MPs in Commons Tweet Speaker Results

23 06 2009

The results of the House of Commons Speaker elections last night were delivered live via twitter throughout the evening.  At every voting round the results were posted live on Twitter within seconds of being announced to MPs. 

This was made possible because many of the MPs were doing the posting themselves, apparently live from the floor of the House.

Possibly the first to announce the result was Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire Jo Swinson, who earlier in the evening revealed who she was voting for in the supposed secret ballot.  Both Tom Watson MP and Jim Knight MP leaked the unofficial result five minutes before it was announced to MPs.  Whilst the voting figures they gave were wide of the mark, they both had the winner right, meaning for the first time ever ordinary voters had the result before many MPs.

The rapidly increasing number of MPs now microblogging (sometimes from inside the chamber) is potentially far more significant for the House than the appointment of John Bercow MP as a radical reforming Speaker.



10 responses

23 06 2009

Were you aware that Tom Harris also tweeted the wrong result before it was announced – he said it was Bercow 302, Young 297. I duly retweeted it and then had to apologise for passing on dodgy information.

Having said that, he did it in good faith and I think that it was generally a good thing that they were prepared to share it with the rest of us who were avidly following the proceedings.

23 06 2009
Rob Brown

Caron – yes it says in the piece “the voting figures they gave were wide of the mark”. If you click through on Tom Harris’s name it takes you to the tweet. I’m doubtful about MPs live tweeting leaked results although I think it is great that we get the actual announcements live (which we were also able to do via webcast).

23 06 2009
Tweeting pols and MySpace layoffs |

[…] Media continues to exert its influence in the political world. The number of MPs with a major Twitter habit, sometimes Tweeting from inside the chamber, was evident last night as the results of the House of […]

24 06 2009

Pretty cool post. I just came across your site and wanted to say
that I’ve really liked reading your posts. Any way
I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

30 06 2009
Rax Lakhani

Great post Rob (as per usual)!

I’ve recently taken on a new role as Head of Digital Comms for the Ministry of Justice and I’m really interested in using Twitter to engage with the MoJ’s wider audiences.

I’ll keep an eye on the MP Tweet scene, but if you hear of any more good examples of political Tweeting, let me know @raxlakhani


2 07 2009
Rob Brown

Rax, I’m sure you are already aware of tweetminster there is also a new blog focussed on the next general election at

3 07 2009

Thanks Rob – I like tweetminster a lot.

Good catch on the gen election blog. Will subscribe to the RSS.


8 07 2009
J Mann

The various uses of social media astound me. Though I’m an American, I can’t help but wonder, “Though we listen to the politicians, will they listen to us?” It’s not happening in the US! Thanks for the post. I’ve been contemplated social media in a recent series of posts!

17 07 2009
Jimmy Leach

On a similar theme

31 07 2009

Follow what MP’s are tweeting in the house of commons with

Or follow the #HOC hash tag for commons updates

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