Those influences to which we alluded last week as only
too powerful at Bridgwater, have apparently prevailed to give a triumph—we hope only temporary—to the Conservative candidate, Mr. Patton. Mr. Bagehot kept his opponent at a distance till one o'clock, but later in the day those voters who hang back till the last came up, and placed Mr. Patton in a majority of eight, the numbers being 301 for Mr. Patton, and 293 for Mr. Bagehot. The contest was an unusually close one, as Mr. West- ropp, the last Conservative candidate, who was unseated for bri- bery, beat Mr. Kinglake, the first of the Liberals, by 71 votes.
Mr. Bagehot's speeches were exceedingly lively and telling, and a curious contrast to Mr. Patton's, who, on the hustings at least, appeared to have little to say, except personal invective against his opponent and enthusiastic approval of the tax on pepper, which Mr. Gladstone has just removed. In his speeches to his own supporters Mr. Bagehot exposed very ably the insincerities of Parliament about Reform. There is a certain class of members of Parliament at this moment who are in favour of every sort of reform they are not asked to vote for, but not of any reform which they are asked to vote for ; they say, 'We cannot vote for that, we will vote for almost anything but that.' But if you try them with scheme No. 2, they say, 'Why, this is worse than the first ; we really must reject this too.'"