in a 2003 hereditary by-election (Oxfuird), but by 2005 had clearly joined the Lib Dems as he ran as a Lib Dem in a hereditary by-election (Russell).

colinp

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Nov 15, 2021, 11:31:18 AMNov 15
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The result has now been announced.  Lord Hacking was declared elected with 159 out of 264 votes.  Result here -  hereditary-peers-by-election-result-simon.pdf (parliament.uk)

Henry W

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Nov 15, 2021, 3:12:15 PMNov 15
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From Hansard of 15 November 2021

Lord Grocott gives a somewhat satirical speech criticising the lack of detail in the announcement to the House (he has done so before) - at the end he suggests there are still a few supporters of the by-elections - I may write to him and direct him to our group - I'm happy to try my hand at Professor Curtice type analysis!

Lord Hacking returns to the House at the age of 83 years, 6 months and some days.  I will have to check if this a record at a Lords by-election (or the 1999 election).  By all accounts (see The Guardian) it was difficult to find a Labour supporting hereditary to stand, and my understanding is he took some persuading as the prospect of Lord Kennet was not appealing to the Labour hierarchy.  The only other hereditary peers sitting on the Labour benches in 1999 still living (but not returned to the House by election or life peerage) is Lord Gifford QC (born 1940), and he is not on the register for by-elections.

sven_me...@web.de

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Nov 15, 2021, 3:45:16 PMNov 15
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Sadly some people still supporting this...

colinp

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Nov 15, 2021, 4:15:51 PMNov 15
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Personally I would reverse the position - restore all the hereditaries to the Lords and make the life peers elect 90 of their number to represent them.  This might not be popular though

sven_me...@web.de

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Nov 16, 2021, 8:25:21 AMNov 16
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It would not be popular because it would be a step in the past.

Henry W

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Nov 20, 2021, 1:48:38 PMNov 20
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Careful checking shows that the oldest hereditary peer at election was 11th Baron STRABOLGI (1 XI 1914 - 24 XII 2010) who was elected to remain in 1999.  He was just short of 85 when the election took place on 27/28 October, announced on 29 October. The Act itself took effect on 11 November.

I cannot find another instance when the new elected peer was older than the peer they replaced. (Viscount Simon was 81 years old at death)

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