I am writing this introduction 2 hours and 48 minutes before transmission (so 17.12PM to be exact). Mainly because I plan to have a sheet of paper, covered with messy handwriting on all four corners of the paper. For a debate like this, its worth it. The first time in British political history that seven different parties may hold the balance of power, and send the island in multiple directions, all unpopular in one part of the country or another. But this debate culminates the anticipation of so many wanted debates. Cameron/Milliband, Clegg/Farage II, Sturgeon/Cameron, Sturgeon/Miliband, Farage/Sturgeon, Bennett/Cameron, Wood/Cameron, Far–oh, you get the idea. Everyone will be bating for the PM’s blood, or none at all if Cameron can hold his own. The setting is Salford, the audience is everywhere, and the journalists are sharpening their pencils and massaging their minds.
The carnage leaked into the early morning and there are plenty of mixed messages. Sturgeon Won! Farage Won! Cameron Won! Milliband Won! It’s endless. It paints the perfect picture of British politics right now: Divided, Messy, and Untrustworthy. But whatever happens on the night of the vote will be decided then. Let’s look at everyone and how they did.
She won, in my opinion. Calm & confident, she handled the opposing parties well, and stood toe to toe against leaders that many in Westminster and the media have said are above her in the hierarchy of British politics. Backing her argument with eight years of rule in Scotland, she came off as a PM in waiting, even if she is only standing in Scotland.
I like Nigel Farage. There, I said it. He knows how to communicate with people and he isn’t a zombie politician lacking personality. Sadly, I don’t like the party he represents, as well as their views. Near the end of the debate he got too barmy and wild when engaging with other leaders. It will be interesting to see where he goes next.
We discovered something about Ed tonight: his undeniable crush for camera 2. Seriously, he kept glaring into it whenever he was speaking. It was unsettling and desperate. Overall, he was good, but not great. In fact, I’d argue he was weaker than in the Channel 4 debate. He did not challenge and had no chance to really show off his strengths.
We found out tonight that Nick Clegg is better at debating than actually being in government. He fought well, but the last five years are still fresh in voters minds, and will no doubt punish him come May 7th. He had his moments, but overall he should seek a new career in public speaking.
Bennett was good, but not great. She started off strong and really laid into Cameron. But her overall pitch is just not registering. Sad to say, but Caroline Lucas would’ve performed better and engaged more with voters. I feel that she needs to re-work her game plan for the upcoming debates.
She was dull. I’m sorry, but she was. She’s an elegant speaker, but has no energy. Whether it was her angelic welsh voice or her laid back posture, I just felt that she was unneeded in the debate. Obviously I’m wrong, however I was expecting more from her in this debate. Hope she improves in the next one.
I am mixed on his performance. I disagree that he commanded the room. I think that’s pure Tory spin. I think he held his own, but I wanted a lot more from him. More aggression, more performance, and more ideas. Ed was right in his lack of talking up the future, and that is quite worrying. Some say he was the invisible man, the jury is still out!
By Connor Macgregor, Junior Writer for Daily Political View.