General Election 2024: The constituency where none of the main parties are standing for election

ITV Granada Reports journalist Emma Sweeney has been hearing from the people of Chorley ahead of the general election on 4 July.

A long-standing parliamentary tradition is being called into question as voters in one constituency will go to the polls - with none of the main parties up for election.

Chorley, in Lancashire, is home to Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who for the past five years has held the position of Speaker of the House of Commons.

As the position is considered to be politically neutral, each major party traditionally agrees not to field a candidate in the constituency.

But, some smaller parties say it is time for change - with voters allowed to choose who represents them fairly at the general election - and they intend to break with convention.

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Professor Andrew Russell, from the University of Liverpool, said: "There's a long-standing tradition that the position of the speaker of the House of Commons is a neutral position.

"The other main parliamentary parties will not stand against the speaker in a general election so Lindsay Hoyle will be standing as the speaker rather than a politician with a party label."

The Green Party and three other independent candidates are contesting Sir Lindsay Hoyle's House of Commons' seat in the 2024 General Election on 4 July.

Mark Worsley Tebbutt, a Green Party candidate for Chorley, said: "People should be given the right to vote for their preferred party, no matter what they think.

"Lindsay is very popular but he can't vote, he can't debate, and he can't ask any questions in parliament so he's not a fully functioning MP and we don't think that's right."

Sir Lindsay says it is not down to him to decide who does and does not stand against him.

He said: "It is the choice of parties if they choose to stand or not. What I would say is, my name is on the ballot paper, I want to stand for Chorley and hopefully I will be re-elected."

What does the Speaker do?

The role of the Speaker dates back centuries, and is the highest authority in the House of Commons, chairing debates, and keeping order.

The important role has evolved significantly over time. It includes:

  • deciding who can speak

  • keeps order in the commons

  • choosing which amendments to a motion or a bill are debated

  • suspend MPs for a day if they misbehave or ask the House for a longer period

  • exercising the casting vote in the event of a tie

  • acts as spokesman for the House on ceremonial and formal occasions, including presenting addresses of congratulation to the Queen on her Silver Jubilee in 1977.

There is no formal mechanism for MPs to oust the Speaker from their role.

Sir Lindsay is the speaker of the House of Commons. Credit: PA Images

Five candidates are standing in Chorley at the general election. Voting of will take place on Thursday, 4 July:

  • Ben Holden-Crowther - Democracy for Chorley

  • Lindsay Harvey Hoyle - The Speaker seeking re-election

  • Graham Harry Moore - English Constitution Party, Independence for England

  • Martin Powell-Davies - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

  • Mark Worsley Tebbutt - Green Party

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