A very senior member of the Labour party has told me that the party, almost en masse, will be voting for Bercow. It means they can do the honourable thing and vote for a Conservative and not be seen to be partisan, "because Bercow's not really a Conservative anyway".
He said that the reason Michael Martin had failed was because he had become isolated, he had no friends. The reason Labour wont vote for Frank is because, he reckons, Frank is already isolationist and has no friends and therefore is already out of touch with the House.
I asked him how that logic worked as John Bercow could be described as isolationist also. "Ah, yes, but that doesn't matter because he's a Tory"?
And that's the way they really are thinking. Front runners often fall by the wayside, and I suspect it will be so with Bercow. I was at university at the same time as him - I was at UEA while he was at Essex. I've always found him to be very good company and very passionate about the things he believes in. But as he has undertaken his political journey most Tories just don't know where they stand with him. One day he's being right wing, the next day you'd think he had already defected. People allege that his left wing wife is behind his change from right wing ranter who believed in repatriation of immigrants to someone who passionately believes in increasing the aid budget. Whatever the truth, Tories just don't trust him. And trust is something which is a pre requisite for a successful Speaker.
I don't believe John Bercow will win. But if he does, he can expect to be challenged for the job at the beginning of the next Parliament. Unless, of course, he does a far better job than most people expect he might.
My own view is that the next Speaker possibly hasn't even been mentioned yet. All the current possibles have too many downsides. I shall be returning to this tomorrow.