Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Paxman test

Despite asking why the Labour deputy candidates chose to do a Newsnight debate I still watched it, and I considered doing a complicated analysis of their performance. But instead I borrowed an idea from Where It Stands and tried to figure out where they sat in audience perceptions of them on three continua.
Firstly, and the real Paxman test, how relaxed where they. Jon Cruddas seemed incredibly laid back; Hazel Blears as Party Chairman quite uptight and defensive, but she did have to field awkward questions such as how to avoid the party leader being accused of selling honours for donations. Hilary Benn I thought came across as being quite nervous. The classic question, 'if you were not standing who would you vote for', only Cruddas dared answer: indicative?
In terms of who they seemed to be speaking to, most focused naturally on their electorate: the party. Cruddas, however, was most populist. He wanted to be just party leader not Deputy Prime Minister, possibly a message to the party, but wholeheartedly supported the party apologising for the Iraq War. Harman supported him and seemed to be courting the female vote in general. Blears and Peter Hain were party animals throughout, from my perception, and Alan Johnson seemed to have the role as Blair's standard bearer.

In terms of radicalism there was a lot of safety in their responses, the eyes seemed more towards what Gordon might think I felt. Only Jon Cruddas stood out in his appeal to the anti-Blair, anti-New Labour segment of both party and broader electorate.

Does this tell us anything about who will win, mmmm! It depends on what the party want from the deputy and what their thinking is. If they want a Blairite then it will be Johnson. If they want safety they have a lot of choice. But if it is a radical who may be able to mark a break with the past Cruddas emerged as that man with Harman a close second. But that all depends. Although about as scientific as the next man or woman's opinion, if perceptions count, and my readings and decodings match those of the Unionists and Labour members then I await the next poll with interest.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Jon Cruddas is going to win.