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Thursday 6 May 2010

Will John Bercow lose Buckingham?

Buckingham is a Tory heartland seat and although Bercow is ostensibly free of party ties he was a member of the parliamentary Conservative Party until he became Speaker of the House of Commons. Parliamentary tradition demands that the Speaker’s seat remains uncontested, but a number of the upstart parties and independents have decided to break with this convention and field candidates.

Bercow achieved a towering 57.4% of the vote in 2005, with both Labour and the Liberal Democrats polling to within a whisker of each other with 19.9 and 19.7% of the vote respectively. UKIP trailed in fourth place with 3% of the vote. This time however, it is UKIP’s Nigel Farage who is the main challenger to Bercow. Few think that Farage can win the seat, and whatever the result, Nigel will not be at the count tonight owing to his unfortunate aviation accident earlier today (he and his pilot are astonishingly lucky to have escaped with such minor injuries). Still, some voters may wish to vent their spleen on Bercow for the ‘flipping’ of his second home. Perhaps we could therefore see Farage take 20% of the vote. UKIP are likely to outperform the BNP candidate Lynne Mozar by some distance, as being deep Tory country, UKIP’s primarily Eurosceptic conservative stance is likely to appeal more to traditional Conservative supporters than the BNP’s more egalitarian nationalist programme.

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