Tag Archives: nickvnigel

The Nigel Farage Paradox: the higher his public profile, the lower is public support to leave the EU

Nigel Farage

Here is the Nigel Farage paradox: the more that Ukip’s media profile, poll rating and party membership has grown over the last two years, the more that support for the party’s core mission – that Britain should leave the European Union – seems to have shrunk.

    Sunder Katwala, director of British Future (New Statesman, 3 April 2014)
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The Swiss Wheeze: the Better Off Out argument that’s full of holes

Swiss CheeseIf only we were Switzerland, eh? That’s the dream of the Better Off Out brigade, who long for its freedom as part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). And it’s a tempting offer: all the benefits of free trade with EU member states, and (if you believe Nigel Farage, Dan Hannan et al) none of the risks.

Except it’s not quite that easy, as The Economist highlighted when it investigated Britain’s options.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 19 Comments

Nick v Nigel: What the commentators say – and don’t say

Farage cleggWell, there’s a surprise. After last week’s largely positive stories, the headlines aren’t so good this week. It’s interesting to see that those who called for Nick to be more passionate and to go less on the detail weren’t satisfied when he did just that. I wonder if last week’s coverage prompted too much of a strategic rethink to an approach that was working fine. In my opinion, the only thing that needed changing from the LBC debate was a stronger answer on the referendum question, especially as it …

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Nick v Nigel: the polls call it for Farage. Disappointing, but don’t panic! Here’s 3 reasons why you shouldn’t…

Farage cleggLast week we had one post-debate poll. It showed Farage won overall, but the split was more interesting: Labour and Lib Dem voters went for Nick, Tory and Ukippers for Nigel. As you’d probably expect.

This week we had two post-debate polls, and their results are remarkably similar. ICM says Clegg was reckoned to have won by 31% of viewers, Farage by 69%. YouGov says 27% preferred Clegg, 68% Farage.

ICM has released the breakdown of its poll. This week, Labour voters split (narrowly) in Farage’s favour, by 57% …

Posted in Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged and | 56 Comments

Nick v Nigel, Round 2: My second thoughts

clegg farage lbcLast week, there was no doubt in my mind that Nick Clegg won the debate – he quite simply out-classed Nigel Farage, and YouGov’s poll showed Labour and Lib Dem voters agreed (though not Tory and Ukip voters).

This week, it was much more evenly matched. The early part belonged to Nick. With the focus on the Ukip leader’s praise for Vladimir Putin as a “brilliant operator”, Nigel Farage was always going to be on the back-foot. He was, and Nick was able successfully to claim the calm …

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Opinion: Young people benefit from the EU. We need to persuade them to vote for the party of IN

Youth on the Move in Volos 20Each one of us who was glued to a screen or radio for the Nick vs Nigel EU debate last Wednesday will have our own opinion of who lost and who won as facts, rhetorical points and the affection of the audience were fought over. But I’ll tell you whose affection wasn’t fought over – that of Britain’s young people. And I, along with friends in and outside the party, was disappointed.

The lives of young people in this country – your children, your activists, you …

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It’s #NickvNigel Round 2 and we have bingo and billboards

Nick v Nigel Round 2 poster

Today the second debate on EU membership takes place between our Nick Clegg and UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

The image you see before you will be beaming down on commuters and shoppers in Tottenham Court Road, one of London’s busiest areas from around now. At least I think that’s the case. I’m only from Scotland.

It’s also fair to say that no social media timeline will be safe from the image of Cameron and Miliband missing

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Time for Nick Clegg to ditch the “Great Britain not Little England” line

england-flag“Great Britain not little England” – it was a line Nick Clegg used in his recent Spring conference speech, setting up the new political dividing lines between those who are optimistic, outward-looking, progressive pro-Europeans and those who are gloomy, isolationst, reactionary anti-Europeans.

It’s a line he used again in this week’s Nick v Nigel debate. “Great Britain, not Little England” was the subject line, too, of the party’s immediate post-debate email to supporters.

Clearly it’s a line the party believes encapsulates the main fault-line in British politics right now. …

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Latest Euro poll shows how, in this May’s elections, every %-age point matters for the Lib Dems

clegg farage lbcInterest in the outcome of May’s European elections is picking up, at least judged by the number of polls the newspapers are commissioning – four have been published in the last fortnight. Here’s the average support for the parties:

    Labour – 30%
    Ukip – 26%
    Conservative – 24%
    Lib Dems – 9%

Converting that into seats using EuroElection predict’s online gizmo would produce the following figures:

Posted in Europe / International and Polls | Also tagged | 28 Comments

Tim Farron MP writes…Tales from the Spin Room

Clegg Speech 40Last night I was in the spin room doing my job as President, walking around and saying Nick had won.  It wasn’t hard to appear convincing, because he was brilliant. It was certainly easier than when I have to speak to the media after some by-elections!

I thought Nick won last night on both style and substance. Though of course as a Lib Dem, I would say that.  As a party we like facts and evidence. Watching last night, those things were very light on the UKIP side of the …

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: Last night we saw the nasty side of Nigel Farage

Lynne featherstone by paul walterLynne Featherstone has written an article for the Liberal Democrats’ website in which she slams Nigel Farage’s comments on same sex marriage  and Crimea in the debate last night.

I agree with Vlad

Nigel Farage loathes the EU so much that he is prepared to side with Vladimir Putin against the people of Ukraine and the democracies of the western world.

His statement, that the EU has “blood on its hands”, was an insult to those pro-democracy demonstrators who bravely took to the streets of Kiev to fight for their

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#NickvNigel: What the commentators say

MicrophoneStephen Tall gave his first thoughts about last night’s debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage. What’s the rest of the commentariat saying?

At the New Statesman, Rafael Behr reckons both men will go home satisfied and he got the point of Nick Clegg’s closing statement:

It is worth noting that in his closing statement, the Lib Dem leader quite explicitly asked pro-Europeans to lend him their votes in May’s European parliamentary election. This, ultimately, is the point of the exercise. His message: you may not like me or the Lib

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YouGov’s Nick v Nigel poll: Clegg wins with Labour, Lib Dem voters; Farage with Tory, Ukip voters

Nick clegg york in europe Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsMy overall view of last night’s Nick v Nigel debate was that Mr Reasonable won it. But then I would think that, wouldn’t I? What did rest of the British public think?

Well, the vast, vast majority of rest of the British public would have had no view either way: they didn’t watch it. But polling firm YouGov did ask those who did watch it – though as Anthony Wells notes, “to get 1000 people for our poll of people …

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Missed last night’s Nick v Nigel debate? Want to watch it again? Here it is…

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Nick v Nigel: My first thoughts

nickvnigelThis was Mr Angry v Mr Reasonable.

Nick Clegg started with one advantage – he’s a veteran of leaders’ debates – and one big disadvantage – his pro-Europeanism is unfashionable. Tonight, though, the Clegg of 2010 was back on show. He looked directly down the camera lens at the viewer, hand nonchalently in pocket, first-named the questioners.

It was (and yes, I would say this wouldn’t I but it doesn’t make it any less true) a class act from Nick. His crisp opening statement framed the key point we wanted to …

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#NickvNigel Pre-match fun: Pick of the Tweets

In just over half an hour, the #NickvNigel debate will be on. There have been many amusing tweets throughout the day. Here are some of the best:

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Three ways to watch #NickvNigel

It’s just over an hour to go until Nick Clegg takes on Nigel Farage to debate whether Britain should be in or out of the EU.

Here’s where you can watch:

It’s being streamed on both the Liberal Democrats’ website or over at LBC

If you have Sky News, you can watch the build up, debate and aftermath from 6pm.

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#NickvNigel: Charles Kennedy: I couldn’t get the Liberal Democrats to fight a pro-European campaign

Charles KennedyThis morning, Charles Kennedy went on the Today programme to talk about tonight’s debate.

There was just a trace of frustration in his voice as he remembered that he, as a “down the line unashamed unalloyed pro-European” he couldn’t get the party to campaign on that basis, so when Nick took the initiative:

I was absolutely delighted and f I’d been in his shoes I’d have taken the same initiative but I might have been blocked or thwarted.

We are the down the line pro-European party and Nigel is the direct opposite. It’s

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Your essential Nick v Nigel debate reader: 15 articles to get you match-fit ahead of tonight’s live encounter

Today’s the day of the first Nick v Nigel debate. Here’s your essential reader ahead of tonight’s first encounter between the Lib Dem and Ukip leaders…

Three LibDemVoice articles…

First, let’s recall how the debate came about – Nick Clegg challenged Nigel Farage to the debate live on his LBC radio phone-in last month: “It’s a brave, maybe audacious move,” said my co-editor Caron Lindsay, “but Nick has never been one to shy away from a challenge. He’s also honed his already good debating skills since his success in 2010.”

And as I pointed out then, it was a smart …

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#NickvNigel LibLink Special: Nick Clegg: Let’s keep Britain prosperous, safe and IN

Well, today’s the day. The first Nick v Nigel debate takes place on LBC tonight. I’ve already been on the station this morning batting for Team Nick against a UKIP MEP who suggested that Nick using facts might be a problem and that Nick had agreed to the debate. Everyone knows it was Nick who actually issued the challenge.

Nick has been writing for the Mirror on the reasons why he believes Britain needs to stay in the EU.

He knows it’s not perfect but who’s going to invest here if we are not part of that much larger market:

Europe isn’t

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#NickvNigel: We have 2 dates – any more for the Tour?

So, not only is the BBC running a Nick vs Nigel televised debate on 2 April at 7pm on BBC2, but LBC have announced that they are running one the week before on their now national radio station. From their website:

On Wednesday 26th March at 7pm, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, will go head-to-head with UKIP leader Nigel Farage in a live hour-long programme.

The LBC Leaders’ Debate will be hosted by Nick Ferrari in front of a live studio audience in London.

The debate is taking place after the Deputy Prime Minister challenged the leader of

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#NickvNigel – We have a date

nick clegg v nigel farageIt’s just been announced – the date we’ve been waiting for, when Nick Clegg will face Nigel Farage to debate whether Britain should be in or out of the EU.

Nick challenged Nigel two weeks ago on his Call Clegg radio show on LBC.

The debate will actually be televised, on BBC2 and will take place on Wednesday 2 April at 7pm.

Julian Huppert has just been on the BBC News Channel saying that he thinks that Nick will do really well, making the positive case for the European Union. On the two largest parties in British politics, he said:

I’m not surprised the other two parties have refused to take part. David Cameron’s party is completely split and Labour don’t quite know where they are on this. We are the only party who wants to be IN Europe, IN work.

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Opinion: Nick, Nigel and the Hokey Cokey party

In common with many Lib Dem activists I have ambivalent feeling about Nick Clegg. I don’t feel that there is a strong case to either say that that no good had come from the coalition or from his leadership, or alternatively that it’s all been peachy. In my view it’s actually a case of what you think the balance has been between successes and disappointments, a debate where I sit roughly in the middle.

However Nick’s latest move – challenging Nigel Farage to a public debate on Europe – has my unbridled admiration, both morally and politically. Morally not only because …

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Andrew Rawnsley: “The real reasons why Nick threw down the gauntlet to Nigel”

Andrew Rawnsley has made some interesting comments in today’s Observer on Nick Clegg’s debate challenge to Nigel Farage.

He makes the obligatory point that the party’s poor position in the polls and concern over the consequences of a bad result for Clegg’s leadership  but makes the point that it only takes a relatively small shift to protect the position of Liberal Democrat MEPs.

Senior Lib Dems privately confide that their goal is quite modest: to lift their vote share by three to four points above their current poll ratings. When you are bumping along at low levels of support, just a

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