At the same time as “the Chancellors” were making their arguments on Channel 4 this evening, in the Riverside Conference Centre in Luton the candidates for Luton South were also debating the issues in front of a business audience.
The local branch of the Federation of Small Businesses had organised a hustings for tonight. My spies report back to me that, while Vince Cable was the clear winner in London, things were a lot closer here in Luton. I am told that the meeting was well attended and that all the candidates put on a good performance but with no one appearing to stand out. One curious thing was that while the candidates from the three main parties and the independents were given space on the platform, the candidates for UKIP and the Green Party were relegated to seats in the audience.
The most challenging question I am told was – if this election was taking place under the alternative vote system, of the other candidates, who would be your second choice?
Liberal Democrat candidate Qurban Hussain and Tory Nigel Huddleston both answered with a defence of party politics, saying that they would prefer to vote for another party politician than an independent. Esther Rantzen said that she would make up her mind at the end of the campaign. Stephen Rhodes said that he would back fellow independent Joe Hall as his second choice. However, Joe Hall said that he would give his second choice to Qurban Hussain and the Liberal Democrats. Sensible man!
This content was originally posted on my old Strange Thoughts blog.