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If the Tory MPs are really focussed on gaining northern LAB seats they won’t choose Lindsay Hoyle as Speaker

November 4th, 2019

Today’s big election is the voting by MPs on which of them should be the next Speaker to succeed John Bercow. The strong odds-on betting favourite is the current deputy, Lindsay Hoyle MP for the Lancashire seat of Chorley.

One factor that might work against Hoyle is that his seat could be regarded as a target for the Tories. Back in 2010 LAB held it with a margin of just 5.2% which means it would have gone on a 2.6% swing.

As was observed on the previous thread it would be better for the Tories General Election prospects if the incoming speaker was a LAB MP with with a stonking majority which was not at risk from the Tories or any other party. In choosing Hoyle they would be depriving themselves of a possible gain from LAB.

One suggestion is the Rhondda MP, Chris Bryant, who has now moved to second in the betting. At GE17 he held his seat with a 41% majority over Plaid. The Tory was in third place on 10.1%.

Life is going to be very different at Westminster without John Bercow sitting in the Speaker’s chair and there is little doubt that he has had a major impact on the way the post operates. On balance I regard Bercow as having been a good thing and has done much to to increase the power of the the elected House of Commons over the executive something which has not always been totally welcomed by ministers.

A party that hasn’t got a majority or supply and confidence partners, like Johnson’s government since the DUP split, should not always have the power to set the Commons agenda.

Mike Smithson