Poll ups pressure on Cameron over TV debates

I pointed out before that the key to getting a boost in support out of TV leader debates isn’t so much winning the debate as beating expectations: if people expected you to do dreadfully and you come out doing ok that’s almost always a boost to a campaign, whilst being seen as doing ok when the expectations were that you would walk it means you lose support.

So the pressure really is on David Cameron as he’s the one going in to the debates with highest expectations on him according to the latest MORI opinion poll:

Which leader do you expect to gain most public support as a result of these debates, Gordon Brown, David Cameron or Nick Clegg?

Cameron: 53%
Brown: 20%
Clegg: 12%

UPDATE: These poll results are echoed by a YouGov poll:

Leaving aside your own party preferences, who do you think will perform best in these debates?

Cameron: 42%
Brown: 16%
Clegg: 11%

UPDATE 2: ICM have now polled this issue too, with much the same results:

Putting aside your own party preference, which party leader do you think will do best in the debates – Gordon Brown, David Cameron or Nick Clegg?

Cameron: 48%
Brown: 23%
Clegg: 12%

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This entry was posted in Polls.


  • Mark the question on here should be why is Clegg on 12%, and why are the Lib/Dems down to only 16% in the polls.

    The talk a few weeks back how much we we grow on the last election?

    So when are you going to come out and ask this question?

  • paul barker 1st Mar '10 - 2:11pm

    David, & others, we have to remember that for most people the election campaign hasnt started yet. Certainly the BBC dont feel any need for balance yet. A lot of voters only remember we exist during the last weeks of the campaign, a big chunk dont who Clegg is yet. In any case the lower expectations are the more people will be pleasantly surprised.
    We all watch the polls but we have to remember that the correlation between them & our actual performance has been very weak. The result for us is wide open.

  • Paul, still, that 12% is quite disappointing

  • ali al rimmer 2nd Mar '10 - 11:32pm

    Mark,will Nick pretend that he’s making a speech without notes to mimmick Cameron ,whilst having the script beamed on the walls behind the audience or has this been banned?

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