It is 25 years since The Spectator first began to recognise our better politicians with the annual Parliamentarian of the Year Awards. The inaugural winner of our main prize, the Parliamentarian of the Year award itself, was David Owen. Since then, the roll call of victors has grown to include John Smith, Nigel Lawson, Robin Cook, William Hague, John Major, Tony Blair and even, we must admit, Gordon Brown. The choices made by our judging panel of Westminster cognoscenti may not please all of the people, all of the time — but they are a reliable catalogue of the dominant players in modern British politics.
But the Spectator's judges won't be only people to get their say. For the past two years, we have asked readers to vote for a Readers’ Representative — the politician whom they believe has best represented the public interest that year. Douglas Carswell was the winner last year, Nadine Dorries the year before. But, this year, we are trying something different. To mark the quarter-century anniversary of the Parliamentarian of the Year Awards, we are seeking your votes for the Greatest Parliamentarian of the Last 25 Years. It might be one of the names mentioned above. It might not. All you have to do is click here and - in no more than 250 words - nominate your choice.
Throughout October, we’ll print a selection of the best nominations in the magazine each week. Then, on October 29th, the reader who has submitted the best-written nomination will be revealed. They will win two tickets to the 25th Parliamentarian Awards Dinner, a black-tie event that will be held in Chelsea's Royal Hospital Gardens on 17 November. At those awards we'll also announce which politician received the largest number of readers' nominations and they will be revealed as The Greatest Parliamentarian of the Last 25 Years.
Closing date for entries is Monday 25 October 2010, 5pm. Good luck.