[Sticky] Snap Verdicts
Snap verdict - Paxman v Adiputera
I thought the opening was good, you certainly made the case for better together (who turned out to win, shocker). Was interesting when you went to attack other MPs who are fighting other battles, when pressed you didn’t want to name them. You also defended the Prime Minister , a sign of a close alliance between Labour and the Liberal Democrats in coalition. I very much felt you couldn’t have done much more in this section, so good job.
So the public would be interested to know if it was you who wrote the first budget as the leaks suggested and you certainly didn’t entertain that leak. I felt you handled yourself well here, you didn’t lose your temper and you remained on point. Paxman tried to catch you out here and wrong foot you but you swerved that obstacle. As for capital spending, you deflected to a ministerial statement and added in some key policies such as the Investment Development Bank and the green stimulus programme, this would have pleased your supporters. Your critics will be wondering if the Government can afford all this.
Paxman made a specific point here about asking if the Government would use the Parliament act to force the reform bill through. You pledged to work with the Lords if the disagreements are constructive, we will certainly see but you did well here.
A strong performance from Graham Adiputera. The Deputy Prime Minister is becoming popular amongst the electorate and this interview only reinforced that, good work.
Snap verdict (for certain values of "snap") - PMQs
Verdict: Narrow win for Dylan Macmillan.
Macmillan builds a neat narrative for the viewer, starting with a broken Labour promise on the deficit and transitioning through the cost of interest payments to the relationship between fiscal responsibility and public services. The whole thing got tied together nicely in the final question, although I felt like parts of 5 and 6 may have been better the other way around. He let Suchet away with a number of comments that stretched credulity or the truth a little, although PMQs is not a great forum for a fact-checking, and the messaging might have suffered had he intervened.
Suchet found a number of good responses, tying issues back to the Conservatives' record, to the parties respective positions on taxation, and making the case for investment. Suchet was at her best when combining both a defence of policy with a witty comment or attack on the opposition, with press reaction noticing her substantial improvement in this more theatrical side of PMQ.
A few of the answers fell a little flat to me: Arguing the Tories have no social care policy when Labour's is to ask the public what they think, saying Macmillan “brings chaos to everywhere”, telling Alex Salmond to vote Labour: they just don't quite ring true to me (although Labour supporters would have relished the Salmond line).
As a result, the session comes out as a win for Macmillan, albeit by a small margin, much narrower than previous encounters.
Snap Verdict - Live Deputy PMQs (Adiputera/Byrne)
I must start this by giving props to both Byrne and Adiputera - both did a fine job and their parties should be proud. Byrne started off relatively strong, despite an early reprimand from Mr Speaker. Twitter was abuzz with jokes about "Whose Budget is it Anyway?" and Are You Smarter than a Ten-Year-Old - his first comment actually made the American TV show @Midnight, where it was the inspiration for the #PoliticizeAGameShow round of #HashtagWars. As Andy noted in AV chat, this was a case which showed that Byrne understood and played into the PMQs pageantry more than Adiputera. Ultimately, some of Adiputera's responses fell a bit short - accusing the Tories of changing policies is a little bit different than accusing Labour or the LDs of doing so - as the Tories aren't in government.
In their second round of three questions, Byrne made a mistake in focusing completely on the EU. If this was Mac vs. Ari, it probably would have been different, but it wasn't exactly a great move to play that game with a Lib Dem, especially when they have recently welcomed a former Tory MP who left because of Europe. Additionally, it wasn't a great move to announce that the Party would be backing leaving the EU - that's made some Europhiles think much harder about their affiliation with the party or whether they'll need to rebel against a potential EU referendum bill if it's understood that the Party will back a "leave" vote.
Ultimately, both deputy leaders had good, but not great performances. No major blows were given to either side, and there's no real change in public perception based on the clips people will see or read about on Twitter or other online sources. The real potential for damage comes if any of these statements made are reversed in the near future - but that shouldn't be surprising to you. As such, this one's a tie.
+2 Parliamentary XP to Byrne and Adiputera
Rick the Admin - The Resident Psephologist