The First Leaders Debate

It was 90 minutes that made British, media and political history. Can it also make the Lib Dems an almost equal contender for winning the General Election?

Nick Clegg came out on top after an engaging, unprecedented live TV debate. The set was dated, but maybe it helped to keep the focus on the three men standing at podiums auditioning for the Britain’s Got Politics/The Vote Factor/Voter’s Den. For a split-second, I actually expected a phone number to pop up on screen during the closing statements. And, quite importantly, I actually wanted to grab the phone and vote. I never do that – unless it’s the final of X-Factor. And we know how much that grips the nation. (So does David Cameron)

With [a peak of] 9.9 million people tuning in, it will be interesting to see if voter numbers are up this year. But then a BBC poll found that first-time voters probably won’t bother.

My verdict on the three leaders

Gordon Brown:

tired, grey, dull, statesmanlike, experienced, clinging on desperately, knows his sh#t on the economy

David Cameron:

clearly a former PR man, shiny, relaxed, arrogant, aiming for mass appeal, clever use of ‘immigrants don’t want immigrants either, so you can’t call us racist’

Nick Clegg:

framed (and totally owned) the final part of the debate by asking for consensus on the welfare of old people (nice move), refreshing, different, transparent, in tune, likeable, needs to prove himself

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