Archive for the 'Speaker' Category


If Sky News is right a move to get rid of Bercow is sensational

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015


John Bercow’s replacement: Another betting market for mug punters

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Who wants to lock their stake up for maybe 20 years?

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news


After this afternoon and last week’s PMQs there will be a lot of Bercow interventions tomorrow

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Why I’m on at 3 or more with PaddyPower

It’s hot a sticky at Westminster and the parliamentary recess is nearly upon us. This afternoon’s Commons NHS statement by Jeremy Hunt led to some of the most bad-tempered exchanges that we have seen in a long time.

It’s hard to see how tomorrow’s PMQs is going to be much different.

Thankfully PaddyPower has revived Bercow PMQ betting when you have to guess the number of times he’ll intervene. Will it be above or below 2.5? It’s 5/6 either way.

I’m on at 3+ – seems a good bet.

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news


Announcing Bercow Betting – the new weekly political market from PaddyPower

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Bet on how many times the Speaker will intervene at PMQs

One of the great problems with political betting is that there is no regular event which you can have a punt on. Almost all the markets are on things that can be months or years ahead.

In the past a number of bookies have tred to create weekly markets but none has caught on or has involved a lot of work on the part of the bookie. A couple of years Ladbrokes introduced a sort of PMQs buzz words where you bet on what the Opposition Leader’s first question would about.

I liked that but the amount of effort required by the firm in setting it up was disproportionate and it only lasted a few weeks.

Now PaddyPower has introduced a weekly John Bercow bet on how many times at PMQs he’ll intervene.

There are only two prices – whether the humber will be above a certain level or below. Initially it’s 5/6 either side of 2.5 interventions.

    I like the simplicity of this and it won’t require that much regular input by the firm.

The skill is going to be in assessing the political mood. Bercow generally needs to intervene more when passions are running high. My guess is that punters will generally over-estimate the number and the value might be on the low side.

Let’s see how it develops and I for one hope that it catches on.

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news


Remember when UKIP was going to take out John Bercow?

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

ConservativeHome poll September 2009

Why’s Farage’s party so poor at the ground war?

This post has been going round my head since Thursday night’s PB party following a couple of conversations with those who were there. The first was an observation from John O, a regular since the early days of the site, about how few PBers appeared to have little direct experience of the grunt work and expertise required to win elections on the ground.

The second was with a long-standing lurker who posts only occasionally about Nigel Farage’s failure to become the first elected UKIP MP at Buckingham at the last general election – an outcome that led to my biggest losses in any seat at the general election.

Nigel Farage had resigned as leader of his party so he could devote himself full-time to fighting to win John Bercow’s seat. Because the main parties traditionally give the Speaker a clear run potential Farage backers never faced the dilemma of UKIP supporters elsewhere – that not voting Tory could help keep Gordon Brown at Number 10.

ConservativeHome ran a poll, see the panel above, which concluded that “Nearly two-thirds of Tory members would back Nigel Farage against John Bercow”.

    So if ever there was a constituency that was tailor-made for a UKIP victory it was Buckingham in 2010.

    They had their best-know figure as candidate, there would be few clashes of loyalty with Tory activists, and many were fired up at the prospect of bringing down Bercow.

    In the end UKIP flunked it appallingly securing a pathetic 17.4% of the vote and, even worse, being pushed into third place by a former Tory MEP and prominent figure in the Pro-EU Conservative party.

This terrible result was masked by the disaster that hit Farage on election day when the light plane he was in pulling a UKIP banner crashed.

It is against the back-cloth of UKIP’s 2010 Buckingham performance that you have to judge their current opinion poll ratings. If there’s not even a basic comprehension of what it takes to win a first past the post election in a single parliamentary constituency then Westminster voting intentions matter very little.

Maybe UKIP will surprise us with a clutch of council seat gains in the local elections on May 3rd. More likely they won’t.



What a home-coming for John Bercow!

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Daily Star

But TMFI Sally – TMFI

Do we really want to know?



Is Sally’s BB appearance a humilation for her husband?

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Channel 5

Has the whole business become a bit sad?

According to the Metro Sally was ‘begged by her husband to turn down the offer to appear – she didn’t.

Bercow, himself, is touring India – apparently he wants to be as far away as possible. You can see his point – in last night’s first programme in the house, she spoke about vajazzles – intimate jewellery for women’s genitals.

According to the Mirror Sally is getting £160,000 for taking part

Across the range of bookies with BB markets Sally is the hot favourite to be the “next eviction” and the best you can get is 8/13 with PaddyPower

PaddyPower seems to have taken down its markets on whether Sally would appear nude at any stage or be seen making love with another contestant.

On the political from there’s a renewal of the Bercow survival markets as speaker. Ladbrokes are offering 10/1 that he won’t last the year.

I’m not tempted by any of these.

This is all very sad.

  • There’s a ComRes poll out tonight. I’m out this evening but will cover it on my return.
  • @MikeSmithsonPB


    Who’ll be out first – Bercow or Cameron?

    Monday, July 4th, 2011

    How’s the Speaker/PM stand-off going to end?

    I’m just back from the longest break I’ve had from PB since it’s establishment in 2004 and am only now catching up on what’s happened in the past week and a half.

    The above encounter last Wednesday showing the readiness of the speaker to cut off the prime minister while in full flow in his final response to the opposition leader strikes me as being unprecedented which could have long lasting consequences.

    Certainly the blue team, particularly those close to Number 10, are furious because interventions like this are not something that Bercow made during Gordon Brown’s final year as Prime Minister. Clearly there is little love lost between a speaker who is said for years to have harboured his own ambitions to be Tory leader and the man who is in the job.

    But where do we go from here? What can Dave and his team do? Are ministers going to have to get used to a speaker being more interventionist?

    For unless Bercow does something like the dressing down of Kate Hoey during the expenses row in 2009 – the action that sparked off the demise of speaker Martin – there’s unlikely to be be cross-party support for moves against him. The parliamentary arithmetic means that there’s little that the blue team alone can do.

    This leaves us with the next general election which, of course, is likely to be fought with new boundaries. Could that, I wonder, provide a pre-text for the Tories to run a candidate against Bercow. I know that this is being looked at but it’s hard to see the precedent of Speaker’s being unopposed by the main parties being broken.

    John Bercow could still be in the chair when David Cameron makes his last PMQ appearance whenever that will be.

  • Finally a big thank you to all those who’ve kept the site going during my holiday.
  • Mike Smithson