Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Better late than never

So, Michael Martin will step down as Speaker this afternoon in a statement in the Commons.

No confirmation yet on the timetable for his departure from the seat or whether he will return to the backbenches or step down from parliament entirely.

There are several options I guess:

1) He announces he will go at the end of the Parliamentary session - whenever Gordon Brown calls a General Election. Not exactly the favoured option of MPs who have lost all confidence in the man's ability to do his job.

2) He announces that he will stay on until a successor can be found - presumably just before the summer recess. Probably the smartest move - allowing time to select a new Speaker but would also mean ANOTHER summer Glasgow by-election for Labour to effectively defend.

3) He announces that he will go immediately. Nuclear option, which I don't believe he will go for - but it would be a "toys out of the pram" moment were he to do so.

Two big issues arise though: the vacancy for a new Speaker and a vacancy for an MP in Glasgow North-East.

The parties will be on election footing for both.


Vince Cable to win the Speakership. I think he has momentum and public support. As for the upcoming by-election... erm, I'm going to wait a wee while and have a think about it. Labour are not in a strong position, but it is a strongold area for them... but then again, so was Glasgow East.

Incisive analysis I know, but you get what you pay for!


The People's Program 19 May 2009 at 13:03  

The fact that this is unprecedented and occurred so quickly surprises me. Taking the poison pill was the right thing to do.

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