John Bercow has announced that he will step down as Speaker of the House either on October 31st 2019 or before the next general election, whichever comes first. The search is now on for a suitable replacement and as stand, Sir Lindsay Hoyle is odds-on favourite to be next in the seat with William Hill Bookmakers going 4/5 that he will soon be shouting ‘Order’ at the assembled masses in the House of Commons.
Numerous other names remain very much in the frame with Harriet Harman’s odds being slashed from 4/1 earlier today to just 9/4 as things stand. Eleanor Laing is next in the betting at 10/1 while Chris Bryant is a 16/1 outsider to be appointed in the role. Jacob Rees-Mogg is 50/1 with William Hill after being widely mocked for sprawling across the benches during a parliamentary session last week.
Bercow’s decision to relinquish his position at this moment in time is hugely significant as Boris Johnson’s minority government won’t be able to install a candidate of their choice. Traditionally the speaker has alternated between the two main political parties, however these are turbulent times and this ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ may well count for nothing.
Nevertheless Labour candidates head the betting as things stand and the case for Lindsay Hoyle is pretty obvious given that he is currently deputy speaker and commands a great deal of respect in this role. He has made his desire to replace Bercow crystal clear and as such it is a banker that his name will be in the hat when the candidates are asked to come forward.
Harriet Harman has hinted in the past that she would be interested in becoming Speaker and she does have a wealth of experience in parliament in her roles as Acting Labour Leader and Leader of the Opposition. She has remained somewhat silent with regard to her Brexit leanings and as such she would be acceptable to both soft Brexiters and remainers.
As things stand it is hard to see past the two leading contenders, however as we’ve already witnessed during the past few months, these are strange times in parliament and it won’t be a shock should a bolter come out of the blue in the latter stages of the race.
Next House of Commons Speaker – William Hill Odds
4/5 – Lindsay Hoyle
9/4 – Harriet Harman
10/1 – Eleanor Laing
16/1 – Chris Bryant
25/1 – Frank Field
25/1 – Edward Leigh
33/1 – Owen Paterson
33/1 – Michael Fabricant
33/1 – Peter Bottomley
50/1 – Jacob Rees-Mogg
50/1 – Hilary Benn
50/1 – Angela Eagle
100/1 – Kate Hoey
100/1 – Boris Johnson