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Question Time verdict Feb 09

I dont’ think there was a clear winner this week. Once again, the sheer fact that Chris Huhne was able to perform on an equal footing with two others who have been MPs much longer demonstrates that time spent in the Commons isn’t everything.

Campbell and Huhne were well matched, with Hughes further behind. Campbell benefited on Iraq from a couple of audience members who agreed with him, but it was telling that Huhne got a big cheer for mentioning the YouGov poll (on Dimbleby’s prompting) that put him in the lead.

Simon seemed caught out over some of his comments (although his team have already refuted that) and Ming was a bit too defensive about his “naive populism” remarks, snapping that he certainly didn’t say that…about Simon – before clarifying that he’d never say that about his colleagues. Both Campbell and Hughes cracked some ropey jokes.

I was happy with Chris’s performance and he remains my first choice. I think he came across as the most likeable and – to use the Kennedy criterion – the one I’d most want to have a drink with/be stuck in a lift with. Ming performed much more strongly than Simon and I will probably give him my second preference. I can see both Chris and Ming as successful leaders in their own ways; I find it hard to see Simon in that way any longer.

Scottish hustings are Sunday week. My ballot paper will be sent on its way shortly afterwards.

(Via Nick, some more comments. I agree about the walk-on…)

2 Responses

  1. 1

    Will, don’t beat about the bush. Simon told an outright lie. He denied making remarks which are *still* there on his website:

    If he’s going to resort to such tactics, he should at least be prepared to justify them when confronted about them. He should also maybe give some thought about what he’s going to say at a future General Election when the remarks are thrown back at him in relation to Chris or Ming.

  2. 2

    I was disappointed with the way simon seemed ill prepared for some obvious lines of attack from dimbleby. However i think you are slightly exaggerating. simon showed warmth, a bit of passion and got a lot of applause. I think if he put the sexuality flip flops behind him and submitted to a bit of discipline from the leaders office (which he has said he will do) then he could be a fine leader. However if I’m being honest having watched QT myself I was disappointed by the lack of domestic agenda items in general and yet again wondered what a clegg,laws, davey edition would have produced. If huhne wins in the end then you have to credit him for having the guts to stand and running a slick campaign