Why Bercow won't be defeated

The press is wrong to hype up Ukip's chances.

Today's Times excitedly reports that the former Tory donor Stuart Wheeler, who was kicked out of the party for donating £100,000 to the UK Independence Party, plans to donate another £100,000 to help the former Ukip leader Nigel Farage unseat the Speaker, John Bercow.

Wheeler, who made his millions through spread betting, apparently believes that if Ukip wins any seat in the Commons, it will be Bercow's.

In fact, Ukip is particularly unlikely to win Bercow's Buckingham, not least because it's the safest Conservative seat in the country. At the 2005 election, he won with a majority of 18,129; boundary changes have notionally increased this to 19,660.

Much as the press is desperate to hype this contest, there is no chance of Bercow being defeated. Contrary to reports, this isn't one of the seats to watch at the election.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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The Deep Dive podcast: Mandates and Manifestos

The New Statesman's Deep Dive podcast.

Ian Leslie and Stewart Wood return for another episode of the Deep Dive. This time they're plunging into the murky world of election promises with Catherine Haddon, resident historian at the Institute of Government. Together they explore what an electoral mandate means, what a manifesto is for, and why we can't sue the government when they fail to keep their promises.

Plus: Rant or Rave? Find out which podcasts have had our hosts on tenterhooks.

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