Ten candidates are standing for the vacancy. Whilst in other circumstances Ann Widdecombe would be a good choice the fact that she is standing down at the next election in my view disqualifies her. I understand that Reading West MP is managing the campaign for John Bercow, which will probably be the kiss of death for Bercow on the Conservative benches.
As I have posted before (7 Feb) my preference would be for Sir Alan Haselhurst. He has a track record in the chair and would bring some gravitas and competence back to the Speakership which has been missing of late. Sir Alan is also one of the few candidates that has been nominated by Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem MPs. It should not be forgotten that one very sensible convention is that the Speaker should command support from all sides of the House of Commons. A Speaker chosen by the Labour majority would not therefore be wise when the House has so much to do to recover respect in the nation.
However, changing the Speaker is only the start of the process. MPs must not see this as a panacea for their problems. Serious reform of the expenses system must be undertaken as a matter of urgency and never again must the culture of secrecy be allowed to cover up MPs lining their own pockets at tax-payers’ expense.