New poll: who had the best conference?

by Stephen Tall on September 22, 2006

Right, now we’ve all had 24 hours to catch up on lost sleep, and gain some perspective, it’s time to choose which Lib Dem MP you think emerged with most credit from this year’s party conference.

The new poll is open now at my other gaff, and the six runners and riders are (in alphabetical order):

Vince Cable – steered through the Lib Dems’ new tax plans, and delivered an economics masterclass in his speech.

Ming Campbell – led from the front on the tax debate, gave a solid conference speech, and emerged much the stronger.

Nick Clegg – wowed delegates with an absolutely barnstorming speech, and a terrific new gimmick policy proposal: the Great Repeal Act.

Julia Goldsworthy – her cool, calm and assured performance in the lead-up to the tax debate proved her determination and mettle.

Evan Harris – though he lost the vote, his speech (well, mainly his jokes) in favour of the rebel amendment was the talk of the town.

Chris Huhne – his sober and weighty concluding remarks helped swing the tax vote in the leadership’s favour, entrenching his position as the activists’ darling.

** The presidential poll is now closed. Here’s the final score, after 180 votes: **

Paddy Ashdown (42 votes) – 23%
Lynne Featherstone (34) – 19%
Jo Swinson (21) – 12%
Simon Hughes (19) – 11%
Lembit Öpik (14 ) – 8%
Jenny Willott (14 ) – 8%
Susan Kramer (13) – 7%
Matthew Taylor (12) – 7%
Shirley Williams (11) – 6%

(Incidentally, I saw Simon very briefly on Thursday lunch-time, and he congratulated me on my blogging prize. He added that he was delighted to have been able to contribute, by providing the inspiration for the poll on his presidency. For once, I was tongue-tied, with a mixture of embarrassment (that he might have taken it personally) and surprise (that he’d heard about it at all).)