Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

By Eleanor Gruffydd-Jones and Ros Ball

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodbye for now

    That's all for today, folks. We'll be back tomorrow from 2.40pm for the "swearing-in" for MPs. 

    Until then, thanks for joining us.

  2. Peers process

    Swearing in
    Image caption: Members of the House of Lords line up to take the oath or solemn affirmation of parliamentary service
  3. New angles

    David Cameron

    Did you spot anything out of the ordinary in today's Commons coverage? Two new cameras to the left and right of the Speaker's chair will give television viewers a new perspective on proceedings.

    Harriet Harman
  4. Absent friends

    Dr Alasdair McDonnell, leader of the SDLP, after congratulating the Speaker spared a thought for those who weren't relected.

    Quote Message: I wish to commiserate with many of our friends and colleagues from across all the parties who lost their seats in the election from Alasdair McDonnell
    Alasdair McDonnell
    Alasdair McDonnell
  5. Seat saved

    Executive Editor, Politics, HuffingtonPost UK tweets

  6. Musical chairs

    There was rather a hullabaloo before this afternoon's procedure.

    The SNP - keen to stake their claim as the third-party - were set on taking the front-row of the opposition benches to the left of the gangway (seats usually occupied by the Labour awkward squad).

    But Labour MP Dennis Skinner was having none of it, promptly turning up in the chamber and taking back his old seat.

    Denis Skinner
  7. Cessation of hostilities

    The Sun's political editor tweets

  8. Small parties, different countries

    The DUP's Westminster leader Nigel Dodds welcomed the Speaker's return and said it was his role to ensure "the voice of smaller parties and the different countries of the United Kingdom are heard loud and clear".

    Nigel Dodds
  9. Meanwhile...

    Over in the House of Lords, peers are taking the oath. Just click on the House of Lords tab above to watch members of the Lords lining up to swear and sign in.

  10. Back in post

    The ceremonials are over - the Speaker has been re-elected and the newly elected MPs leave the chamber. They will be back tomorrow to begin swearing their oaths.

    But stick with us - we're going to have a look at what's just happened and garner some reaction.

  11. Oops

    BBC's parliamentary correspondent tweets

  12. Who's next?

    Following congratulations from smaller parties the Speaker nearly forgets to call the Liberal Democrat, Alistair Carmichael, who says he is certain John Bercow will serve the house well in the role he is taking.

  13. Still to come: electing the deputy speaker

    If you’ve enjoyed today’s procedural extravaganza, an election for a new deputy speaker is coming up soon. 

    Dawn Primarolo, one of the three deputy speakers that support the Speaker in his work, stepped down at the end of the last Parliament. 

    Therefore an election is likely to take place about a week or so after the Queen’s Speech, if not sooner.

    Dawn Primarolo
  14. SNP noise

    As the next largest party in the Commons, the SNP's Angus Robertson is next to address the chamber. He uses his opportunity reinforce the SNP's intentions in Westminster.

    Quote Message: We will have our voice heard from Angus Robertson
    Angus Robertson
  15. Come with us...

    dragging the speaker
    Image caption: Labour's Valerie Vaz and Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley were the ones to drag John Bercow to the Chair
  16. Mother of the House

    In acting Labour leader Harriet Harman's welcome to the Speaker's re-election she dubs herself "Mother of the House", to laughs from around the chamber.

  17. PM's congratulations

    David Cameron has congratulated John Bercow on his re-election as Speaker while also making a joke about him not being seen as a Tory.

  18. Standing up for backbenchers

    John Bercow, now in the Speaker's chair, has said that serving the House is his priority and has made it clear that he will be an ally to backbench MPs.

  19. Here he comes

    The BBC's political correspondent tweets

  20. Dragging the Speaker

    When a new Commons Speaker is elected, the successful candidate is physically dragged to the Chair by other MPs. Typically for all procedures in Parliament, the act has its roots in historical events.

    It was the Speaker’s job to communicate the message from the Commons to the monarch. But if the monarch didn't like what he heard, then the Speaker could be executed. Speakers therefore persuasion to accept the role.

  21. Speaker elected

    Conservative backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg has proposed Mr Bercow as speaker and Sir Gerald Kaufman has put the question to the House. 

    MPs have agreed with a loud 'Aye'.  

  22. Set in stone

    The Sun's deputy political editor tweets

  23. Speaker’s exception in the general election

    Constituents in John Bercow’s Buckingham seat were unable to vote Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat in the 2010 and 2015 elections, because of the convention that means the Speaker does not have to contest his seat. 

    More than 1,000 people spoilt their ballot papers in the Buckingham election, as many claimed the rule stifles democracy.

  24. Words on tombstone

    John Bercow has addressed the Chamber about his intention to continue as Speaker.  He said is he was to have five words carved on his political tombstone they would be:

    Quote Message: He was the backbenchers' champion
  25. Six years at the helm

    Following the resignation of Speaker Martin, John Bercow was first elected by secret ballot on 22 June 2009, beating nine other candidates. Following the 2010 general election Speaker Bercow was re-elected without a vote.

  26. New jobs?

    Research company tweets

  27. Motion put

    Sir Gerald Kaufman has taken the chair in the House of Commons where he will proceed over the election of the Speaker.

  28. Any nay-sayers?

    Five years ago, some opponents shouted during John Bercow's election, saying that he wasn't impartial enough for the role. But this was not enough to trigger a vote.

    This time, Paul Waugh of the Huffington Post  reports that Tory backbenchers have agreed not to oppose the election or exploit his well-publicised marital problems, after the prime minister had a private word with them last week.

    So it is very likely that Mr Bercow will be set to continue as the 157th holder of the historic post at least until 2018.

  29. Looking on

    David Cameron
    Image caption: Prime Minster David Cameron watches proceedings from the bar in the House of Lords
  30. Where's Bercow?

    The BBC's correspondent tweets

  31. Marching orders

    MPs have had their marching orders from the Lords and are returning to the Commons chamber to elect the Speaker. Here they come...

  32. Who's the Father of the House?

    The Speaker’s election is presided over by the Father of the House, the member with the longest continuous service in Parliament - Sir Gerald Kaufman.

    He replaces the former Conservative MP Sir Peter Tapsell; there is yet to be a “Mother of the House".

    Sir Gerald entered Parliament in the same year as Labour MPs Michael Meacher and Dennis Skinner and former Tory Chancellor Ken Clarke, but becomes Father of House by having signed the oath of allegiance before the other three in 1970.

    The Father of the House is not necessarily the sitting member with the earliest date of first election. Labour MP David Winnick was first elected in 1966, but was absent from Parliament from 1970-79 after losing his seat.

    Previous fathers include Sir Edward Heath, James Callaghan and Winston Churchill.

    Sir Gerald Kaufman
  33. A message from the Queen

    The Father of the House, Sir Gerald Kaufman, has gone to the House of Lords where he is receiving a message from the Queen asking the House of Commons to elect a Speaker.

  34. Failed coup

    In the closing hours of the last Parliament, a government motion to let MPs elect the Speaker by secret ballot was rejected by the Commons by 228 votes to 202. 

    Mr Bercow's supporters claimed the move was an attempt to oust him as Speaker after the election.

    John Bercow
    Image caption: An emotional Speaker oversees the vote
  35. Marching orders

    Baroness Stowell, the Leader of the House of Lords, has instructed Black Rod to tell the House of Commons to come to Lords chamber. 

  36. Who's there?

    The Daily Mail's correspondent tweets

  37. A 'marmite' figure?

    John Bercow

    Since taking the chair in 2009, Speaker Bercow has triggered controversy. 

    A group of Tory MPs claim that Mr Bercow has not treated their party fairly in the chamber and his failed attempt to replace the former Clerk of the Commons Sir Robert Rogers with Australian Senate official Carol Mills provoked anger among backbenchers.

  38. Expectant buzz

    Evening Standard's political editor tweets

  39. And here they are...

    Our first glimpse of the Chamber of the Commons today shows a packed House. MPs are waiting to be summoned by the House of Lords to elect the Speaker.

    Commons Chamber
  40. Electing a Speaker

    The election, or re-election, of the Speaker is presided over by the new Father of the House, Sir Gerald Kaufman. 

    If current Speaker, John Bercow, wishes to stand for re-election, a motion is put before the House "that John Bercow do take the Chair of this House as Speaker".

    If opposed, the House divides. If the House votes against, a secret ballot takes place to choose a new Speaker tomorrow.

    If agreed, John Bercow is dragged "reluctantly" to the chair to hold it as Speaker-elect.

    On the day after the election, the Speaker-elect goes to the House of Lords to receive the Queen’s approbation from a Royal Commission.

  41. What's going on?

    Parliamentary Editor at PA tweets

  42. Less male, pale and stale

    Out of the 650 MPs, 187 are now women - 28.8% of the total, up from 22.8% in 2010. None of these are Lib Dem, as all their women MPs all lost their seats in the election. 

    In all, 41 MPs are from ethnic minorities and Conservative Alan Mak is the first MP from Chinese descent. 

    And 32 MPs now come from the GLBT community.

  43. Out with the old, in with the new

    We’ve said goodbye to veteran MPs including former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell, former Conservative leader William Hague and former home secretary David Blunkett, who all stood down at the end of the last parliament. 

    And goodbye to big hitters Vince Cable, former shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and former Pensions Minister Esther McVey who all lost their seats in the last election. 

    All making way for new faces such as the youngest MP in 350 years Mhairi Black, London Mayor Boris Johnson and former SNP leader Alex Salmond.

    Sir Menzies Campbell
  44. All change at Westminster

    Nicola Sturgeon and the 56 new SNP MPs
    Image caption: Scotland's 56 SNP MPs gathered at Westminster last week with leader Nicola Sturgeon for their first day at work
  45. What's the timetable?

    The Commons meets for the first time today to elect - or re-elect - a Speaker, which they must do after every general election. 

    It is likely current speaker John Bercow will be re-elected, but depending on the outcome of today, the process may continue tomorrow.

    Tuesday sees the business of the House turn to “swearing-in”, whereby MPs each take the oath or affirmation of parliamentary service. As there are 650 of them, this usually lasts a few days and is due to finish on 26 May, the day before the formal start of the parliamentary session, and State Opening. 

    The Lords begin their “swearing-in” today.

  46. Taking a seat

    SNP MP tweets

  47. Revamped front benches

    Familiar faces will no longer be appearing at the despatch box. 

    Labour’s Ed Miliband and the Lib Dems' Nick Clegg have resigned , triggering leadership elections in both parties; whilst outside Westminster, the fate of Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy and UKIP leader Nigel Farage hang in the balance. 

    Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman will act as leader until September.

  48. The new parliament

    We're looking at a rather different House to the one we bid farewell to in March.

    The Conservatives now take up all the government benches, having won 331 seats and the right to form a majority government. Labour keep 232 of their seats on the opposition benches. 

    The biggest change comes to the Lib Dems’ seating arrangements. Reduced to eight MPs, they will no longer sit with their former Tory colleagues and it’s the SNP who now take up the mantle of third-largest party in the Commons with their 56 seats.

  49. Welcome back

    It’s been 52 days since we signed off with the end of the last parliament and now Democracy Live is back for Day One of the new parliament. 

    We’re here to guide you through the day’s events in the Commons chamber, which kick off at 2.30pm.

    You can also catch the live coverage on BBC Parliament - and we're showing their live programme, Meeting of the New Parliament, here.