Buckingham

2015 Result:
Conservative: 0 (0%)
Labour: 0 (0%)
Lib Dem: 0 (0%)
Green: 7400 (13.8%)
UKIP: 11675 (21.7%)
Speaker: 34617 (64.5%)
MAJORITY: 22942 (42.7%)

Category: Safe Speaker seat

Geography: South East, Buckinghamshire. Part of Aylesbury Vale council area and two wards from the Wycombe council area.

Main population centres: Buckingham, Winslow, Princes Risborough.

Profile: The constituency is made up of the patchwork of affluent villages in the Buckinghamshire countryside, covering most of the Vale of Aylesbury besides Aylesbury itself. Buckingham itself is a small market town, home to the first private university in the UK. Other population centres include the town of Winslow, Princes Risborough and villages such as Cuddington, Haddenham, Ludgershall, Stewkley and Steeple Claydon..

Politics: Rural Buckinghamshire is a rock solid Tory bulwark, the Conservative equivalent of Bootle or the Welsh Valleys for Labour. In the 1960s a seat of the same name was held by Labour (represented by newspaper publisher Robert Maxwell) but that was a very different seat which included Milton Keynes within its boundaries, the current seat could never be expected to vote Labour. The current MP John Bercow was elected Speaker in 2009 and Labour and the Liberal Democrats observed the rather intermittent convention of not contesting the Speakers seat at the 2010 election. Instead John Bercow was opposed by a selection of minor parties and independents - most successful amongst them Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP who was injured in a plane crash on the day of the election, and John Stevens, the former Conservative MEP whose campaign sent a man dressed as a dolphin to persue Bercow during the campaign to draw attention to him allegedly "flipping" his home to claim expenses.


Current MP
JOHN BERCOW (-) Born 1963, Edgware. Educated at Finchley Manorhill School and Essex University. Former merchant banker and special advisor. Lambeth councillor 1986-1990. Contested Motherwell 1987, Bristol South 1992. First elected as MP for Buckingham in 1997. Shadow Chief Secretary 2001-2002, Shadow Secretary of state for Work and Pensions 2002. Shadow secretary of state for international development 2003-2005. Speaker of the House of Commons since 2009. Bercow has undergone a remarkable transition across the political spectrum - as a student he was a member of the right-wing Monday club, and secretary of their immigration and repatriation section, when first elected he was a combatative right-winger, however in later years he mellowed, expressing more liberal and left wing views and resigning from the frontbench under Iain Duncan Smith over the issue of gay rights. He was elected Speaker in 2009, supposedly largely on the back of support from Labour MPs.
Past Results
2010
Con: (0%)
Lab: (0%)
LDem: (0%)
UKIP: 8401 (17%)
Oth: 39934 (83%)
MAJ: 12529 (26%)
2005*
Con: 27748 (57%)
Lab: 9619 (20%)
LDem: 9508 (20%)
UKIP: 1432 (3%)
MAJ: 18129 (38%)
2001
Con: 24296 (54%)
Lab: 10971 (24%)
LDem: 9037 (20%)
UKIP: 968 (2%)
MAJ: 13325 (29%)
1997
Con: 24594 (50%)
Lab: 12208 (25%)
LDem: 12175 (25%)
Oth: 421 (1%)
MAJ: 12386 (25%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

Demographics
2015 Candidates
DAVE FOWLER (UKIP) Plumber.
ALAN FRANCIS (Green) Contested Milton Keynes North 2010.
JOHN BERCOW (Speaker Seeking Re-election) See above.
Links
Comments - 449 Responses on “Buckingham”
  1. Bercow now says he isn’t retiring after all. Or rather he said in an interview, rather than informing the House.

  2. The BBC’s Andrew Neil Show is to be revived for a few weeks, on Wednesday 7pm on BBC2 until 31st October.

  3. CCHQ have confirmed that Buckingham Cons will begin selecting a PPC this month.

  4. It’s incorrect to sat there’s no precedent for this. Bernard Weatherill’s Croydon NE seat was contested by Labour at elections in the 80s and he won comfortably (which he certainly wouldn’t have done in that area today}. Moreover he wasn’t a controversial figure, unlike the present incumbent.

  5. say…..

  6. Ironically Weatherill was a founder member of “Better Off Out”, back in the early 2000s when the idea of leaving the EU completely was seen as wacky and fewer than 5 Tory MPs publicly supported it. So were he to have been Speaker during Brexit he may well have been just as controversial as Bercow is today, though he may well not have been so footloose with convention.

  7. Bercow has announced that he is to stand down as Speaker on 31 Oct. He will stand down earlier if MPs vote for a GE tonight (can’t see that happening).

  8. Is he standing down as an MP as well? I heard the “Speaker not opposed at election” again….I don’t regard the 1980s as that long ago! Probably a speaker has never been opposed by the party for which he was originally elected, which is a different point.

  9. Standing down as an MP as well.

    Assuming his replacement is Lindsay Hoyle I was trying to get my head around the dynamics of a semi marginal like Chorley being knocked out of the equation.

    I don’t think Chorley is that marginal right now, perhaps partly down to a personal vote (and wasn’t as leave as some areas around it) but I guess Labour would have had to put the work in there which can now be spent in Rossendale or Bolton or wherever.

  10. Apologies – it’s now 50 MPs standing down so far.

    I omitted to spot Prisk, Hurd, Blackman Woods, Lamb.

    Continuing the pattern of safe Tory gifts – such as here – for those on the List compared with uncertainties making up the majority of the 24 Labour retirees.

  11. Mmm…..not sure when MPs have been complaining they’ve been denied time to debate it’s a good look to spend an hour and a half sending “platitudes” (I think the MP meant plaudits) to Bercow.
    Laura K made the same point so it’s not just a leaver remark.

  12. I’ll be very pleased he’s finally gone. Failure to control properly MPs behaviour, over the top behaviour, irritating mini speeches and often extraordinary decisions informed hugely by his enthusiasm for REMAIN.

  13. What a surprising and refreshing perspective from Derpthroat there. I especially the tabloidy use of CAPITALS to ram home the point to us imbeciles.

  14. There’s just been a scuffle next to the Speaker.

    Lloyd Russell Moore has been reported. It looked as if he tried to block the Speaker from leaving for prorogation and an attendant fell over him.

    Police have just removed protestors from the Chamber.

  15. ‘I’ll be very pleased he’s finally gone. ‘

    Whilst I have little time (actually make that no time) for his attention-seeking and appallingly behaved wife, I think Bercow himself has actually been quite a good speaker, certainly the most visible that I can remember

    Whilst he could be accused of being slightly biased, I always think the real reason so many Tories disliked him is because he moved from the far Right of the Tory Party to its centre left, and others who have made that journey (Howarth, Portillo) have attracted equal scorn

  16. TJ: “Bercow has been quite a good speaker, certainly the most visible.”

    And herein lies the problem. In sport, it is often said that the referee has failed if he becomes the story. Bercow became the story far too many times, even if I often agreed with his controversial judgements, it was not within his remit to make them.

    Plus everyone’s glossed over the bullying stuff…

  17. I started out detesting Bercow, I’ve warmed to him this past year, though still find his patronising manner and rudeness a turn off. This probably proves Polltroll’s point that he was the wrong person to become Speaker. He was wrong IMO to reveal his EU referendum vote and to speak his mind on Trump.

  18. “I always think the real reason so many Tories disliked him is because he moved from the far Right of the Tory Party to its centre left, and others who have made that journey (Howarth, Portillo) have attracted equal scorn”

    Pete Whitehead of this parish used to be friends with Bercow when he was a councillor in Streatham in the 1980s. I imagine they wouldn’t be on speaking terms now.

    To be fair to Portillo, he has modernised his outlook a bit based on age and experience, not repudiated his whole former life as Bercow and Howarth did. He’s still staunchly anti EU for example.

  19. PT – thankfully Chris Cook (formerly of Newsnight) just went on the bullying stuff on BBC2.

    As well as Beckett et al saying stopping Brexit is more important than bullying.

    He also listed the covering up of claims re Vaz and a few other MPs and the fact public funds were used to pay staff under NDAs and that Bercow then used privilege to deny documents to Newsnight re the investigations into MPs (in the same way Michael Martin initially did re their expenses).

  20. ‘To be fair to Portillo, he has modernised his outlook a bit based on age and experience, not repudiated his whole former life as Bercow and Howarth did. He’s still staunchly anti EU for example.’

    I was surprised and disappointed by how staunchly Portillo was in favour of Brexit although he quickly won me back onside when he said Chris Grayling was the worst cabinet member in the history of British politics – a point nobody could contest

  21. The number (51) of MPs standing down is now higher than in 2017.

    Bill Grant, Treddinick & Nick Boles were the ones I had missed, making it 21 apiece for those elected as Cons & Lab.

    Still an awful lot over 70 who haven’t said either way as of yet so it could well still rise a lot.

  22. Skinner surely – his best chance of ensuring a left wing successor – unless he really thinks the Tories could take the seat without him.

  23. I’ve just checked and of the oldest 10 MPs, all are Labour except Ken Clarke.

    D Skinner 87
    A Clwyd 82
    G Robinson* 81
    B Sheerman 80
    K Hopkins 78
    J Cunningham* 78
    F Field 77
    M Beckett 76
    R Campbell* 76

    M Hodge 75
    P Bottomley 75
    G Davies* 75
    L Ellman 73
    K Hoey* 73
    D Crausby 73
    A Bailey 73
    M Rimmer 72
    V Sharma 72
    S Pound* 71
    J Dromey 71
    P Latham 71
    J Corbyn 70
    B Stewart 70
    D Evenett
    G Knight 70
    M Moon 69
    R Cooper 69

    * expected to stand down

    Apologies if I omitted any other over 70s (but should just be those already standing down such as Rother Valley).

  24. Interesting facts ty.

    Approx 4%. One could make a case that over 70s are UNDER represented in HoC! The % of over 70s in the UK population is 12%*

    *ONC 22Aug2018

  25. What nonsense. You don’t have to be 90 to know what they want.

    On that basis you’d have 48 MPs with convictions and 30 with dementia.

  26. Prorogation is to take place in a few hours time until the Queen’s Speech, next week.

  27. Looking at the ConHome list of Tory candidates, I see a rightwinger got this seat for life. Greg Hands was a leading light in YCs/CF and then ran a Council in London.

    Likewise a rightwinger (Danny Kruger) in Devizes.

    There’s a few ex-MPs bidding to make comebacks including in Enfield Southgate, Lincoln and 4 others.

    I was pleased to see the lad who won the Kingstanding by-election 5 years ago, Gary Sambrook, listed as the Tory PPC in Bham Erdington.

    But the list is still overrepresented by the usual London Cllrs and the connected (daughter of Brandreth and even a Coutinho were amongst the list in safe seats).

    There’s a few who deserve to win based on effort eg the guy bidding to make Barrow third time lucky.

  28. Lancs Observer, I think you mean Greg Smith. His biography on the Buckingham Conservative Association website shows him to be a Leaver (and takes up the usual causes for this area, such as opposing HS2). I’m not sure how well this will go down here. I think Buckingham voted for Remain in 2016, and is quite an international town, having the UK’s first private university (I am a graduate), some of whose students have settled in the town, as it is close to Milton Keynes and the motor racing factories based on Silverstone. Also, while Winslow and the rural areas are solidly Conservative, Buckingham itself is close. Labour usually win District councillors, and were close in one of the County Council divisions in 2017.

  29. Tbf Buckingham Tories selected a rightwing Eurosceptic 20 years ago so maybe they’ll get a genuine one this time. Yes, sorry I meant Smith [the ex YC and ex-council leader]

    Don’t forget that Bercow is unusual in that he actually achieved a higher % as a Tory than as the Speaker.

    So the Tory share is always going to be huge here, especially as it’s their first chance to do so in over a decade.

  30. Incidentally, I just spotted that a dozen MPs under 50 are retiring!

    Some of these look so much older than their years: Gauke 48, Rory 46, Woodcock 41, Ian Austin 54, Bercow 56.

    Hoey looks years younger (she’s 73).

  31. Kate Hoey looks pretty ancient to me.

    Two people who look significantly younger than their age: Priti Patel and Seamus Milne. Both could comfortably pass for 10 years younger. Milne is particularly impressive as he’s a skinny blond…not the type that ages well.

  32. I suspect Priti Patel has had botox. That would also help explain her much-commented-upon smirk.

  33. Good call, but she hasn’t overdone it (yet) and has great skin, hair and bone structure. The smirk is more to do with Priti being very, very pleased with herself, Polltroll.

  34. Milne looks awful up close (a smoker who hasn’t slept presumably).

  35. The Brexit Party have stood down in all 300 Tory seats.

    So I think they may only field 200 candidates.

    As they had already done local deals and stood down in Birkenhead plus 30.

  36. Massive news today from Farage. This is far more significant tgan the Remoaner Pact announced last week. In that case it was really just 700 green votes transferring to 3rd placed Lib dems in most seats. But this Brexit pact is involving significant votes possibly going to the Tories.
    Good news for Brexiteers.

  37. “she hasn’t overdone it (yet) and has great skin, hair and bone structure”

    I think Tristan might actually be Gok Wan

  38. “Massive news today from Farage. This is far more significant tgan the Remoaner Pact announced last week. In that case it was really just 700 green votes transferring to 3rd placed Lib dems in most seats. But this Brexit pact is involving significant votes possibly going to the Tories.”

    No doubt, it will help the Tories minimise Lib Dem gains in the south and perhaps hold off the SNP in some Scottish seats.

    However the Brexit Party could still get in the way of the Tories winning the Grimsbys and Stokes that they need for a majority.

    By the way Shaun – I’m surprised you haven’t cropped up as a PPC for one of the Stoke seats….as one of the relatively few long-time genuinely local Stoke Tories I’d have thought you would have had a good chance (IIRC you are from Stoke South and the Tory MP there is I think a fair bit younger than you).

  39. I’ve met him actually (friend of a friend of a friend scenario). He’s alright…I certainly wouldn’t say no to his bank balance.

    Huge boost for Johnson today (not that it was particularly needed).

  40. “I’ve met him actually (friend of a friend of a friend scenario). He’s alright…I certainly wouldn’t say no to his bank balance.”

    I think his phrasing has definitely rubbed off on you a bit (oo-er).

    Unlike Alan Carr and Graham Norton who really get on my nerves, Gok seems likeable and talented, perhaps he’s frustrated to have been put in the same annoyingly camp bracket as them.

    Re Priti – agreed she looks great, her voice is horrible though and it turns me against her even if I often sympathise with her quite hardline stance on matters criminal (not matters Brexit).

  41. “No doubt, it will help the Tories minimise Lib Dem gains in the south and perhaps hold off the SNP in some Scottish seats.”

    I actually think people are making too much of potential lib dem gains in the south. I don’t think its going to be as widespread as people think. They may end up with around 30 seats in my opinion. They will lose probably all of the defector seats and gains will include seats like NE Fife, Ceredigion, Leeds NW, Bermondsey, Cambridge which of course are not Tory seats to begin with.
    There will be some inroads in Remoaner areas, like Cheltenham probably. But most of the south will remain blue.

    “However the Brexit Party could still get in the way of the Tories winning the Grimsbys and Stokes that they need for a majority”

    Perhaps. But i am relaxed actually. I think the impact will be minimal in the Tory targets like the ones you mention. Its the safer Labour seats where Brexit party will do the damage. And they are welcome to try for them.

    “By the way Shaun – I’m surprised you haven’t cropped up as a PPC for one of the Stoke seats”

    Well who knows what might happen later in my life. But i am currently content being a city councillor.

  42. “There will be some inroads in Remoaner areas, like Cheltenham probably. But most of the south will remain blue.”

    This time, that’s probably right. But it may position the Lib Dems for bigger gains in the following election.

    “Well who knows what might happen later in my life. But i am currently content being a city councillor.”

    Actually being an MP doesn’t seem to be all it’s cracked up to be these days, given all the abuse etc.

  43. I may be alone on here in thinking that TBP not fighting this election seriously, will actually hurt the Tories.

    The Maths only tells 1/2 the story, though let’s start with that.

    In practice, TBP would have been taking as many votes from Labour as Conservative (as they did in 2015, i.e. UKIP then), and probably significantly more in seats where it matters this time, in the North especially.

    A lot of these are people who are otherwise Labour or WNV, but have made up their minds never to vote Tory.

    That said, if Farage & co put up a proper fight in the Labour heartlands in the North, Wales and Yorkshire, they may still have this net benefit for Tories.

    But the biggest loss from the point of view of the Tories, is the lost potential of Farage keeping Brexit front and centre as the overriding issue governing this vote.

    Farage may still be allowed onto the debate stage – after all, SNP and PC are expected to be there, standing in many fewer seats than TBP – but it’s a lot less likely he will be taken seriously now.

    Plus some of those potential Lab-TBP switchers will be turned off by Farage exclusively targeting Labour rather than the usual ‘plague on all your houses’ which included Tories

  44. The thing is, the Tories were already squeezing TBP hard, the latter have fallen as low as 5% in some recent polls, from the low teens a month ago. I’m inclined to agree with BT says that this is at best neutral for the Tories – a couple of points he didn’t mention.

    – Remain-voting centre-right folk will now be told “The Tories are The Brexit Party”.
    – Pro-Brexit tactical concessions encourage tit-for-tat anti-Brexit tactical concessions, which are probably more impactful.

  45. “Remain-voting centre-right folk will now be told “The Tories are The Brexit Party”.”

    You’d have to be pretty dense not to know that already, ever since Boris won the leadership.

    Boris getting a deal was a game-changer in this respect. Tory Remainers by-and-large believe in respecting the referendum as long as there is no crash out. Had Boris been angling for No Deal the LDs would have more fertile waters to fish in. Personally I would be OK with Boris getting a modest majority of 30-40, big enough to get a sensible deal through and to keep Corbyn out for 5 years, small enough to prevent him from being a dictator.

  46. Hemmy: how do you feel about the following scenario?

    Tories win a small majority next month, the parliament plays out much like 1992-97 as the party tears itself to pieces. Labour, no longer under Jeremy Corbyn but led by someone younger who shares most of his philosophy, cruise to a majority in 2024 and are a hegemonic power in British politics for as long as it takes the Tories to re-establish what their place in the modern world is.

  47. A hard left winger would not have cruised to a majority in 1997 and is unlikely to do so in 2024. At the head of a messy rainbow coalition or minority administration, maybe, but for any Labour leader to get a comfortable majority will require them to make piece with middle England. That will be even more so if Scotland leaves the UK.

  48. I might add that I think some of the less batshit crazy elements of the Corbyn programme will almost certainly come to fruition in the medium term, eg

    Reducing student fees / debt
    Rent control / regulating landlords
    More council houses
    Levelling the playing field for the young
    Green New Deal

    But they are most likely to be stolen by the Tories or enacted by a more centrist leader, as a hard left majority Labour government is pretty unelectable.

  49. I tend to agree with Shaun.

    HH – I understand it’s actually 350 they’re not standing in in GB, so I assume the rest must be unofficial local deals, eg Birkenhead, Bury plus 30 [The BOO lot have certainly held meetings].

    BT – Prof Curtice was just on BBC saying that UKIP took 2 Tory votes for every 1 Labour vote in 2015.

    But I take your point re 2017: although I think it will have the opposite result to your thinking in 2019. Bxt P taking eg 2,000 Labour votes from 2017 per seat will aid the Tories in Grimsby, Stoke, Derby etc with the Tory vote standing still or even falling by 1,000. ie the Bxt Party are a useful outlet for voters who would never vote Tory but are essentially rightwing Northerners. The largest fall in the Labour vote appears to be in these areas. Obviously it won’t affect the outcome in Knowsley but could in Weaver Vale, Chester, EP & N, C & N and 30 other seats that spring to mind ie they are marginal but each contain a rock solid Labour ward. Indeed those wards are the reason that Knowsley, Southport, Halton etc voted Leave – not the middle class Tory parts of the seats (which went Remain).

  50. HH – true, but I’d argue they were Tory policies first.

    It’s actually been the Tories who have brought in new laws to regulate landlords, ban viewing and renewal fees – and s21 is set to be abolished allowing more secure tenure in the private rental sector.

    Tory policy in 2005 was to abolish fees and the only councils I’m aware of who plan to build more council houses are Tory (Bolton). IIRC the first in the UK were actually in Liverpool under the Tories.

    Take up has been poor, but those on UC or Tax Credits can actually earn 25% pa in interest in a Help to Save account and Raab proposed raising the personal allowance further to take the low paid out of income tax.

    I think the above policies – from the David Davis/Andrew Percy wing of the Tory party – would be real vote winners but it’s rare for working class Tories to be in the Cabinet and influence policy. I realise there’s faux attempts but these tend to actually come from ex-public school Esther and Jake Berry et al who wouldn’t know a blue collar issue.

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