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Presidential Election 2019

Full details and dates of the RCOG Presidential Election 2019

Dr Edward Morris (Eddie) has been elected President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and will take up office in December 2019.

Read more about the election result

For the first time in its history, the RCOG extended voting in the 2019 Presidential Election to the broader UK and Ireland membership.

Electoral Reform Services (ERS) are running the RCOG Presidential Election process.

Voting was open from Monday 13 May and closed at 12:00 noon (UK time) on Friday 7 June 2019.

The successful candidate, Dr Edward Morris, will succeed the current President, Professor Lesley Regan, at the Admission Ceremony for new RCOG Officers to be held on Friday 13 December 2019.



Key Presidential Election dates

Call for nominations for President

14 January 2019

Closing date for receipt of nominations

5pm on 18 March 2019


9 May 2019

Election goes live, voting begins

13 May 2019

Closing date for ballot

7 June 2019

ERS advise of result

7 June 2019


7 June 2019

Call for nominations for Vice Presidents opens

Mid-June 2019 (tbc)


The nomination process

Nominations are now closed. The deadline was 5pm on Monday 18 March 2019.

The candidates are listed below.  Click on the candidate name to view their CV and supporting statement.


No candidate shall canvass for their election as President of the College other than in a form approved by Council, as set out below.

Each candidate has been asked to provide:

  • A short CV (4 pages maximum)
  • A supporting statement (500 words) outlining their vision for the Presidency
  • Signed declaration of good standing
  • A short video outlining their vision for the Presidency (all logistics to be managed through the RCOG).

Candidate information, including videos, will be uploaded to the ERS website when voting goes live on Monday 13 May 2019.

A Q&A session with candidates will take place at the College on Thursday 9 May 2019, which all UK and Ireland members will be invited to attend. Due to limited capacity, places will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The event will also be live-streamed and a recording made available to both UK and international members.

No other canvassing e.g. social media campaigning, speaking at local or regional meetings, face-to-face canvassing, will be permitted. Candidates are permitted to factually announce their candidacy on Twitter if they so wish, once the nomination has been approved. If candidates are approached publicly via social media as part of the campaign, it is advised that they respond saying they will private message the person and take the conversation offline.

The period of Purdah* began when nominations for President opened on Monday 14 January 2019 and will close when the ballot closes on Friday 7 June 2019.  As this is the first time that the election has been opened to voting outside Council, the period of purdah is important to avoid any suggestion of unfair advantage towards candidates from Council.


The voting process

Voting is now closed.

Voting began on Monday 13 May 2019 and closed at 12 noon (UK time) on Friday 7 June 2019.

The winner was announced on Friday 7 June 2019.
Read more about the election result

The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) are running the Presidential election process.


*About Purdah

‘Purdah’ is used in a political context to denote the pre-election period of time between the announcement of an election and the final election results. The College’s approach to purdah is designed to ensure that College communications over the election period are fair and balanced and do not have an inadvertent impact (positive or negative) on any candidate, whilst ensuring that the College can continue to manage its core business activities. This means:

  • Candidates in current elected positions, including Officers and Councillors, will be restricted on College public platforms, to those activities essential to their roles.  Seminars, workshops etc. will be limited to events which give equal opportunity to all candidates.
  • Candidates will only be named in RCOG communications (website, media statements, social media, member communications) as part of factual RCOG business, as agreed in the RCOG communications plan.
  • The RCOG will not make any new announcements connected to any candidate, unless this is deemed core College business and agreed with the communications team and Executive Director of External Affairs.
  • The media and PR team will ensure balance and parity for any media opportunities that arise during the election period.
  • The above will be kept under review by the Executive Director of External Affairs and Director of Media and PR.


Support from RCOG staff

RCOG staff will provide logistical support, such as managing the arrangements for recording videos alongside ERS, uploading material to the microsite, providing data to ERS to support email communications to members, and managing any direct communications from the College to the membership. College staff will also manage the logistics around the election debate, live-streaming and recording of the event.

Candidates should not ask any College staff for advice or input into their CV, supporting statement, video or preparation for the live debate.