MARGARET Ferrier has been suspended from the Commons for 30 days – but that doesn’t mean there will automatically be a by-election in her Westminster constituency.

Here’s what you need to know about the process that could see an early election battle in Rutherglen and Hamilton West between the SNP and Scottish Labour.

Does a suspension from the Commons automatically mean there will be a by-election?

The short answer is no. For a by-election to take place, a sitting MP will first have to be handed a suspension from the Commons of 10 days or longer.

In Margaret Ferrier’s case, MPs have approved a 30-day suspension, meaning a recall petition will be triggered in her Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency.

What is the process for a recall petition?

The Petitions Officer in South Lanarkshire will set up signing stations across the constituency. If at least 10% of the electorate in Rutherglen and Hamilton West sign these petitions, then a by-election will take place.

In the 2019 General Election, there were 80,918 people who were eligible to vote in the constituency. As such, the number of signatures needed is somewhere around 8090.

If the threshold is met within a six-week window, then a by-election will be scheduled.

Can I sign the petition online?

No, only voters in Rutherglen and Hamilton West can sign the recall petition, and they must do so in person at the signing stations across the constituency or by post.

This means it will be much harder to reach the required threshold to trigger a by-election, but Scottish Labour will be deploying activists in the area to try and get locals to sign.

It is widely expected that the petition will reach the required number of signatures.

READ MORE: Would Margaret Ferrier's constituents remove her as their MP?

When will the recall petition run?

The petition will be open for six weeks.

It will open on June 20 and run until July 31. 

What should we expect from a by-election?

Drama and extrapolation. The Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency is a swing seat that has alternated between Labour and the SNP since 2010. A Labour win would continue the pattern.

With a General Election expected in the latter end of 2024, the early run in a Westminster constituency will be seen as a chance to test the water for both parties.

Labour are widely expected to take the seat, meaning anything less would be a harsh brush with reality for a party looking buoyant in recent projections.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has set his sights on a revival north of the Border. He had planned a visit to Rutherglen on May 26, to coincide with the expected launch of the recall petition.

However, the UK Government delayed the vote at the last minute. It was instead held on June 6.

A victory in a by-election would double the number of Scottish Labour MPs to two. As it stands, Ian Murray in Edinburgh South is their sole representative.

Whichever party emerges victorious, expect a lot of predictions about the upcoming General Election off the back of it.