Thursday, April 15, 2010

Leaders' Debate Open Thread/Live Blog

Feel free to leave comments here during the debate if you wish. I'll comment at the end!

8.37 Clegg and Cameron make the best opening statements. Brown fluffs it by repeating same old mantras and not looking at the camera.

8.38 Brown's first gaffe "no unskilled worker can come here from outside Britain".

8.41 Is Brown wearing lipstick?

8.44 Oh dear. Brown is both nervous and rattled and interupting Cameron's time. Looks shifty.

8.46 Clegg very skilfully speaking to the camera, to the people at home.

8.46 I'd say Cameron and Clegg won that question.

8.48 Is Cameron's approach of directly addressing the questioner better than Nick Clegg looking at the camera?

8.51 V strong from Cameron the link between crime and drugs.

8.52 Clegg looks v good. V strong on reoffending rates. Not sure about the light blue suit though.

8.56 Brown switches subject to Tory posters and manages to mention Lord Ashcroft for the first time. Gets a laugh, but it looked very pre planned, not spontaneous.

8.58 I'd say that second question was a no score bore draw. Shed no light at all.

8.59 Brown now thinks he was very clever with his pre planned soundbites in the last question. He wasn't. We all saw they were preplanned.

9.03 Clegg's strongest answer yet on MP expenses.

9.04 Good attack on Brown from Cameron on House of Lords reform.

9.05 Did Brown just make up a policy on the hoof? Halving the size of the House of Lords?

9.06 Cameron exposes Clegg's holier than thouness.

9.08 Clegg won that question, but is beginning now to get a little petulent. That's his biggest drawback.

9.09 Brown uttering inanities on education. Motherhood and applie pie stuff.

9.12 I think Cameron needs to be a bit more aggressive and expose Brown. He's being very polite at the moment. Time to fire up...

9.13 Cameron strong on education. Especially on discipline.

9.15 Cameron winning this round.

9.20 Cameron and Brown need to expose Clegg's false sums.

9.23 Someone please call Clegg to account on his ridiculous economics!

9.31 Cameron wins economic round with Clegg close behind. Brown is beginning to look distinctly orange, especially around the lips.

9.33 Listening to Brown talking about the armed forces makes me want to vomit. So insincere.

9.34 Clegg gaffe. Forgets to echo Cameron and Brown's tributes to armed forces.

9.38 Cameron really strong on the defence round. Message: Britain is safe in our hands.

9.41 Brown tieing himself up in knots about helicopters. Now blames lack of them on change of Taliban tactics. That's another new line of argument from him.

9.43 Cameron's tribute to the NHS genuine and heartfelt.

9.44 Clegg turning into "It's a bleedin' liberty' mode.

9.48 Cameron refutes Brown's attack on cancer treatment very well.

9.50 Strong finish from Cameron. Won the NHS round. Can't believe anyone could say otherwise, but no doubt they will.

9.51 "Where Nick and I are agreed," says Gordon for the umpteenth time. Coalition anyone?

9.55 "I agree with Nick" says Gordon. Just join the LibDems and have done with it then!

9.56 Cameron making very strong point on carers. I can hear carers cheering. Clegg follows Cameron's lead.

9.58 Notable aspect of this is the pincer movement on Cameron from Brown and Clegg.

10.01 Very weak ending from Clegg, blathering on about the old parties.

10.03 Brown finishes with his good old fashioned dividing lines. No optimism from him. Just negativity.

10.05 Cameron: Choose hope over fear. Visionary. brownn shaking head throughout Cameron's closing statement was awful. Cameron's closing statement by far the best.


FonyBlair said...

Cameron seems to be on top of things so far. I think he's coming across quite well. Clegg is ok and will be listended to. Brown is coming across as very dull and spouting out his usual tired old lines

Scary Mary said...

Cameron met a 40 year old black man in Plymouth who came to the UK when he was 6 and was in the Royal Navy for 30 years......remarkable!

enquiringmind said...

Brown was getting rather rattled on the first question, but ended up cosying up to Clegg a little; I wonder if that will continue throughout the debate.

Paul Halsall said...

@leadersdebate Brown and Cameron are appalling on immigration. The want "pass laws" as in Apartheid South Africa. Ugh. ID Cards some requires ID cards for all.

enquiringmind said...

BREAKING NEWS: Brown does humour without seeming stilted!

Mette said...

Surprised at Clegg so far. Almost winning the debate already...

javelin said...

Brown comes across as a bit of a old scottish tosser.

Can't tell the difference between Cameron and Clegg.

When I see them standing together Brown comes across as Mr Past, Clegg and Cameron come across as The future.

Stephen said...

I don't think I can take another hour of Gordon Brown in the room.

DespairingLiberal said...

Cameron looks like he has three layers of makeup on. Clegg looks silly. In my head, I am calling him "twig-man". Brown sounds like an undertaker interrupting a birthday party to announce that a much-loved relative has passed on.

Boring, boring, boring. My brain is full of mush. Changing channels back and forth, desperate for something better to watch. Only to be drawn back by a wierd fascination at something so dreadfully cliched, rehearsed, stilted and utterly phoney.

Mostly Ordinary said...

I'm a bit shocked how well Brown is coming over. Do they both fancy Nick Clegg or something? Have to ask why won't Cameron look either of them in the eye?

moorlandhunter said...

Brown tried to slip in his trator stats.
He now want to change HoP after 13 years in power! How has he the gall to stand there and not look stupid...well he does.

moorlandhunter said...

ask Borwn about his lies to Chilcot, over the lax running of the banks and his support for the war in Iraq, seeing he was in the cabinet at the time the MWD lies were known

moorlandhunter said...

Brown’s Labour edifice seems to be like a house of straw and all the time he tells the same old tractor stats and the same boring fart like comments.

enquiringmind said...

Clegg certainly seems like a grown man rather than a sixth-former as usual. He's not exactly setting the stage alight any more than the other two though.

moorlandhunter said...

Brown just resorts to lies and untruths when he is backed into a corner.
Tough on discipline in schools he has just said? Is Brown having a joke with us or just trying to lie his way out of trouble.

Harry Haddock said...

I thought the agreement was that they wouldn't interupt each other? So what's going on with Brown's constant interupting?

Andy in Newcastle said...

I know he was always going to have to be to some extent, but I think Clegg is just a little bit too holier than thou.

Navy Red said...

There can only be one Shadow Chancellor surly? Lib Dems think they are a Shadow Government?? I think not.

David Anthony said...

Can't believe only Clegg's advisors told him to speak into the camera.

He's the only one talking direct to the viewers.... and the only one who's going to connect with them.

javelin said...

Gordon Brown is playing for the election after next. He is making the argument that the Tories caused a double dip election in 2011 vote for us in 2015.

JMB said...

How many times has Clegg mentioned Sheffield?

JZ said...

I think this can be very important for Cameron.

Brown has been smirking, Cameron just looks earnest and studied.

Few outside the Tories will have seen Cameron toe to toe like this and he comes across well.

Maybe a widely watched TV show like this will defuse the anti-Tory sentiment, when they see him on form like this, they will see the man first.

It's hard to build momentum in soundbites as an opposition leader, this is giving him quite a magisterial platform and he looks superior to Brown as a leader.

pete-s said...

Brown lying again about helicopters

Intentionally Blank said...

How dare Brown say he's put more helicopters into Afghanistan? I'd like to see him try that in front of the families of dead soldiers, blown to pieces driving to battle in the military equivalent of a diesel Montego.

I've always thought that Gordon Brown was just a slightly awkward and oafish bully but to lie as blatantly and frequently as he does shows him up as something far more dangerous.

It sickens me to think that this appalling Prime Minister will retire a millionaire at our expense.

Thank you Labour.

pete-s said...

Brown lying again about helicopters

Navy Red said...

God I wish they would just let them get on with - all this interruptions from AS is a pain.

And I wish it was only two leaders up there. It just does not flow with three of them. Much prefer one on one.

Clegg seems to be like that cocky 5th former who some how ended up at the 6th form debate. He is coming across fine but he just seems out of his depth and irrelevant with some of his words.

Pricked and Tickled said...

This is soo boring with very little passion and even less wit. It has made me want to stay at home on May 6.

Sean Haffey said...

Clegg says everyone in this country pays £2,000 into the NHS.

Fraser Nelson in the Spectator reckons that BUPA could do a better job for that much money.

I wonder.

Sean Haffey said...

All 3 leaders have been too pious and holier-than-thou.

Interesting to hear Brown say that the helicopters had to be "adapted to the terrain in Afghanistan". I thought the idea was helicopters fly above the terrain?

Navy Red said...

The interesting thing has been the regular "this matter is devolved in Scot/Wel/NI". So in essence half the questions have been of relevance to the English only.

Sean Haffey said...

Good statement by Cameron on old age.

Similarly a strong statement by Clegg "put aside our politics" - sounds corny but came across credibly in this context, to my surprise. His earlier "earnestness" did not.

Englishman said...

Virtually everything is Devolved and the policies spoken about only affect ‘England’ only and Broon has absolutely NO mandate in England…...seems thats the unspeakable truth!, why is he being pulled up over this?, Broon and his Policies, that only affect England, is unelected and unaccountable to every single voter in England.

Sean Haffey said...

"Pincer movement" - absolutely.

But it struck me as sounding increasingly desperate.

adrian said...

The so called worm they have running across the screen keeps flatlining...bit like this debate! I'm afraid this whole idea is nothing short of a farce!

charles said...


Navy Red said...

I hope this has been a testing ground for the next two debates and that there will be a bit more gloves off. Still think the 3 people format is restricting debate but mehh....

NC is still coming across as well... smug. Like he can't believe the fact he is there. DC needs to concentrate more on hitting GB hard and fast. DC also needs to show why Tories are different from the other two.

Next debates, please less interruptions unless they are waffling. Let the debates to interrupt if they think the other is waffling.

Harry Haddock said...

My overview ~ boring.

Although Brown really can't stop himself interupting, again, and again, and agian. Not that he's a control freak or anything.

adrian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mostly Ordinary said...

God that was dull, actually disappointed in it. None of them strike me as a real leader. I really don't get a sense of vision from any of them .... depressing really.

Navy Red said...

There's the killer line.

"fears about the Conservative Government"

plants the thought that the Tories will be the next party in power.

Andy in Newcastle said...

Sky's instant poll has resoundingly called it for Cameron.

Paul C said...

Wow at Cameron's closing speech. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

Thatsnews said...

I agree, Iain, not only was the headshaking crass, it made him look slightly odd.

John East said...

Clegg 8
Brown 7
Cameron 4

wild said...

Clegg - Sanctimonious & Lightweight

(but got over his small class sizes and anti-Trident renewal policies)

Brown - Clunking with flashes of nastiness

but consistent and self-convinced)

Cameron - Brilliant

(although he dealt with every question almost too effortlessly)

James said...

Telling in some ways: Brown virtually on his knees begging for Clegg's backing, Clegg having none of it. Brown kept opening fire, but couldn't aim any higher than his own feet. I've never been that impressed with Cameron: he doesn't offer anything very convincing, but he isn't Gordon Brown and he's going to reverse the worst of their failings - which is enough to make him the best option available right now.

Good to see Labour coming third in so many polls tonight, let's hope that is repeated for real!

JZ said...

Lib Dems will steal Labour voters.

The tax break for under £10k is ridiculously inappropriate given the financial austerity, but divide and conquer the lower income workers seems to be their agenda.

It was a mistake for Labour to attack the Conservatives continuously, Lib Dems are their biggest threat.

Bardirect said...

Did I catch Gordon repeating the "policing pledge" about that 80% of police time on the beat which the ASA banned?

pol-e-tics said...

Sorry to say, I thought Cameron was vacuous. Didn't provide enough detail on any subject. Apparently, his one proposal for the NHS is to ensure patients get cancer drugs. Similarly, Afghanistan was only about helicopters. No mention of free schools. No mention on Hospice support (its in the manifesto). Didn't explain patient budgets at all. He needs to bone up more on Conservative policies.

Matt G said...

funny how all the polls show clegg winning..... guess cameron not has good as well all think. clegg (lib dems) won alot of voters tonight i think, and brown (labour) lost them. think cameron (tory) has not gained or lost votes.
cameron just didnt deliver on majority of issues im afraid

longrun2 said...

I thought Clegg won easily (helped by the ITV guys) - strangely my view of his margin was greater than that of my LibDem wife or son.
Cameron just failed to hit Brown on a number of occasions when Brown had no defence. Queensberry rules are fine for boxers but not so good when you're facing someone with no morals

Kieran said...

Well god help us and this country if this is what politics has been reduced to.
Brown was actually faintly disgusting.
Clegg was Clegg, trotting out dodgy figures and ridiculous, banal platitudes.
Cameron failed to really punish or nail either, seeming to concentrate instead on a performance, although his closing remarks were the best of a bad bunch.

Clegg will come out of it best as he seems to have learnt the trick of appealing to the lowest common denominator.

I could not bear to sit through another of those. At a guess I would say UK PLC is up the swannee,

pol-e-tics said...

Would like to know the total speaking time each candidate got. It seemed to me Alastair Stewart was favouring Clegg, then Brown, last Cameron.