Now in the light of the Elias report my gut instinct might have to be revised.
Here are some relevant paragraphs from his conclusions. Firstly, Aled Roberts
Accordingly, in the circumstances pertaining, I find that Aled Roberts did everything that he could have reasonably been expected to do in ensuring that he was not a disqualified person for the purpose of nomination or election to the National Assembly.So on the basis of that if Assembly Members were a jury they would have to vote for him to take up his place as a Member.
The case of John Dixon is somewhat different, he clearly did not behave with due diligence.
At the time of his selection as a candidate and immediately prior to signing his nomination form, John Dixon read the guidance provided to candidates by the Electoral Commission.
He agrees that he would have read the reference provided to the 2006 Disqualification Order and the additional caution.
He acknowledges that he had a responsibility to check the 2006 Order. He further acknowledges that at no time did he check the Order (either in its 2006 or 2010 form).
Perhaps because he was lulled into a false sense of security by his experiences in earlier elections, he honestly believed that he was eligible to be a member of the National Assembly.Now Keith Bush, the chief legal adviser to the National Assembly warns in his report that
the Assembly’s decisions on the motions seeking such resolutions in relation to Aled Roberts and John Dixon are quasi-judicial in nature and therefore subject to being challenged in the courts if not taken in accordance with correct legal principles
But nevertheless that's what they'll have to do. For if they don't, the decision can, and undoubtedly will, be challenged in the courts. In the light of this it would be sheer prejudice and party politics if a vote was not taken tomorrow to reinstate Aled Roberts.
So where does that leave things. An example, will be made of Dixon and he'll have to plough his political trade elsewhere. Roberts will be allowed into the club.
Politically, the Liberal Democrats should have known the rules and ensured that all their candidates complied with the regulations. The need to have a root and branch look at their organization.
But the body that has most egg on its face is the Electoral Commission, if they can't advise candidates properly about the rules, what are they for? Are they fit for purpose? Heads should roll.
Many Assembly Members are still of the opinion that the Liberal Democrats should have checked the rules of eligibility for all their candidates. They didn't, the rules were broken so goodbye Aled, welcome back Eleanor. These unconstucted AMs see the mitigation of Aled Roberts in the Elias report as a red herring. Their mantra continues to be "he broke the rules and should be punished."
How many hold this view is difficult to say but the arithmetic of the vote would indicate it's too close to call. My guess is that many will take the opportunity to take a tea break and abstentions could well save Aled Roberts's political skin.