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Monday 26th October 2009 | 16:22
Now that the dust has settled down, and competing narratives about last Thursday's Question Time with Nick Griffin have played out, a consensus view appears to have formed: Sayeeda Warsi performed the best out of the panellists, and the BNP will have benefited overall.
PoliticsHome's Phi100 panel includes senior journalists, party strategists and insiders from across the political spectrum.
60% of the panel believe she fared well, and she received a backing from a majority across party lines.
Just 11% were impressed with Justice Secretary Jack Straw, and 17% with Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesman Chris Huhne.
Just 4% of the panel said they believed Nick Griffin coped with the 'lynch mob' well.
“Warsi was easily the best, Straw came across most poorly”, said a political journalist.
“I'm afraid to say it was a lynch mob. After Griffin, who was terrible, Straw was the worst”.
“Jack Straw was awful”, a journalist said, backed up by a left-aligned think tank leader who added, “Straw was good in parts, but lost it with his ramblings towards the end.”
The publicity the British National Party recieved from their appearance on Question Time means the party benefited overall, the panel believes.
61% said it was be a ‘slight positive’ for the party; 8% believe it is a ‘strong positive’.
A Liberal Democrat MP said “Exposure, exposure, exposure!”
A Conservative MP said “The wall-to-wall coverage they’ve had for three weeks now easily outweighs the embarrassment of Griffin's fumbling performance.”
A journalist commented, “If the programme had stuck to its normal format, and then had a couple of questions about Griffin's racism, he would have come across as the idiot he is. Instead he is now a victim.”
A left-aligned think tank leader agreed, “He performed so badly that it’s hard to see him as an asset - but the other panellists performed far worse – they victimised him.”
A Tory MP played down the impact. “Most voters wont have watched it and almost no-one who watched it will have been an uncommitted voter.”
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