Archive for the 'Speaker' Category


If you fancy a 16% return in just over eight months, this might be the bet for you

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

William Hill have a market up on whether John Bercow will be Speaker until 2018. Ordinarily I’m not in favour of backing 1/6 shots, but given that the much hyped attempt by Tory MP James Dudderidge to topple Speaker Bercow turned out to be a bit Spursy* as only five MPs sign motion of no confidence in John Bercow.

From that I can conclude there’s no appetite, let alone a majority, in The Commons to topple John Bercow, so I’d expect him to stand down at a time of his own choosing probably either in 2019 or 2020 to coincide with the general election. With base rates at 0.25%, a 16% return in little over 8 months looks great.


*In 2016, The Oxford University Press has announced that the word ‘Spursy’ will be included in the ever popular Oxford English Dictionary from this year.

The term, which means to constantly fail living up to expectations, was invented by Tottenham Hotspur fans who had grown tired of watching their team unceasingly collapse at the first sign of pressure, and will now officially enter the English lexicon with the latest release of the English language’s lexicon of record.


The CON MPs using the Trump visit to oust Bercow have lost their critical faculties

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Cartoon by Helen Cochrane and Nicholas Leonard.

It is 9/4 that Bercow will have bowed out of his role as Speaker before Trump’s state visit

With Bercow now facing a no confidence move Betway make it a 9/4 chance that he’ll not be in the role by the time of the Trump state visit.

I’m far from convinced that the move by some Tory MPs against the former right-wing Bercow is going to succeed. An effort to thwart him was tried before just before the 2010-2015 was dissolved ahead of GE2015. That fizzled out through lack of the support needed.

There are so many ways that Berrow irritates his fellow parliamentarians but the Tories who are making an issue over Bercow and Trump have got it wrong.

It’ll be portrayed as though Bercow’s detractors are driven by their support for Trump. The optics of this don’t look good. Even though Trump is polling a bit better than six months ago amongst British voters he remains someone that the majority of people have strong negative views on.

This’ll be presented as Bercow v Trump and on that, I’d suggest, the speaker wins hands down.

My guess is that he’ll survive the confidence move which will end up reinforcing his position.

Mike Smithson



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?