Speaker Bercow retains Buckingham seat

John Bercow and Dave Fowler

John Bercow and Dave Fowler

  • Speaker John Bercow re-elected
  • Large number of spoilt ballot papers
  • UKIP come second, Greens third
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The votes have been counted and verfied and John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons has retained his Westminster seat.

Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats did not stand against Mr Bercow, because of his Speaker role.

But he faced opposition from UKIP’s David Fowler and Green Party candidate Alan Francis.

The lack of choice for Buckingham constituency voters has been a hot topic in the run up to yesterday’s general election – and the large number of spoilt ballot papers hints at a protest by constituents against the convention.

Heres how the election played out:

Turn out: 71%

John Bercow

John Bercow

Spoiled ballot papers: 1,289

John Bercow (Independent): 34,617

Dave Fowler (UKIP): 11,675

Alan Francis (The Green Party): 7,400

The last point on which I want to focus because I think it would be almost surreal not to mention it is the number of spoilt ballot papers. And the evidence and widespread base of concern that exists about the treatment of the Speaker’s seat

John Bercow

Speaking after his victory Mr Bercow said: “It’s an old fashioned truism that we say the words thank you too rarely.

“And it ought to be a general principle in public life to say thank you more often and with sincerity, so I would like to thank you John (returning officer) and all of your staff.”

He added:” To all of you that have made tonight possible thank you, and to those of you who have come along in support of whichever candidate, or out of general interest, I hope you found it worthwhile.”

Mr Bercow also thanked his political opponents and addressed the issue of the Speaker convention, which means that the three main parties do not stand against him.

He said: “The last point on which I want to focus because I think it would be almost surreal not to mention it is 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 spoilt ballot papers.”