ELECTION 2015: John Bercow addresses spoilt ballot papers issue after election victory

General election 2015 counts at The Gateway, Aylesbury. The Buckingham count. John Bercow.

General election 2015 counts at The Gateway, Aylesbury. The Buckingham count. John Bercow.

  • 1,289 people spoilt their ballot papers in Buckingham election
  • John Bercow defends his position saying he didn’t make up the rules
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More than 1,000 people spoilt their ballot papers in the Buckingham election.

And re-elected MP John Bercow, who is Speaker of the House of Commons addressed the issue directly in his victory speech.

General election 2015 counts at The Gateway, Aylesbury. The Buckingham count. John Bercow and Dave Fowler.

General election 2015 counts at The Gateway, Aylesbury. The Buckingham count. John Bercow and Dave Fowler.

Because Mr Bercow is Speaker, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives will not stand against him.

This effectively means that more than 70,000 constituents cannot vote for the three main parties, and some claim that is stifles democracy.

Speaking after the result was announced at Aylesbury Vale District Council’s Gateway building in Aylesbury, Mr Bercow said: “I think it would be almost surreal not to mention the number of spoilt ballot papers. And the evidence and widespread base of concern that exists about the treatment of the Speaker’s seat.

“It wasn’t devised by me ladies and gentlemen, it’s not my convention, it wasn’t dreamt up for the benefit or disbenefit of the Buckingham parliamentary constituency, it’s a very long-standing convention.

“I know some people, a lot of people don’t like it and they think it denies them an adequate choice.

“Last time I said I would ask the house to look at this matter, and to consider alternatives, to weight up the pros and cons and see if we could fashion an arrangement that satisfied constituents and serve effectively the house.

“It is actually a lot easier to criticise the existing system , which you can do almost with a slogan, than it is to identify a credible and satisfactory alternative to it.

“That doesn’t mean however that effort shouldn’t be made and I certainly will ask my parliamentary colleagues to weigh in the balance the views that have been expressed by local people in spoiled ballot papers.”