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As most readers know, the Select Committee Chairmanships have been carved out among the parties, and tomorrow's elections for the posts will be cross-party. So Conservative MPs, for example, can vote for Labour candidates, and vice-versa. Jonathan has a list of those standing here.

A question follows: on what basis will Labour MPs vote for the Conservative candidates? Answer: it depends.  Some will support the best candidate.  Others will vote for the Conservative candidate seen to be the more left-wing of the two.

Such is the attachment on the Labour benches to climate change orthodoxy, for example, that large number of the Party's MPs are likely to line up behind Tim Yeo, the establishment candidate for the Energy and Climate Change committee.

In other cases, however, Labour MPs will surely ask: who's the candidate more likely to cause David Cameron trouble?  Or, if they've a more elevated turn of mind: who's the candidate more likely to stand up for the legislature against the executive?

In some cases, it's hard to tell.  For example, both candidates for the Treasury Select Committee Chairmanship, Michael Fallon and Andrew Tyrie, are independent-minded. But in others, it's easier to see who'd be more likely to give Downing Street a fit of the heebie-jeebies.

Step forward, then, Peter Bone – standing for the Chairmanship of the Health Select Committee – John Baron, contesting Foreign Affairs (Baron pursued Ministers energetically about Iraq during the last Parliament) and, in the Defence Select Committee poll, no fewer than three of the candidates: Julian Lewis, Patrick Mercer and, above all, Douglas Carswell (one half of the Carswell-Hannan "Cannon" dynamic duo).

If Carswell in particular wins (an unlikely event, but you never know), expect senior officials in the Ministry of Defence to start screaming and screaming, and be unable to stop…

So if any of the above are elected, take a long, hard look at the Labour benches for those responsible.

Official disclaimer: nothing in this article is to be read as an endorsement of any candidate, in any election, at any time, anywhere…

Paul Goodman

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