Federal speaker Anna Burke is yet to take advice on whether a by-election should be called if a federal MP resigns or is forced out before the September 14 election.

There is speculation Labor backbencher Robert McClelland, who is not standing at the next election, could resign from parliament before September 14.

The Speaker has the power to decide if and when a by-election is held.

If the MP leaves parliament close to the general election, the Speaker could decide a by-election is not needed.

Ms Burke says if a vacancy did arise, she would consult parliament's clerks on the constitutional requirements as well as the government and opposition.

But at the moment she does not have an opinion one way or the other, saying making a decision now would amount to a false determination.

"If that (vacancy) arises I will view it in the prism of the time and the circumstances and I will consult widely," Ms Burke told ABC Radio on Monday.

"My underlying view would be the need to have a local representative but it would be in the context of when it happened and if it happened and I don't think it's going to."

 

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