The Leader's debate between the party leader's has been very impressive. I was in two minds whether to leave the Cambridge pub to watch it but it is an improvement for British election campaigns and I am glad that I did. Nick Clegg was passionate and positive and had simple policy ideas to make improvements. The others were not as optimistic or as honest.
The quality of debate was high, the quality of question was good (despite thinking that everything would be obvious) and the answers by the Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg were honest, intelligent and well argued. Alastair Stewart, Debate Moderator, kept the flow and focus without unnecessary interrupting or intervening and made it work as a debate.
Partly the debate showed that there is a lot of agreement between the parties but who won? David Cameron was good on what has gone wrong, some commonsense and good on ideas but not necessarily tried and tested ones, David Cameron was too smug and too angry.
Gordon Brown was good on Labour's record, on the good things Labour have done, he was good on ideas but said nothing to explain Labour's major mistakes or why he hadn't done these things while running Government; Gordon Brown personally appears honest and to have integrity but his party have become right wing and interested in power and their own positions just like the Tories they replaced in 1997.
Nick Clegg did show that the Liberal Democrats actually have different policies to those of the right wing Conservative and Labour Parties. I'm not convinced by all of the Lib Dem policies, but Nick Clegg was able to say what he would do, how it would work and actually answered people's questions. Clegg came across well and said specifically what the Liberal Democrats would do and why. He wasn't so good at admitting when he actually agreed with Labour or when his policy was the same as that of the Tories. He also didn't manage to explain how Liberal Democrats in Scotland, Wales and big cities up and down the country have kept their election promises and largely done what they said they would do. Would a Liberal Democrat MP make a difference? There were complaints about all of the parties but less about the Lib Dems and the other parties have both had a go and repeated many of the same mistakes. Time for a change from right wing parties and vote for a Liberal one. Nick Clegg won the debate.
On the debate itself I agree with Angus Walker, tv history, and John Sopel, much more engaging than expected.