Friday, February 10, 2006

The Futures's Bright - Picking the best candidate rather than the least worst

Over at Inner West, Simon Mollan writes:

So now that Oaten has bitten the dust, Hughes has imploded, and prostrated, and Huhne’s moose has been hollering, there is only one candidate now worth considering: Ming Campbell.

Actually , I disagree. Although I'm sticking with Chris as first choice, I think we still have three candidates worth considering.

Ming looks a better leader than he did a month ago, and certainly will be stronger for being elected rather than for being crowned. Simon may have imploded, but is recovering better than I expected, and performed best last night. I would still be nervous about Simon being leader, but when talking to residents I've noticed he sometimes gets support and sympathy from unexpected quarters.

Chris did look a bit too smug at times, but looked much better once he became more passionate. I think he would do better up against another party , rather than with other Lib Dems. I'd love to see him in a debate with Gordon Brown... and I don't see him floundering over tax policies at press conferences in the next general election campaign.

Calling him looking smug may be a little unfair. He's run a campaign that has taken him from invisibly dark horse to apparent frontrunner. If I was in his shoes, walking into that debate ahead in the latest opinion poll (however uncertain those figures may be), I think I'd have a slightly odd expression on my face. Consider how Ming did so badly at his first PMQs... Chris has run the best of the three / four campaigns, which should be a factor taken into account when deciding how to vote.

As the campaign has gone on, I think we are looking better and better as a party. The three of them together looked pretty impressive. A more convincing threesome than Blair, Prescott and Brown. And after Dunfermline...


Stephen Glenn said...

Considering I singularily missed all of the leadership candidates on all of their trip up to Dunfermline I can just say that on the reports I received both Simon, which did not surprise me, and Chris connected best with the volunteers on the campaign.

It was just sad not to see all three of them up there today for the celebrations, Chris's absence was obvious and sadly is something that a potential leader should have made a priority.

Aidan Brack said...

I'd agree vis a vis the apparent smugness - I think that was a mistake but it was eclipsed by mistakes from the other two candidates. The moment that Ming truely lost it for me (although I'd already written in Simon 2nd preference by this point) was his "And who is the safest pair of hands? FREDDIE FLINTOFF!" joke. It seemed desperate and cheap to me.

I would agree though - both Ming and Simon have strengthened as the campaign has gone on. Fingers-crossed whoever comes out the other end as the victor (on my birthday as it happens) will be an effective and vocal advocate for change.

Andy said...

Firstly, thanks for your kind comments on my recent blog post.

Secondly, whilst I am a declared Simon supporter, I think I might well be putting Chris as second choice having read a few of your thoughts.

Chris expresses his own views on this weblog.

I write this blog in a private capacity , but just in case I mention any elections here is a Legal Statement for the purposes of complying with electoral law: This website is published and promoted by Ron Oatham, 8 Brixham Close , Rayleigh Essex on behalf of Liberal Democrat Candidates all at 8 Brixham Close.