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Baby of the House
Baby of the House is the unofficial title given to the youngest member of a parliamentary house. The term is most often applied to members of the British parliament from which the term originated. The title is named after the Father of the House, which is given to the longest serving member of the British and other parliaments.
In Australia the term is rarely used. Most MPs and Senators are elected usually only in their thirties and later but some prominent MPs have been elected rather early in life including Prime Ministers Malcolm Fraser and Paul Keating who were both elected at age 25 in 1955 and 1969 respectively. The youngest Baby of the House was Wyatt Roy. He was elected at age 20 in 2010, being the youngest person ever to be elected to an Australian parliament.
The youngest-ever elected member of the House of Commons of Canada is Pierre-Luc Dusseault, who was elected at the age of 19 years and 11 months in 2011. Dusseault is the youngest MP in Canadian history. In the past, MPs such as Sean O'Sullivan, Pierre Poilievre, Andrew Scheer, Claude-André Lachance and Lorne Nystrom have also held the distinction.
|1970||Paavo Väyrynen||1946||Centre Party|
|1972||Erkki Liikanen||1950||Social Democratic Party of Finland|
|1979||Pekka Starast||1956||Social Democratic Party of Finland||dead in 2011|
|1983||Sirpa Pietikäinen||1959||National Coalition Party|
|1991||Minna Karhunen||1967||National Coalition Party|
|1994||Kirsi Piha||1967||National Coalition Party|
|1995||Säde Tahvanainen||1972||Social Democratic Party of Finland|
|1999||Petri Neittaanmäki||1975||Centre Party|
|2003||Satu Taiveaho||1976||Social Democratic Party of Finland|
|2004||Oras Tynkkynen||1977||Green League|
|2007||Tuomo Puumala||1982||Centre Party|
|2011||Olli Immonen||1986||Finns Party|
|2015||Ilmari Nurminen||1991||Social Democratic Party of Finland|
|2019||Iiris Suomela||1994||Green League|
List of youngest members of the French Parliament
This is a list of youngest members of the French parliament.
|1789||Mathieu de Montmorency-Laval||Yvelines||22|
|1815||Claude-René Bacot de Romand||Indre-et-Loire||22|
|2012||Marion Maréchal-Le Pen||Vaucluse||22|
In Hong Kong the term is rarely used. The current baby of the Legislative Council is Ho Kai-ming whose record was interrupted by Au Nok-hin until Au was disqualified in December 2019, as the 2018 by-election was ruled unlawful. Au was elected in the 2018 Hong Kong Island by-election after three younger members of the Legislative Council, the youngest-ever elected member Nathan Law, as well as Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung were all disqualified over the oath-taking controversy.
|1991||James To||Kowloon Southwest GC||United Democrats||28|
|1998||Bernard Chan||Insurance FC||Nonpartisan||33|
|2008||Chan Hak-kan||New Territories East GC||DAB||32|
|2012||Steven Ho||Agriculture and Fisheries FC||DAB||32|
|2016||Nathan Law||Hong Kong Island GC||Demosistō||23|
|2016||Ho Kai-ming||Labour FC||FTU||31|
|2018 (b)||Au Nok-hin||Hong Kong Island GC||Independent||30|
|2016||Ho Kai-ming||Labour FC||FTU||34|
[ (b) – by-election]
|István B. Rácz||FKGP||1945–1947|
- Source: 
|Elected||Member||Affiliation||Age when elected|
|2016||Fatemeh Hosseini||List of Hope||30|
In the Republic of Ireland the term is rarely used, as TDs normally enter the Dáil after a political career in local government, usually only in their thirties and later. The current baby of the Dáil is the Fianna Fáil deputy James O'Connor (Cork East), who was 22 years and 7 months old when elected in February 2020.
List of Babies of the Dáil
Baby of Seanad Éireann
In Malaysia the term is rarely used. Most MPs and Senators are elected usually only in their thirties and later but some prominent MPs have been elected rather early in life including former Prime Minister Najib Razak who was elected at 22 years and 6 months in age in 1976. The youngest-ever elected member of the Dewan Rakyat is Prabakaran Parameswaran, who was elected at the age of 22 years and 3 months in 2018. Prabakaran is the youngest MP in Malaysian history and currently serving as well.
The term "Baby of the House" is rarely used in New Zealand. The current Baby of the House is Chlöe Swarbrick of the Green Party, who was elected on 24 September 2017 aged 23. Swarbrick succeeded Todd Barclay of the National Party, who had been elected at the 2014 general election at age 24.
|Name||Electorate||Party||Date of birth||Became baby||Age|
|James Stuart-Wortley||Christchurch Country||Independent||16 January 1833||1 October 1853||20 years, 258 days|
|Augustus White||Akaroa||Independent||1839||13 February 1861||22|
|Robert Campbell||Oamaru||Independent||8 January 1843||6 April 1866||23 years, 88 days|
|Ralph Richardson||Suburbs of Nelson||Independent||1848||23 January 1871||22|
|William Pearson||Ashley||Independent||1854||9 December 1881||27|
|Arthur Rhodes||Gladstone||Independent||20 March 1859||26 September 1887||28 years, 190 days|
|Jackson Palmer||Waitemata||Independent Liberal||1867||5 December 1890||23|
|Patrick O'Regan||Inangahua||Liberal||6 February 1869||20 December 1893||24 years, 317 days|
|Thomas Wilford||Wellington Suburbs||Liberal||20 June 1870||4 December 1896||26 years, 167 days|
|Harry Bedford||City of Dunedin||Liberal||31 August 1877||25 November 1902||25 years, 86 days|
|Francis Fisher||Wellington Central||Liberal||22 December 1877||6 December 1905||27 years, 349 days|
|Tom Seddon||Westland||Liberal||2 July 1884||13 July 1906||22 years, 11 days|
|John A. Lee||Auckland East||Labour||31 October 1891||7 December 1922||31 years, 37 days|
|George Black||Motueka||United||21 November 1903||14 November 1928||24 years, 359 days|
|Keith Holyoake||Motueka||Reform||11 February 1904||1 December 1932||28 years, 294 days|
|Terry McCombs||Lyttelton||Labour||5 September 1905||24 July 1935||29 years, 322 days|
|Ormond Wilson||Rangitikei||Labour||18 November 1907||27 November 1935||28 years, 9 days|
|Joseph Cotterill||Wanganui||Labour||26 September 1905||15 October 1938||33 years, 19 days|
|Tapihana Paraire Paikea||Northern Maori||Labour||26 January 1920||24 September 1943||23 years, 241 days|
|Warren Freer||Mt Albert||Labour||27 December 1920||24 September 1947||26 years, 271 days|
|Jim Edwards||Napier||Labour||1927||13 November 1954||27|
|Basil Arthur||Timaru||Labour||18 September 1928||21 July 1962||33 years, 306 days|
|Brian MacDonell||Dunedin Central||Labour||19 May 1935||30 November 1963||28 years, 195 days|
|Jonathan Hunt||New Lynn||Labour||2 December 1938||26 November 1966||27 years, 359 days|
|Murray Rose||Otago Central||National||14 December 1939||29 November 1969||29 years, 350 days|
|Mike Moore||Eden||Labour||28 January 1949||25 November 1972||23 years, 302 days|
|Marilyn Waring||Raglan||National||7 October 1952||29 November 1975||23 years, 53 days|
|Simon Upton||Waikato||National||7 February 1958||28 November 1981||23 years, 294 days|
|Nick Smith||Tasman||National||24 December 1964||27 October 1990||25 years, 307 days|
|Nanaia Mahuta||List||Labour||21 August 1970||12 October 1996||26 years, 52 days|
|Darren Hughes||Ōtaki||Labour||3 April 1978||27 July 2002||24 years, 115 days|
|Jacinda Ardern||List||Labour||26 July 1980||8 November 2008||28 years, 105 days|
|Gareth Hughes||List||Green||31 October 1981||11 February 2010||28 years, 103 days|
|Jami-Lee Ross||Botany||National||10 December 1985||5 March 2011||25 years, 85 days|
|Todd Barclay||Clutha-Southland||National||8 June 1990||20 September 2014||24 years, 104 days|
|Chlöe Swarbrick||List||Green||26 June 1994||23 September 2017||23 years, 89 days|
In the Congress of the Philippines, the term "Baby of the House" is rarely used, nor is being the youngest member of either chamber given special treatment. The minimum age for being a member of the House of Representatives is 25 years old, while for the Senate, it is 35, as stipulated in the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. In 1933, Benigno Aquino, Sr. became senator at the age of 33; the Jones Law, which created the Senate, had prescribed the minimum age of 30.
|2002||Gustav Fridolin||Stockholm Municipality||Green||19||Minister for Education, 2014–present|
|2006||Annie Lööf||Jönköping County||Centre||23||Minister for Enterprise, 2011–2014|
|2010||Anton Abele||Stockholm Municipality||Moderate||18|
|2014||Dennis Dioukarev||Jönköping County||Sweden Democrats||21|
|2015||Jesper Skalberg Karlsson||Gotland County||Moderate||21||Replaced Gustaf Hoffstedt on 19 January 2015|
|2018||Ebba Hermansson||Skåne County||Sweden Democrats||22|
The current Baby of the House is Ebba Hermansson (entered in September 2018 at the age of 22). The youngest person ever to be elected MP to a Swedish parliament is Anton Abele who was only aged 18 when elected in September 2010. Current record holder for the world's youngest-ever elected MP is Anton Abele, who was at 18 years elected to the Swedish Parliament for his activism against street violence.
At 19 years old, Proscovia Alengot Oromait was the world's youngest MP and youngest ever MP in Africa when elected in 2011. Oromait is a member of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in Uganda and was a representative of Usuk County until 2016
Becoming the Baby of the House is regarded as something of an achievement despite the lack of any special treatment that comes with the title. However, some MPs who have held the position for a considerable period – Matthew Taylor was the Baby of the House for over ten years – have found it somewhat embarrassing, as it may suggest that they have a lack of experience, although many holders of the title have gone on to enjoy long and distinguished parliamentary careers.
At the turn of the twenty-first century (August 1999 to September 2001), all three of the leaders of the main political parties had been the youngest MPs in their party when they began their political careers (William Hague, Tony Blair, Charles Kennedy).
Of those whose ages can be verified, the youngest MP since the Reform Act of 1832 is Mhairi Black, elected in 2015 aged 20 years 237 days. The age of candidacy for Parliament was lowered from 21 to 18 by the Electoral Administration Act of 2006. William Pitt the Younger was elected at 21 and became Prime Minister two years later in 1783.
List of Babies of the House of Commons
[ (b) – by-election]
Youngest member of the House of Lords
The title 'Baby of the House' is not used in the House of Lords, though the youngest member is recorded on the House website. The youngest life peer and youngest woman in the House is Baroness Penn (born 1985) who was created a life peer in October 2019. The youngest man in the House of Lords is Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay (born 1983) who was created a life peer in October 2019.
Standing Orders state that "No Lord under the age of one and twenty years shall be permitted to sit in the House". When most members of the Lords were hereditary peers, a peer who had inherited his or her peerage(s) while under age was entitled to take a seat on the day before his or her 21st birthday. In theory, such a hereditary peer could still be elected to sit in the House at that age; in practice, the youngest hereditary peer to have been elected was Lord Freyberg (born 15 December 1970), who was elected in October 1999 at the age of 28. Hereditary peer Lord Redesdale (born 18 July 1967) was created a life peer on 18 April 2000 at the age of 32, becoming the youngest ever life peer, to enable him to continue to sit after the removal of the majority of hereditary peers.
List of youngest members of the Scottish Parliament
This is a list of youngest members of the Scottish Parliament created in 1999.
|Elected||Name||Constituency/region||Party||Age when elected|
|1999||Duncan Hamilton||Highlands and Islands region||SNP||25|
|2003||Richard Baker||North East Scotland region||Labour||28|
|2007||John Lamont||Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire constituency||Conservative||31|
|2011||Humza Yousaf||Glasgow region||SNP||26|
|2016||Ross Greer||West Scotland region||Scottish Green||21|
List of youngest members of the National Assembly for Wales
This is a list of youngest members of the National Assembly for Wales created in 1999.
|Elected||Name||Constituency/region||Party||DOB||Age when elected|
|1999||Jonathan Morgan||South Wales Central||Conservative||19 March 1974||25|
|2003||Laura Ann Jones||South Wales East||Conservative||21 February 1979||24|
|2007||Bethan Jenkins||South Wales West||Plaid Cymru||9 December 1981||25|
|2016||Steffan Lewis||South Wales East||Plaid Cymru||30 May 1984||31|
|2018 (b)||Jack Sargeant||Alyn and Deeside||Labour||1994||24/25|
While the term is used in the Commonwealth Parliaments, Baby of the House or Senate is not in general contemporary use in the United States, nor does being the youngest member confer special treatment in either house of Congress.
Members of the US Congress tend to be older than parliamentarians elsewhere in the English-speaking world, a main factor being that the minimum ages for members of Congress is written into Article One of the United States Constitution, which forbids those under the age of 25 from serving in the House, and those under the age of 30 from serving in the Senate. Moreover, election to the federal Congress is expensive and requires extensive contacts and recognition across a very wide area. Individuals aiming to serve in the federal legislature generally seek election to the state legislature (which generally have lower minimum ages for entry) or other state office before seeking to serve in Washington.
In the 116th Congress, which began on 3 January 2019, the youngest member of the United States House of Representatives is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was born on 3 October 1989 , and was first elected in 2018 a few weeks after her 29th birthday. She is also the youngest woman elected to the House in U.S. history.
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