Gareth Gordon does a scene setter of tonight's battle for the UUP leadership tonight (assuming there is an actual battle and the last minute stitch up fails). Yet the competition does not seem to have enthused the Ulster Unionist blogosphere. Chekov keeps the faith with Basil despite his doubts. Alex Kane is verging on the inconsolable. However, the most interesting is the analysis of Bobballs over on Open Unionism. This would seem to indicate that whatever the media view that internally the Basil campaign has been mis-firing. While Bobballs does not say so it would seem to offer some support for the cult theory of Cicero's Voice:
"Basil too has misunderstood the nature of the job he’s applying for. He has confused ‘self-indulgence’ for ‘strength of character’. Being wilful is not the same as being strong willed. Where Basil needed a leadership campaign he instead brought us a campaign of incredible petulance."
Turning around the good ship UUP will take more than a new leader but an effective team around them, it doesn't look good if as Bobball believes:
"I am deeply concerned by the UUP candidates, and by the quality of the people surrounding them. Both campaigns have been guileless, tending towards the kamikaze."
Bobballs believes the speeches will be a determining factor. It was often claimed Trimble's speech swung it for him on the night of his election but this is a significant disservice to the effective campaign that Trimble had run before the meeting. Regardless it does beg the question, how can two flawed choices for leader with dubious teams around them pull off Gordon's mission impossible?