His long term of service in the House, his leadership of his party on its floor, his candidacy for the speakership, and his recent election to the United States Senate, marked him out as the available man.
At the opening of the Thirty-Fourth Congress the anti-Nebraska men gradually united in supporting Banks for speaker, and after one of the bitterest and most protracted speakership contests in the history of congress, lasting from the 3rd of December 1855 to the 2nd of February 1856, he was chosen on the 133rd ballot.
Nevertheless his opposition to the government became more and more pronounced, till in 1827 Lord Dalhousie refused to confirm his appointment to the speakership, and resigned his governorship when the house persisted in its choice.
His speakership continued till the 10th of April 1653, when the Long Parliament was summarily expelled.
His fair and judicial manner as president of the Senate, recognized even by his bitterest enemies, helped to foster traditions in regard to that position quite different from those which have become associated with the speakership of the House of Representatives.