My take on the Newsnight hustings:
Blears - the shortness is actually an advantage - makes her memorable compared to the others. Straight answers and no silly attempts to court the left. As she said in answer to who would she vote for if not standing: "Jon for his campaigning, Alan for his politics, Harriet to have a woman in the leadership team, but I'm standing so you can have a woman with a campaigning record and good politics".
Cruddas - wants everyone to live in council houses is the way it came across - when in fact the working classes mainly want to own homes. "I want loads more council houses" may make sense but is only one step away from "I want everyone to work down the pits" in terms of the message it sends. Good that he's into campaigning - shame many of his supporters are into meetings not canvassing - and if we are just going to elect a good campaigner as Deputy Leader then there are about 10 people on Hazel's campaign team better qualified. Can I be Deputy Leader, I'm good at leafleting?
Johnson - sensible answers, charming, but appeared diffident and laid back. Can't imagine him stirring people to canvass until their knuckles bleed with a rousing rant from the battle bus steps.
Hain - wants to be the "umbilical cord between the Cabinet and party". Which provoked the reaction "yuck, I don't want him as my umbilical cord" from the other half of my household. Postured left until asked about any actual policies.
Benn - very clever, really sound answer on Iraq/liberal interventionism, inspiring for party members but unlikely to appeal to the wider public - too cerebral.
Harman - awful. Just awful. Actually beyond awful. Cringeworthy efforts to appear leftwing - e.g. refusing to give a straight yes or no on Trident, delivered in the style of her former colleague Pat Hewitt.