Seven candidates put themselves in front of the 1922. Three or four emerged as front runners ahead of David Amess, Henry Bellingham, and celebrity MP Nadine Dorries. Simon Burns and Eleanor Laing box and cox for first and second places. Third is Brian Binley or Gary Streeter.
Nadine’s manifesto commitments included an aspiration not to tweet from the chair. This didn’t go over as well as she’d hoped.
The Speaker has been rumoured to be backing Eleanor Laing – but latterly, in his infinite complexity, he is said to be backing Binley as well. Why? Because Binley is standing down, his replacement won’t have time to establish him or herself and challenge Charles Walker, the Speaker’s chosen son in his succession planning. Is the rumour true? It’s true there’s a rumour.
The candidates are presenting themselves to Labour’s PLP meeting on Monday. And it will be Labour votes that will decide the election to the £102,000 a year job. That’s a full house of Speaker office holders decided by Labour.
And her embarrassment factor may be Nadine’s only real electoral appeal.
Where are the Lib Dems? No one has come forward, after Alan Beith has faded from view. They could surely rely on 58 votes from their party…