Tag Archives: leaders tv debate

19 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Johnson offers failed knife crime policies
  • Lib Dems respond to Farage comments on local Tory and Brexit Party deals
  • Swinson: ITV debate proves people at home deserve so much better
  • CCHQ’s Twitter factchecking ploy is straight of Putin’s playbook

Johnson offers failed knife crime policies

Responding to Boris Johnson’s announcement on knife crime, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Ed Davey said:

The UK is in the grip of an epidemic of serious violence, and we urgently need real solutions. Instead, all the Tories can offer are the same old failed policies.

These Conservative policies are all about seeming tough on crime, but they won’t actually do anything

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17 November 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems begin legal challenge against BBC for Swinson exclusion

The Liberal Democrats have instructed a legal team to write to the BBC in response to the public service broadcaster excluding Jo Swinson from their election ‘leaders’ debate’.

In the letter, the party’s lawyers warn that the exclusion of one of the leaders of the three main UK-wide national parties is “clearly unlawful”.

President of the Liberal Democrats, Sal Brinton, has said “voters of this country deserve to hear from a Remainer on the debate stage, not just from the two men who want to deliver Brexit.”

The Liberal Democrats have …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

Debate likely to be the political Celebrity Squares option

seven candidates

US Republican Presidential nomination primary debate 2012
Don’t hold your breath at this stage, but it looks entirely conceivable that we have possibly got a robust plan for a seven-way leaders debate during the general election campaign. It could well be on April 2nd, although Labour have yet to agree.

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Ed Miliband’s speech: 5 thoughts on what it means for Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and the 2015 election

Ed MilibandI listened to, rather than watched, Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour party conference yesterday. On the up-side that meant I missed the three hammy mid-speech standing ovations (shades of IDS c.2003); on the down-side it accentuated the peculiar whooping of some of the more excitable delegates (calm down, it’s just a politician talking). In its own terms — getting noticed for its content rather than simply as an impressive no-notes memory feat — it was an undoubted success. Matthew Parris in The Times rather brilliantly captures the flavour:


Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 26 Comments

“We cannot afford it” – Cameron on raising income tax threshold to £10k. In 2010.

With a hat-tip to Ed Stradling, here’s a reminder of what David Cameron told Nick Clegg about raising the income tax threshold in the first leaders’ debate:

(Watch it on YouTube here.)

I think it’s fair to say the Tories have since had a change of heart. Apparently it was their idea all the time:

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How Labour saw Clegg before the 2010 election TV debates

clegg debateThere have been a couple of fascinating posts this week by election expert Philip Cowley, a politics professor at Nottingham University. They reveal for the first time the internal briefing prepared for Labour dissecting the debating skills of each of the three party leaders — Clegg, Brown and Cameron — ahead of the 2010 leaders’ debate.

Yesterday’s focused on David Cameron. Today the spotlight of hindsight is shone on Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown. Below is the assessment of the Lib Dem leader — and what’s perhaps most interesting …

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Thoughts turn to the 2015 general election TV debates

The Guardian reports:

Some senior cabinet members want to limit the number of TV debates in the next election campaign to just one, but they are likely to face a counter-offer from Channel 4 that there should be four debates: two during the campaign itself and two in the months before the election, due to be called in June 2015.

Discussions between the parties and the broadcasters are likely to start soon with initial feelers being put out by the broadcasters.

Posted in News | 13 Comments

Opinion: Nick Clegg didn’t suck up to Murdoch – that’s why his minions tried to destroy him

There was a moment during the election campaign last year when many Liberal Democrats realised we had passed through the looking glass.

Nick Clegg’s performance in the first leaders’ debate broke the glass ceiling of British politics and, it seems, caused more than one Tory-supporting newspaper editor to wet themselves in fear.

Then, on the eve of the second debate, the right wing press let slip the dogs of war.

It wasn’t just the Murdoch papers that went for Nick, but they did and they did it viciously. The Sun ridiculed him, splashing outrageous and ridiculous headlines on their front page for days …

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Do Tweets win seats? – Micro-blogging and politics

Politicos use Twitter to communicate with voters, activists and the media. It’s sociable and fashionable. It’s useful but it has its limits.

And if this was Twitter I’d stop there, for the paragraph above is a 140-character summary of the popular micro-blogging service and its emerging role in politics. Having the luxury of a whole chapter, rather than a couple of lines, I can expound a bit. But sometimes I relish Twitter’s brevity and the way it gives me both the discipline and the excuse not to write at length.

Twitter was to the 2010 General Election what blogging had been to the previous one: novel, topical, conversational, personal. Blogging, in long and short form, is good for quickly spreading campaign messages, news and rumours and it’s freely accessible for anyone with an internet connection.

When I first subscribed to the service a couple of years ago, few news outlets or political candidates were tweeting, although the three main parties were already using it to link to party information and election results.

Over the past year, Twitter has been increasingly taken up by MPs and councillors, bloggers and journalists, even government departments, but crucially by thousands of people who are none of the above, but want to converse with them on an equal footing.

The parties continue to tweet, but now candidates, MPs and party leaders themselves are using the medium, with varying degrees of skill.

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What a difference three months makes #nickcleggsfault

Three months ago, Thursday, 15th April, witnessed the UK’s first televised debate between the main party leaders.

Here’s a reminder of the close of the first debate, which sparked ‘Cleggmania’ as well as the catchphrase “I agree with Nick”, and the subsequent Twitter hashtag craze #nickcleggsfault

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 16 Comments

SNP ends legal challenge over election debate

The Press Gazette reports:

The Scottish National Party has dropped its legal challenge against the BBC’s decision not to allow its leader Alex Salmond to appear in its televised debate in the run-up to the general election.

A judicial review of the matter was scheduled to be heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

You can read the full story here.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

The YouGov poll which shows Nick Clegg won the third TV debate

An interesting snippet from today’s Sunday Times reporting the latest YouGov tracker poll conducted on Friday and Saturday among nearly 1,500 voters showed that “Nick Clegg narrowly won the debate overall”.

You won’t find the figures in the paper’s report (and I can’t find them on the YouGov site) but the Times’s Samuel Coates reports that Clegg was judged to have most impressed by 35% of voters, compared with 32% for David Cameron.

Separately the paper also reports that Clegg continues to enjoy high personal popularity ratings:

A YouGov poll of nearly 1,500 people shows that the Liberal Democrat’s

Posted in Polls | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Kudos to Clegg: the TV debates wash-up

Three programmes, four-and-a-half hours of debate, endless analysis – but one thing’s for sure: Nick Clegg is alone among the three leaders in being able to reflect on them with real pleasure.

David Cameron and the Tories are buoyed by his performance yesterday; understandably so, as most instant polls called it a ‘win’ for him. But three weeks ago the Tories were polling in the 36-39% range, with most pundits predicting a narrow-but-decisive Tory majority. Currently, just a few days before polling day, the Tories are stuck in the 33-36% range.

Perhaps more significant, though is the way Cameron has had to re-write his script during this campaign. Tory advisors hoped it would be enough for their leader to portray himself as the only alternative to Gordon Brown. But then along came ‘Cleggmania’ and suddenly Cameron looked old hat: the mantle of change was snatched away from him by a more dynamic rival. With ratings dipping, the Tories’ answer was familiar enough: turn to the right.

And that’s exactly what Cameron has done. In the third debate last night, he showed the authentic face of Toryism: anti-European, anti-immigrant, anti-welfare. No wonder he looked more comfortable, and no wonder the Tory tribe was smiling today. At long last, their leader had ditched any pretence of building a big-tent mainstream party, and was reverting to the party’s comfort zone, shoring up its core vote.

But of this I am certain: that right-wing c.2005 Michael Howard display from Cameron last night was absolutely not where he wanted to be at this stage of the campaign.

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Final debate polls put Cameron ahead, but floating voters choose Clegg

All the post-debate polls are in, and four out of five are giving David Cameron a win, with Clegg tied in first place in one, and in second place in three. Brown is last in all but one:

    YouGov: Cameron 41%, Clegg 32%, Brown 25%.
    ComRes: Cameron 35%, Clegg 33%, Brown 26%.
    Populus: Cameron 38%, Clegg 38%, Brown 25%.
    ICM: Cameron 35%, Clegg 27%, Brown 29%.
    Angus Reid: Cameron 36%, Clegg 30%, Brown 23%.

Well, I guess seeing as Clegg was judged to have won the first two debates it was only fair that Cameron should have a consolation prize 🙂

For me, it was a score draw, and I do wonder how far the narrow win for Cameron in the post-debate polls reflects more settled party preferences. As Andrew Rawnsley tweeted:

Early post-debate polls (DC 1, NC 2, GB 3) reflecting party positions in national polls. Minds being made up?

It was certainly a better, more convincing performance from Cameron than in his first (disastrous) performance, or his second improved debate. Brown was less good tonight than in earlier debates – relatively speaking, I mean – less empathetic, more dogmatic, still just as tired.

Clegg was under attack far more than in the first debate, but withstood the pressure well; his continuing calls for parties to work together better resonates with the public far more than it does with cynical politicos and hacks.

Posted in General Election and Polls | 46 Comments

The Third Leaders’ Debate: Live chat

Welcome to Lib Dem Voice’s coverage of the third televised debate between the three main party leaders, an event perhaps even more keenly anticpated than last week’s inaugural debate – though the viewing figures will almost certainly be fewer. As last week, we’re co-hosting live-chat, below, simultaneously with the Mark Reckons blog.

Posted in General Election and News | 14 Comments

Ofcom rejects SNP/Plaid objection to TV debate

A message from Ofcom brought this news today:

Ofcom today announced it has not upheld complaints received from the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Plaid Cymru about The First Election Debate broadcast on ITV1 at 8.30pm on Thursday 15 April 2010.  The political parties complained that the programme was not impartial and was also misleading.

The complaints were adjudicated by the Ofcom Election Committee which may consider complaints during an election period where it is considered that a substantive issue is raised and where the complaint, if upheld, might require redress before polling day.

The Committee considered all the submissions and evidence before it, in …

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The technological impact no-one was expecting

I’ve often written about my scepticism of excited comments about 2010 being the first internet general election both because they miss how much at the organisational level has already been altered by the internet over the last two general elections and also because people looking at the internet’s impact on the external side of politics spend far too much time looking at the national scene when instead they should be looking at the local scene.

After the first TV debate you could already imagine the election post mortems headlined, “First internet election? Or first TV election?” Old-fashioned TV has …

Posted in News and Online politics | Also tagged | 11 Comments

YouGov admit debate polling started whilst Nick Clegg was still speaking

YouGov have come in for a fair amount of flack online following last night’s instant debate poll for The Sun. Some of the criticism has been wrong or misplaced. Yes, one of their senior figures has Labour roots. But then one has Conservative roots  and other staff support the Liberal Democrats. They’ve even done polling for the Lib Dems in the past.

But – and it’s an important but – that was not the whole story. In amongst all the chaff were claims that YouGov’s polling started before the debate had actually finished and that it was collecting people’s verdicts on …

Posted in Polls | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

The good news for Clegg in the poll details

Overall the pattern of the debate polls is one of a close result: 3 polls make Clegg the winner, 2 make Cameron the winner. The political impact is more contentious: edging it in the majority of polls would, in any other circumstances be a triumph for Clegg – but was it enough given what happened one week before? Similarly, failing to clearly win the debate in other circumstances would be a disaster for Cameron (remember all those polls and betting odds in advance of the debates saying Cameron would win?). But after last week, perhaps this was good enough?

Well, there’s …

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LDVideo Second Leaders’ Debate Special: Nick Clegg’s opening and closing statements

Missed last night’s second leaders’ debate on Sky? Want to re-live some of Nick Clegg’s best bits again? Then here, via the Lib Dem Voice YouTube channel, are his opening and closing statements …

Nick Clegg’s opening statement:

Posted in General Election and YouTube | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Dear Benedict Brogan…

Hi Benedict,

Saw that you just wrote: “The snap polls gave the debate to Mr Cameron.”

That seems a bit odd given the actual poll results are:

YouGov and Populus – Cameron winner
ComRes, Angus Reid and ICM – Clegg winner

I can’t quite see how that tallies up with your statement?

Best wishes,


As if by magic (well, actually email) back comes a note that the post is being amended 🙂

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LibLink: Stephen Tall on Nick Clegg’s debate performance

Go on, try to guess what LDV Co-Editor Stephen Tall thought of Nick Clegg’s performance in the televised Prime Ministerial debate yesterday…

Even if you can guess the answer, Stephen’s piece on Comment is Free is well worth a read for the analysis it gives of why the debate went the way it did:

At least in part, it’s the practice that the Lib Dem leader has put in. I don’t mean the intensive “debate camp” cramming all three leaders have undertaken in recent weeks, but rather the scores of town hall meetings he’s been holding up and down the country since

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First election debate: winners and losers

Now the dust is starting to settle after the first debate, who are the winners and losers – aside from the party leaders?

Winner – liberalism
Loser – hostility to foreigners

Praising some aspects of immigration, talking about no like-for-like replacement of Trident, pledging to scrap tuition fees, promising to cut taxes for most by raising taxes for the very rich – Nick Clegg won the debate not by abandoning policies for some  mushy middle ground, but by sticking to core liberal beliefs. Those beliefs were carefully wrapped in language and arguments designed to be appeal to a wide audience – but …

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 2 Comments

Four celebrity ‘twumbs-ups’ for Nick Clegg #iagreewithnick

Here are four approving sleb tweets spotted during the course of the debate …

    John Cleese (comedy god)

    Well, well, well. First leaders debate, and LibDems do so well. Good
    luck to them.

    Phillip Schofield (TV presenter)

    It’ll be fascinating to see how that’s altered the polls. I’m thinking Mr Clegg hasn’t done himself any harm tonight #leadersdebate

    Graham Linehan (writer, Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd)

    Is it just me or is Clegg storming this? #leadersdebate

    Chris Addison (comedian, star of The Thick of It)

    Few would have recognised Nicholas Cleggolas before this evening. This is hugely significant for him, whoever ‘wins’.

Posted in General Election | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

LDVideo Leaders Debate Special: Nick Clegg’s opening and closing statements

Want to see Nick Clegg’s opening and closing statements from last night’s televised election debate – well, here you go …

Nick Clegg’s 60-second opening statement in the first ever British televised general election debate

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Nick Clegg leaders’ debate win: your LDV reader

Here’s a welcome problem to have this morning … wading our way through the sheer volume of media news that’s positive for the Lib Dem following Nick Clegg’s terrific performance in last night’s televised lesaders’ debate.

Let’s make a start with the newspaper editorials:

Nick Clegg’s night (Guardian)

Expectations shape reactions, which is why Britain’s first televised leaders’ debate will be judged not just in terms of how the three men involved in it performed, but what was predicted before they began speaking. On that measure, Nick Clegg thrived, David Cameron disappointed and Gordon Brown survived.

The Other One Wins: Nick Clegg seized his moment (Times)

Nick Clegg took his chance and changed a two-man competition into something that looks more like a three-horse race.

Clegg uses first TV debate to best effect (Telegraph)

Posted in General Election | 7 Comments

Dear Michael Gove…

Dear Michael,

You’re in the news today saying that the “novelty” of Nick Clegg will wear off when his policies come under further scrutiny.

Guess you must have missed last night’s TV debate then, with the two occasions when David Cameron directly put Liberal Democrat policies under scrutiny and said they wouldn’t work.

Only thing is, on both occasions – how to fund taking millions out of income tax and how to have a regionally based immigration system – Nick Clegg straight away responded with a detailed answer covering all of Cameron’s points.

And in both cases that response silenced Cameron on the point …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

The LDV Leaders’ Debate Verdict: Nick Clegg the winner #GoNick #leadersdebate #GE2010

I cannot tell you how good it is to be able to type the words, “Nick Clegg was the clear winner”, and know that not only is it my view, but that it’s the public view, too. We’ve already published the two poll results which matter: those showed Nick was judged to have done best by 51%, with Cameron on 29% and Brown on 19% (YouGov), and Nick 46%, Cameron 26%, Brown 20% (ComRes).

Nick Clegg … it’s true, Nick had a couple of advantages going into the debate. He’s the least known, so merely being given equal status is already a win. True, too, expectations were lower for Nick. But even allowing for that, this was an important night for Nick. Those of us who have watched Nick at his town hall meetings will have been familiar enough with the style: natural, conversational, honest, open, personable. Though all were nervous, at least initially, Nick appeared to shrug off the jitters most quickly. His body language, crucial in a debate like this, was engaging, both with the audience in the studio, and the audience at home. What people saw tonight was the Real Nick Clegg. They seem to like him.

Gordon Brown … the Prime Minister started with low expectations, but for a different reason than Nick: most people have already made up their minds that he’s not up to the job. I was relatively (and I stress the word relatively) impressed with Brown’s performance.

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LDVideo #GE2010 #GoNick – Nick anticipates tonight’s televised debate. But how are we all feeling?

Today’s election campaign has been something of a rest-day for the leaders, with no major set-piece launches or interviews, as all three focus on tonight’s televised leaders’ debate. The preparations have dominated the political news all day, with intense speculation about who’ll win, and indeed whether anybody will win.

In the two video clips below, Nick Clegg speaks about how he’s feeling ahead of the biggest night of his political life. But how are LDV’s readers feeling? Excited, nervous; both, neither?

Clegg on debate preparations – Nick Clegg has spoken about his nerves and how he has been preparing for the prime ministerial TV debate.

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LibLink: Mark Pack – TV leaders’ debates: the dos and don’ts

Over at the Total Politics website, LDV Co-Editor Mark Pack has penned an open letter to the party leaders ahead of tonight’s televised debate. Mark offers six pieces of advice, ranging from the obvious (or you’d think they’d be obvious), such as “Behave” to the more oblique, “Be ready for the worms”. Here’s an excerpt:

“Drunkard”, “useful idiot” and “dickheads” – all terms from one of the 2006 Italian debates between Prodi and Berlusconi – are best avoided, as is this quote from a 2004 Czech debate: “You’re lying as you always have. That’s you all over – a liar from

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

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