Twenty minutes into the Newsnight debate between MEP candidates, I can’t say so far that it’s been worth watching – hence the reason I started this article. Strangely given that it’s the governing party, by far the worst candidate has so far been the SNP man. The Green Lady candidate is clearly nervous and has not once mentioned a green policy … oops she just mentioned energy … no she’s back to waffling about everything but the environment.
UKIP – haven’t said much so far except they want an in-out referendum – but getting one point across is better than most, but they are in danger of being remembered for trying to interrupt everyone. The Tory candidate – well I thought he was asleep at one point. But by far the best contribution has been that of the Labour candidate.
That’s five. There’s one other – they must be Lib Dem. Now he’s back I remember, he is actually reasonably competent but quite forgettable.
Ranking so far into the program (top to bottom):
Labour, Lib Dem, UKIP, Tory, Green, SNP
The more I listen to the Tory, the more I feel there’s more than a hint of the hooray Henry, but Competent. Kathryn? the labour candidate is really quite impressive. She is very reminiscent of Wendy Alexander in style. That isn’t all good. If anything she might be too much of a Euro nerd and put off those who don’t like all the details about procedures and stuff. Ian, the SNP bloke is back on. Not impressive! He handled the question on an in-out referendum “if there was independence” very badly. When will he string a whole sentence together?
Back to the Lib Dem – “I trust the two most senior officials in Europe”. Boring competence! But I still can’t remember any points he is making. UKIP continues making its point and continues interrupting. What was that! Did the Green candidate agree with UKIP? Should I feel sorry for the Green lady who is seated next to UKIP? If as her election leaflets suggests she feels quite disgusted by UKIP, why have the BBC put her next to them? Fortunately it doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Tories – just caught him talking about the gold standard. Why does he remind me of monopoly? Lib dems finally make a memorable point about “reform” – labour then chips in with “everyone is in favour of reform”. Tories again attacking labour so clearly see Labour as the enemy. Are they ignoring UKIP? Again I speak too soon, but what on earth are UKIP and the Tory arguing about?
Lib Dem makes another point – “what happens to UK after it leaves EU”. UKIP come back with a “you promised referendum and didn’t deliver”. Labour got in points about UKIP National health and tax so they are doing quite well. On comes uncle McNumpty of the SNP to make a clearly rehearsed point that no one is talking about Scotland – well neither is he! Back with the Green — or should I say social community party? She sounds more SSP than green. Labour: “jobs jobs” – my she has that kind of voice and slightly aggressive manner that could be irritating! Back to McNumpty – finally strings a sentence together – but yes, It’s the winding up speech he rehearsed. UKIP effective if not slick. Lib Dem – slick if devoid of content.
- Labour top – effectively got points across and interesting
- Lib Dem – competent but devoid of content and very forgettable
- UKIP far more effective than I thought. Made better points than Lib Dem but also quite rude with numerous interrupts
- Green – I don’t agree with a single point she made, she was nervous, but in terms of being memorable and attracting potential voters, she did not do that badly
- Tory. I didn’t warm to him. But the blue-rinse ladies who vote Tory may like him.
- SNP. Cringe worthy.
As for the presenter. Effective, kept order, got through the points, but didn’t exactly make a fantastically lively show. The challenge with the SNP on the referendum and UKIP on health were highlights, but he backed off far too early to make it fun.
Effect on the vote
If anyone watched this (which I doubt) the biggest effect I think is that Labour will get a boost and SNP will drop. That could be significant, because labour are biting on the heals of the SNP for the fifth MEP (after each get two). UKIP did better than I had thought. Tories were … well they were Tories, so based on this alone, between the neck and neck contestants of Tories and UKIP, I would say UKIP are now more than likely to get the MEP seat. However, the fly in the ointment is the Lib Dems. For those who don’t want labour, Lib Dem could be a choice – which could just make the race for last place a three horse race between Lid Dem, UKIP and Tory.
As for green – she failed to press any environmental buttons, but could pick up SSP support. The lack of racist attacks, might paradoxically give her a boost – but it’s difficult to see who else will vote for her in enough numbers to get elected.