Back in June 2009 when John Bercow was elected Speaker of the House of Commons he said he would serve for nine years, so if he honours his promise we are around 18 months from the election of a new Speaker.
Ladbrokes have put up a market on who the new Speaker will be, I understand why Lindsay Hoyle is the joint favourite, he has widely praised for his performances as Deputy Speaker, but given the 100/1 odds on Carswell I think a small stake on Carswell is in order as well.
Carswell does understand the importance of the role of Speaker better than most as evidenced back in 2009 when he helped effectively oust the first Speaker in 300 years, which led to John Bercow ascending to the Speakership. Carswell does have the potential to be an effective Speaker, he does have an appetite for holding the executive to account, something which would appeal to those who want to see the government held to account on a regular basis.
Additionally post referendum (and indeed before it) Douglas Carswell has appeared to be uncomfortable within UKIP as a nun in a whorehouse, with Nigel Farage and his allies, inter alia, telling Carswell to quit UKIP and alleging Carswell helped the Tories defeat Farage in Thanet South.
Given the precedent Carswell has set when defecting, becoming Speaker is probably the only way of leaving UKIP mid Parliament without triggering a by election. I suspect those 100/1 odds won’t last long.
Earlier on this week the BBC’s Daily Politics show looked at the next Speaker race, the video is below (I would point out Labour abrogated the recent convention that the Speaker alternates between the major parties when they chose Michael Martin as the second consecutive Labour Speaker.)
PS – If Bercow does quit next year, that would mean an interesting by election in Buckingham, a seat that voted Remain in the EU referendum, but should be staunchly Tory in normal circumstances. Back in 2010 Nigel Farage contested the seat and finished third in a two horse race, being pushed into third place by John Stevens, the founder of the Pro-Euro Tory Party.