- Ming: good content, below par delivery. This election is Ming’s to lose. We know that when he is good he is very, very good, but it has been disappointing that he has been so tepid so far. Someone in his team needs to read him the riot act.
- Simon: if I didn’t have strong reservations about Simon’s positioning and his chaotic and autocratic style which I observed first hand while we were both on the Federal Executive, this speech would have really tempted me. It will have tempted ordinary members as well. I said last week that the media were underestimating Simon and thus far I have been proven right (crucially, the punters would seem to agree).
- Chris: a very awkward style to start with that relaxed as he went on. Content was the strongest of the four by far. He needs to come across as more relaxed and more jovial.
- Mark: I can’t deny that his decision to ditch the podium was a good move. Fortunately however, he then went on to hide behind the podium again half way through (like his inability to decide whether he was in favour or opposed to the Lib Dems’ policy on the 50p income tax rate, it could be that this was a deliberate tactic on his part, designed to play well to both the anti- and pro-podium factions yet satisfying neither). Thus we found ourselves in the bizarre position of him making the best first half speech and the worst second half speech of the four. Utterly content free which a number of people commented on.
Most people I spoke to seemed to be either Ming or Chris supporters, with support growing for Chris. Whatever happens I think both camps have a lot of regard for each other. Simon didn’t seem to have much of an entourage to speak of, while Oaten was surrounded by acolytes, with Lembit minding him the whole time. The body language of the Oaten camp did look very much like it was under siege however.
Clearly my suggestion that he might pull was wide of the mark, and I can’t see him pulling out now. I am totally unclear however what he hopes to achieve. At least two Oaten supporters I spoke to today were predicting that their man would now come fourth, but were sticking to him out of loyalty to Lembit. This begs the question: why on earth didn’t Lembit stand in the first place? They could yet swap and turn this shower around. That would really upset the apple cart.
Lembit: you were banging on about taking risks all day on Saturday. Isn’t it time you put your money where your mouth is? There is nothing to be gained by flogging this dead horse.
And no, that most certainly isn’t an endorsement! 🙂