Bravo to Twitter user Scott Nelson for spotting this.
In the opinion of nearly everyone except the Establishment media (and even many of them), Jeremy Corbyn knocked it out of the park last night during the Battle for Number 10 interviews.
And Theresa May, well, didn’t.
May was awkward, evasive and waffled (so much that one wag dubbed her the Iron-Waffle Lady) – so badly that Jeremy Paxman told her that he himself considered her a ‘blowhard that would fold at the first sign of gunfire’, which was an astonishing statement by a veteran broadcaster.
In the audience-question section of the programme, she fared little better. But as presenter Faisal Islam made clear at the start of the programme, the audience had been carefully selected for balance: one-third Labour supporters, one-third Tory and a third undecided.
May was heckled and laughed at so loudly that it was impossible to avoid the conclusion that the ‘undecided’ third had been converted to the Labour camp – as indeed was borne out by viewer reactions afterward.
But you’d expect the Tory third to be extra enthusiastic to try to cover for Mrs May. Here’s what happened at the end of her section of the Q&A:
One die-hard decides, quite late, to give Mrs May a standing ovation – then realises nobody else has. The clip ends just as he appears about to sit down again. With the exception of a couple of others in shot, the rest of the applause appears polite at best. Certainly nobody else looks remotely like standing.
Mrs May achieved what might well be the shortest and smallest standing ovation in history last night – and if she loses the General Election, she will become only the eighth Prime Minister in history to serve less than a year – and the shortest-serving since Andrew Bonar Law in 1922, and he resigned through ill-health just before his death.
May’s performance last night made it very clear why she’s avoided any kind of debate up to now and it’s a safe bet she’ll avoid it like the plague again.
Even her own supporters were underwhelmed and Paxman’s comment will haunt her for the rest of what might be a very short career.
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