3 out of 5 polls point to narrow Clegg victory in televised debate

The verdicts are coming in – you can read what I thought here – and two out of three of tonight’s instant polls show Nick Clegg edging tonight’s Sky News televised debate:

    Angus Reid … Clegg 33%, Cameron 32%, Brown 23%
    ComRes … Clegg 33%, Cameron 30%, Brown 30%
    YouGov … Clegg 32%, Cameron 36%, Brown 29%

What’s clear is that this debate was a much close contest than last week’s first debate, much more evenly matched between the three leaders. Clegg was at least as good, but – to give them their due – both Cameron and in particular Brown had improved.

What’s unclear is how it will affect the party ratings. My guess is that tonight will have confimed existing views rather than changed minds. And given viewing figures are likely to be far lower than last week’s debate – and given it’s the middle debate – I can’t see tonight being a game-changer for anyone.

Update: one further poll, Populus in The Times, shows Cameron edging Clegg 37% to 36%, with Brown trailing on 27%.

Update 2: and another one, this time ICM for the Guardian, putting Clegg on 33%, with Brown and David Cameron level on 29%.

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9 Comments

  • Anthony Aloysius St 22nd Apr '10 - 10:51pm

    Those Angus Reid figures are just provisional ones for a survey that’s still in progress.

  • The way Sky conducted the programme needs looking at, some signs of bias. Liberal Vision have some analysis:

    http://www.liberal-vision.org/2010/04/22/how-murdoch-shafted-clegg/

  • Anthony Aloysius St 23rd Apr '10 - 9:37am

    Paul

    I was very surprised that Adam Boulton raised the Clegg donations story, particularly as the details of the payments from the account had been published by that time. Surely that wasn’t part of his agreed role as moderator? Perhaps someone familiar with the detailed protocol for the debate can say whether it was actually a breach of the rules.

  • Darth Murdoch’s Sky TV break the rules to hit the Lib Dems? Shurely shome mishtake?

  • Anthony Aloysius St 23rd Apr '10 - 10:51am

    I found the relevant part of the rules:
    Role of the moderator
    58. To moderate the programme
    59. To keep the leaders to the agreed time limits
    60. To ensure free-flowing debate being fair to all candidates over the course of the programme.
    61. To ensure fairness on the direction of the programme editor
    62. To seek factual clarification where necessary 63. It is not the moderator’s role to criticise or comment on the leaders’ answers.
    64. The candidates accept the authority of the moderator to referee the rules on stage and ensure a free flowing, fair debate conducted within the agreed rules.

    I can’t see how saying “You were on the front page of the Telegraph today” falls within this role.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 24th Apr '10 - 12:09am

    The first voting-intention polls conducted after the second debate show very little change from the previous ones. Perhaps a strengthening of the Tory vote by a point and a weakening of the Lib Dem by a point, but probably less. And maybe the furious tabloid attack on the Lib Dems has cost them a couple of points over the last few days, but no more than that.

    YouGov:
    CON 34 (-)
    LD 29 (+1)
    LAB 29 (-1)

    Harris:
    CON 34 (+3)
    LD 29 (-1)
    LAB 26 (-)

    Average these two and a uniform swing projection shows Labour and the Tories level pegging in terms of seats, both between 60 and 65 short of a majority, with the Lib Dems on 90-odd. Pretty much a dream scenario (or, depending which way one looks at it, a nightmare scenario).

    With postal votes starting to be returned, one wonders how much further things will shift from this position.

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