In the spirit of Canning young Gladstone, speaking in the Union, had defended Catholic Emancipation, which after many years of conflict had been passed in 1829. Gladstone felt some misgivings at first, especially as the Duke had been a bitter enemy of Canning, whom the young man revered as his political ideal. Gladstone owed the opportunity for his maiden speech to a circumstance which, from the considered standpoint which he then occupied, was extremely advantageous, though nothing could have been more harmful to his future reputation. Gladstone received 887 votes, while his opponent had to be content with 726. In an election in which the Tories suffered defeat in all parts of the kingdom this was a remarkable result. Experienced Parliamentarians were astonished by the effective arguments, the sonorous voice and the rich vocabulary of the political novice.