‘MPs turn to Twitter to talk to voters’ shouts the headline on the Daily Telegraph site today. If the august, if conservative (small ‘c’) columns of the Telegraph are saying it then it must be so. Well it aint. Yes there are lots of MPs on Twitter now, if you call just over a hundred out of 646 MPs a lot.
Taking its most of the stats from Tweetminster the Telegraph also notes that John Prescott has over 13,000 followers (at the time of publication it was actually slightly under). Hardly enough to guarantee a Labour landslide. With months to go before the US presidential election the candidates were counting their online support in terms of many hundreds of thousands. Most MP candidates have a few hundred followers. In fact @Election10 beats a lot of them hands down. The online influence of bloggers like Guido is far greater than any MP or parliamentary prospect.
There are only weeks to go and whilst the web will undoubtedly play a bigger part than ever before it’s not the MPs who will be setting the agenda, least of all with their paltry twitter followings.
According to Martin Bryant writing in The Next Web, the DIY David Cameron site covered in this parish a few days ago briefly overtook both the US Republican and Democrat web sites in terms of traffic, making it possibly the most popular political site in the world, for a brief time. Read the full story on The Next Web.
It has become a feature of UK general elections for parties to demonize (remember Tony Blair and his Demon Eyes or Hague in a Thatcher wig?) the leaders of the opposing parties in poster campaigns. Now we can all have a go. One place where you can get started is the ‘Make Your Own David’ application at AndyBarefoot.com. He doesn’t support Labour or the Conservatives. LibDem then. There have been over 30,000 versions so far. We rather like this interpretation that was drawn to our attention by the Sunday Times columnist, India Knight. To view a selection of the best posters go to mydavidcameron.com.
John Bercow MP has been elected Speaker of the House of Commons to succeed Michael Martin who resigned from the post in June as a result of a lack of parliamentary and public confidence arising from the expenses scandal. He was the first Speaker to be forced out of office for over 300 years.
Bercow was elected on the third ballot of a secret ballot, the first time such a sytem has been used for the election of a Speaker. The final round of the ballot was between Bercow and Sir George Young MP. John Bercow led in all three rounds of the ballot.
The Speaker receives a salary of £72,862 per annum.
The final vote in the third ballot was
- John Bercow MP 322 votes
- Sir George Young MP 271 votes
John Bercow MP (221 votes)
Sir George Young MP (174 votes)
Margaret Beckett MP (70 votes)
Alan Haselhurst MP (57 votes)
Sir Alan Beith MP (46 votes)
Ann Widdecombe MP (30 votes)
Ann Widdecombe is eliminated, Margaret Beckett, Alan Haselhurst and Sir Alan Beith have withdrawn.
Through to the Second Round
- John Bercow MP (179 votes)
- Sir George Young MP (112 votes)
- Margaret Beckett MP (74 votes)
- Alan Haselhurst MP (66 votes)
- Sir Alan Beith MP (55 votes)
- Ann Widdecombe MP (44 votes)
- Parmjit Dhanda MP (26 votes)
- Richard Shepherd MP (15 votes)
- Sir Patrick Cormack MP (13 votes)
- Sir Michael Lord MP (9 votes)
Margaret Beckett MP Labour
Sir Alan Beith MP Liberal Democrat
John Bercow MP Conservative
Sir Patrick Cormack MP Conservative
Parmjit Dhanda MP Labour
Sir Alan Haslehurst MP Conservative
Sir Michael Lord MP Conservative
Richard Shepherd MP Conservative
Ann Widdecombe MP Conservative
Sir George Young MP Conservative
The voting begins after the candidates give a short election address in the House of Commons at 2.30pm. A series of secret ballots will take place until one candidate has a majority of the votes.