I'll do a running commentary on the LibDem leadership Question Time...
Question 1 on Charles Kennedy. Simon Hughes impressive. Huhne tedious. Ming all over the place. WIN FOR HUGHES
Question 2 on judgement. Hughes apologises for the way he handled his 'outing'. Impressive but perhaps a little pleading at the end. Ming staesmanlike but can't help feeling he is just, well, boring. Hostile questioning so far. Hughes takes charge on Oaten. Does Simon Hughes' hair look, er, well, just that little bit coloured? WIN FOR HUGHES
Question 3. How can Britain withdraw from Iraq? Hughes says troups should withdraw ideally by the end of the year. Ming waffles. He really has had the makeup slapped on. Just noticed what odd teeth he has. Huhne overdoing the hand gestures, which he is using to liven up his slightly soporiphic voice. Wants to set a deadline for a handover. Ming attackes Huhne for likening Iraq to 'business'. Campbell doesn't want to set a deadline. Says you have to approach it looking at the reality. Setting a deadline is artificial. Huhne interrupts to say we are already withdrawing troups. If we don't set a date it's prevarication. Uses Cook and Hurd as people who agreed to set a date. Ming's argument is correct but Huhne hits back well. He later says we are part of the problem, not the solution. We do not have an honest broker status. Ming's arguments will score with non LibDem members, but it's they who are his electorate. SCORE DRAW
Question 4. How do we achieve a better distribution of national wealth? Huhne starts talking about environmental taxes. Says rich should be taxed more. Bit of banter about where the 50% bracket should be. Got interrupted by the phone, so won't score this one!
Question 5. Hung Parliament. Ming says wants to banish the words from the LibDem lexicon. Wants maximum votes, maximum seats. Dimbleby floors him with an old quote where he uses the words hung and parliament. Ming really is all over the place on this. Hughes rules out coalitions unless there is PR. Says would cooperate on individual issues. Hune being eclipsed by the other two overall. NARROW WIN FOR HUGHES
Question 6. How much Parliamentary experience does a leader need? Huhne up first. Cites his European credentials and business acumen. Warm applause from the audience. Hughes cites Thatcher as the reason he should be trusted. Weird logic. Huhne bites back saying he was asking questions of people long before Hughes. Yawn. Ming says his experience has given him judgement and the understanding of how Parliament works. Dimbleby accuses Ming of sounding as if he is a member of an exclusive club, which Huhne doesn't yet belong to. Huhne again letting Ming and Hughes dominate. They go back to the hung parliament question. Again Ming flounders. Huhne for once picks up the baton and scores a hit. NARROW WIN HUHNE.
Huhne mentions the YouGov poll. Ming retorts: Don't you just admire Chris Huhne's natural modesty? Ouch
Question 7. Biggest mistake in politics? Huhne tells some tired anecdote about insulting a German trade unionist. Ming says his biggest mistake was to believe that rational argument would prevail. Simon Hughes cites lack of core statement of values at the last election as his biggest mistake. God, how weak. SCORE LOSS FOR THEM ALL!
CONCLUSION: Overall a win for Simon Hughes, who kept his struggling campaign afloat. Huhne wasn't as impressive as I thought he would be. Ming Campbell was frankly all over the place.