In horse racing terms the favourite got off to a good start with the advantage of a lighter handicap (from MPs and journalistic pals, you understand) but soon began to flag badly, and it was just as well for him that the race was a sprint and not a steeplechase because the challenger was gaining on him fast by the home straight. I never believed the hype about a 60:40 lead. If the course had been a week longer, I believe the favourite would have lost.
But the ballots have been counted, and under the rules of the course the favourite won by a short nose.
Congratulations Nick, say I. The members have made their choice: you are the leader now. I’m following! This is the start of the real race.