New Members

Before a new Member elected at a by-election takes his or her seat, the Speaker announces the return of the writ for that division and, after admitting the new Member to the Chamber, administers the oath or affirmation, as described above.[71] This procedure has often taken place at the beginning of a day’s proceedings, immediately after Prayers,[72] but 2 pm has been used with increasing frequency.[73]

It is customary for a new Member elected at a by-election, on being admitted, to be escorted to the Table by two Members of the Member’s own party. This custom is derived from the UK House of Commons which resolved on 23 February 1688 that ‘in compliance with an ancient order and custom, they are introduced to the Table between two Members, making their obeisances as they go up, that they may be the better known to the House’.[74]

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