If I had a vote, I would have voted for the bicycling baronet, Sir George Young. And that was before he made what was widely regarded as the best speech of the ten candidates. I would have voted for Sir George nine years ago as well. Although it was a secret ballot, there seems to be an assumption that most Conservatives shared my opinion. But this evening, John Bercow was elected the new Speaker. Sir George had to be satisfied with the runner-up spot again. I expect commentators to describe this result as a victory for Labour. I do not expect many of tomorrow's newspapers to write approvingly of this result.
If the contest had been held after the next General Election, Sir George Young may well have won. But it wasn't. MPs effectively forced the previous speaker to step down - and we are where we are. Politics has always been laced with irony. Whatever, there is nothing to be done now but to line up behind John Bercow and wish him all the best. But it doesn't change my opinion that the public will have no faith or confidence in our Parliament until they have had their say in a general election.