Randall and Rentoul unleashed: Election Oscars 2010

Debate continued until the early hours, so tight was the battle, but, finally, Gillian Duffy and Gordon Brown stood out from the crowd


Politician's quote of the campaign

The smartest, as you might expect, was Neil Kinnock's: "If you want charisma, buy a ticket for the cinema. If you want someone to effectively manage the economy, then you will vote Labour." But, a few days later, Gordon Brown laid both hands on the award with his angry words after what had seemed like a perfectly amicable encounter with Rochdale grandmother Gillian Duffy. Settling into the back of his departing limousine, he growled: "That was a disaster. You should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that? It's just ridiculous... She was just a sort of bigoted woman."



Voter's quote of the campaign

The acclaimed winner was Mrs Gillian Duffy of Rochdale. Told by eager journalists what Gordon Brown had said about her, she looked taken aback, a trifle hurt, and then said: "It wasn't the 'bigot', it was that he said 'that woman'. I thought: What does he mean, 'that woman'? It's not nice, it's not nice at all."



Most accurate opinion poll

The NOP/Ipsos Mori exit poll, which predicted the Conservatives would win 307 seats. Which (including Thirsk, still pending due to death of Ukip candidate) they did. The other polls were pretty good, too.



Most risible manifesto launch

As if the appalling content of the document were not bad enough, the launch of the BNP's manifesto was rendered even more preposterous by the presence next to Nick Griffin, BNP leader, of a man dressed as a crusader. He looked like the bloke from the Medieval Wars of Religion Re-enactment Society whose costume is so bad he is asked to stand at the back.



Edvard Munch Memorial Facial Expression of the Campaign Award

There were several nominations, ranging from David Cameron's strenuous efforts to stifle his rising self-satisfaction, to George Osborne's less successful attempts to rearrange his features into something other than a sneer. But the clear winner was Gordon Brown for That Smile – a chilling thing, desperately trying to convey bonhomie only to resemble the face of a serial killer as he corners another defenceless victim.



Grassroots Campaigner of the Year

Esther Rantzen, standing as an Independent in Luton South, who went canvassing at a mosque with the words: "Good morning. I'm a 69-year-old Jewish lady and I want your vote."



The Bad Creativity Prize for most misleading broadcast

A Conservative internet-only video called 13 Years of Labour Failure. It included footage of the Millennium Dome, a project started under the last Conservative government, with a newspaper headline saying that ministers had accepted it had been a mistake. And footage of the Iraq war with a headline from the Daily Mirror saying that the weapons dossier was "dodgy", although Conservative MPs supported the war more enthusiastically than Labour MPs did.



The Front-line Services Award for most irritating cliché

"Game changer"; but "black hole", "three-horse race" and "the elephant in the room" were worthy runners-up.



Most opaque party

Most parties' names contain at least an intimation of their attitudes to life: Greens, Liberals, Conservatives – all capture something of the essence of the grouping. So it is with some of the minor parties: The Official Monster Raving Loony Party, Get the Snouts Out of the Trough Party, Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers, and Community Need Before Private Greed. Not so with the Virtue Currency Cognitive Appraisal Party. And a visit to their website to read their manifesto clinched the award. It is long, full of random capital letters, and, one suspects, drafted in green ink. Something of its impenetrable flavour can be gleaned from the opening lines: "How Money became abolished, or should be abolished if it as such, it still exists, is because Nanotechnology computer Bum-Downers broke the Censorship upon which the evil stuff depended for its lethal existence." We think they're opposed to money, but wouldn't bet on it.



The Insult the Voters' Intelligence Prize for crudest slogan

"Sod the Lot" – the UK Independence Party.



Most toe-curling moment of the debates

A category dominated by the brooding, and spectacularly untelegenic Gordon Brown. A strong case was made for his attempted joke – the point when, at what he thought was an appropriate moment, he produced a pre-scripted remark: "These two guys remind me of my two young boys squabbling at bath time." But in the end, it was decided that, for sheer, peep-between-your-fingers embarrassment, it could not match his refrain of the first debate: "I agree with Nick."



Most risible bribe

This award, for the Eatanswill Shield, goes to David Cameron and the Conservatives, for thinking that that clichéd body of mugs, "hard-working families", would be seduced into giving him their votes by the thought of an extra £3 a week.



Silliest anti-Clegg story

Once the first debate was over and the Liberal Democrats surged in the polls on the back of their leader's performance, the Tory papers went into panic-struck silly smear mode. Nick Clegg was posh! He'd been an amateur actor! He was a bit foreign! He spoke foreign, too! And he liked Europe! Not content with that, the Telegraph produced a story about money, which went nowhere; and the Sun and Express implied he was possibly the biggest threat to Britain since the Luftwaffe. But the Mail, snide as ever, produced the winner: a story based on a 2002 article in which Clegg wrote: "'All nations have a cross to bear, and none more so than Germany with its memories of Nazism. But the British cross is more insidious still. A misplaced sense of superiority, sustained by delusions of grandeur and a tenacious obsession with the last war, is much harder to shake off." Once translated into malicious Mailspeak, Clegg's view became that our cross was GREATER than German guilt over the Nazis. Thus, the headline: "Clegg in Nazi slur on Britain". Goebbels couldn't have done it better.

The Comedy Playhouse Award for best heckle of the campaign

On the day before polling day, Nick Clegg declaimed: "Some people will say it can't be done." Voice from the back of the crowd: "It can't be done!"



Most self-interested intervention

The assiduous letter-writing by sundry "business leaders", in support of Conservative opposition to a rise in National Insurance contributions. Their motivation, they said, was a concern for the nation, for the poor little people whose future employment might be jeopardised by this small on-cost. It had, of course, nothing to do with hitting them marginally in the bottom lines, and therefore trimming their own multidigited salaries and bonuses. Perish the thought.



Most judicious choice of clothing

David Cameron for shrewdly declining to wear a morning suit for his sister's wedding. He rather stuck out in his vote-for-me suit, but spared himself the embarrassment of being pictured in Bullingdon-style toff togs.



Least helpful celebrity intervention

Simon Cowell, who came out for the Tories. This was not exactly the shock of the campaign, since he is an immensely rich man famous for his put-downs of ordinary people. His demeanour manages to make the Conservatives' other big-name backer, Sir Michael Caine, look like St Francis of Assisi.



Most memorable image of the campaign

There is one image that no amount of therapy and tranquilising drugs will remove for a long time. And that, of course, is Gordon Brown sitting in a BBC studio for The Jeremy Vine Show, headphones slightly awry, burying his head in his hands as the recording of his Gillian Duffy outburst is played back to him.



The Elephant in the Room Award for most under-debated issue

Climate change: David Cameron did mention his opposition to a third runway at Heathrow – in an interview with the IoS at London City Airport, before he got on a private jet to Manchester. In a close contest, the deficit failed to make the cut, because it was discussed (including by this newspaper) even if mostly as an issue being avoided by the parties. This newspaper also identified the international military operation in Afghanistan as under-debated.



Most anti-gay Tory

Philippa Stroud, candidate in Sutton and Cheam, who, according to a report in The Observer, founded a church which believed that homosexuality could be cured by the power of prayer. She lost.



Where Were They? Award

George Osborne emerged the winner in a competition made complicated by its being a test of absence. Like that game where you have to name the objects that have been removed from a tray, it was hard to judge the relative non-presence of: women, collectively; David Davis; Vince Cable; Oliver Letwin; and John Major.



Most arcane reference in a speech

Gordon Brown rolled out a reprise of his greatest hits in his suddenly passionate speech to Citizens UK, ending with citations of Cicero and Demosthenes. Purists said he was misquoting, but we join the applause for his attempt to raise the tone. Should have been in the Greek, though.



Most apposite metaphor

Nigel Farage's plane crash on polling day. The former Ukip leader emerged bloodied but intact from the wreckage of a light aircraft that had been towing a "Vote Ukip" banner, which rendered further commentary superfluous. Run a close second by a nasty car smash metres away from a Labour campaign launch in Birmingham, when the sound of screaming tyres, breaking glass and smashing metal interrupted Peter Mandelson's introduction of Gordon Brown.

Competition time

Last week we asked for haikus about a hung parliament. Fiona Monk, 12, wins a set of finger puppets of the party leaders. She can conduct the inter-party negotiations on the fingers of one hand.

I voted Labour.

I hope they didn't win. Oops!

Microphone's still in.

The two runners-up

Behind closed doors there's

Wheeling, dealing, bargaining.

Is this the answer?

Emma Lewis

Sharing power? Hard.

Like sharing your best pudding!

We'll need a sharp fork.

Nell Summers

Congratulations all.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there