Thursday, 15 April 2010
I think it's clear that Clegg came out on top.
But this isn't a terrible thing. Let's face it, there's going to a be a hung parliament - and that leaves us with 2 options; another election where almost nobody votes Lib-Dem and we see a clear winner Tory or Labour, OR a coalition government (so that's most likely Lib-Lab).
It felt like Brown was courting the Liberal Democrats from the start. I'm surprised there was no cheesy chat up line in his opening statement 'So Clegg, what's a liberal like you doing in a capitalist market economy like this?' .... *tumble weed*
I honestly felt Brown did his best, and came out second. As the incumbent PM he had the most to lose from the debate and the hardest point to argue, and he laid down down the core principles of the campaign - but more importantly, let's not forget that Gordon is very happy about the Tories campaign posters as they showed him smiling, doing more than any editor had done so he's very pleased the Conservatives and even more with Lord Ashcroft for buying it.
Cameron was weak I thought. He seemed very keen on electioneering, he time and time again repeated himself word for word in responses. People apparently supported Cameron's quota system drastically? I honestly couldn't believe this...mostly because it's the third most ridiculous thing the Tories have said (coming behind 'Broken Britain' and the married couples issue).
Although to 'the mob' (ie. the part of the general public that hears one thing, and interprets it as something else) seemed to think that Mr. Brown did terrible (though I agree Nick Clegg came out on top), anyone with eyes can see he flirted his Scottish arse off. Brown knows that what we're facing is a hung parliament, and he knows he can stay PM if he makes a joint Labour-Liberal Democrat cabinet. Nick pushed back a few advances... but come on, after the mediator handed over the issue of reform over to him Nick blushed, and looked a little caught off guard by such advances.
But this has been massively written about, dozens of bloggers have had a field day dissecting each statement, so I saw little point in analysing each of the question answers here on my blog ( I kind of did that as it went along...although this mostly consisted of 'I'd like you to back up that statement Cameron!' or 'Oh suuure Nick, you say that but really? REALLY?!' As I sometimes get over involved in TV debates...I'm terrible at watching Question Time, I always end up turning on the audience more than anything).
But my conclusion is that polls may give Clegg a temporary boost, but I highly doubt that it will affect to actual polls as much as the panels and 'the mob' seemed to indicate.
I had a half hour long talk with a 'hardcore' floating voter, the minority of the population who a) give a toss and b) know anything of substance about politics. Those kinds of voters are too few and far between though for major politicians to care about - so they fight for the marginals.
We need electoral reform yes? We need a political overhaul yes? Then you can't go Tory, Cameron threw the old "you've had 13 years!" at Brown, but just remember, the Tories had a lot longer, opposed it when Labour goes for it and made no indication they'll support it should they win.
The Liberal Democrats are flawed, it's in their very base code to not actually work... they can't make things add up and they fail to have a single cohesive party, saying one thing on a national level and then another on a local level.
Labour is not just your only real choice, it's also the right choice.
Posted by Tom Greaves at 23:53