The news that Nigel Farage survived a plane crash earlier today prompted a sick thought. (I should immediately say that I am hugely relieved that Nigel Farage survived and that his pilot may not have been as badly injured as at first feared – I may not like Farage’s politics but he is certainly a lively adornment to political discourse.)
The sick thought was that had he been killed the election in the Buckingham constituency would have been void and would have had to be re-run. This would have meant that John Bercow would definitely not have been returned to Parliament in time for the first session of the House of Commons on 18th May when the first business will be the election of the Speaker.
I have no idea if the procedural textbooks would have provided a solution allowing Speaker Bercow to be reelected in absentia. However, I am sure those many Conservative MPs who seem to have an abiding hatred of Speaker Bercow would have not been able to resist the temptation to elect an alternative.
Now they’ll have to wait and see who it is that the electors of Buckingham return tonight.