The yellows must fancy their chances in this Remain seat
The news that John Bercow is bowing to the inevitable and planning to stand down in the summer opens up the prospect of what could be a humdinger of a by-election. For it is hard seeing him continuing as an MP when he ceases to be Speaker.
There is a tradition of outgoing Speakers not staying around in the House and such a move by Bercow would follow recent precedents. His immediate predecessor, Michael Martin, quit as an MP and no doubt Berow would follow suit.
This opens up the likelihood of the contest in a constituency that went for Remain at the Brexit referendum by 51.4% to 48.6%.
I’d imagine that this is one where the LDs will fancy their chances. All the analysis of GE2017 finds that the yellows did best in constituencies that voted for Remain.
What is intriguing is that there is no main party past voting history in Buckingham for the past three general elections so there’s noting since 2005 that we can use for comparison purposes. The custom is for LAB, CON and the LDs not to contest the Speaker’s seat at general elections.
At GE2010 Nigel Farage stood against Bercow there and was pushed into third place by a former pro-EU CON MEP, John Stevens who ran a campaign that relied heavily on LD activists.
Let the betting begin.