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NEWS16 April 2010

Reaction polls take centre stage after historic TV election debate

Government UK

UK— No sooner had the UK’s first ever televised leaders’ debate gone off air last night when a host of research companies went into overdrive to deliver almost instantaneous feedback – with many news outlets billing the quick-reaction polls as historic events in their own right.

While the front pages of yesterday’s newspapers focused on what might be said at the debate in Manchester, this morning’s press focused on the results of the polls – published within minutes of the debate finishing – as the general election bandwagon gathers speed.

YouGov was first out of the blocks, claiming that the results of its online poll for The Sun were published with four minutes of the end of the debate. The firm boasted that its survey of more than 1,000 viewers was the “fastest representative survey ever conducted” in the UK.

Results found that 51% of respondents thought Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg “performed best overall” during the debate. Conservative chief David Cameron polled 29% and Labour’s Gordon Brown finished last with 19%.

ComRes followed minutes later, delivering the results of its poll for ITV News within a quarter hour of the debate finishing. In conjunction with Lightspeed Research, ComRes conducted automated telephone interviews with a pre-recruited sample of more than 4,000 people who had said they would watch the debate.

The firm has been running polls for ITV News all week and following the TV showdown, ComRes reported support for the Liberal Democrats up three percentage points to 24% compared to a survey conducted on Wednesday. Conservative support stayed the same at 35% while Labour dropped one point to 28%.

Clegg chalked up 43% of the vote for best performance of the evening ahead of Cameron on 26% and Brown on 20%.

The Sky News poll boasted a panel of 10,000 people and a sample of 1,600 who used text messaging to register their vote. Sky worked with feedback analytics firm Fizzback to carry out the survey, which rated the three leaders on ‘policy and personality’ as well as how well they performed in the debate. Respondents were able to rank Brown, Cameron and Clegg on a scale of -10 to +10.

As with the other polls, Clegg came out on top with 37% of the vote followed by Brown on 32% and Cameron on 31%.

Populus ran an online poll for The Times immediately after the debate, which saw a sample of just over 1,000 people interviewed. Again Clegg had it, but by a bigger margin, with 61% picking him as the debate winner.

Elsewhere there are less serious polls to enjoy, among them The Slapometer. Visitors to the site are given control of a giant hand which is used to slap one, or all, of the three leaders.

Graphs chart how many slaps the various leaders have accumulated over the course of the election campaign, with Cameron receiving most during the debate.

There are another two televised leaders debates scheduled over the next fortnight.



10 years ago

I think that Nick Clegg makes a great salesman another Blaire. What concerns me as that choosing a salesman in place of a professional politician is very concerning. Nobody there seemed to understand the facts behind the terrible policies!! They are very pro europe and unless your earning £10,000 or less they will tax you to high heaven and devestate this country. It is discriminating against the middle to higher earners and will take the heart out those who work very hard to achieve. Our economy will crash!!! The economists say their figures are fairytales!

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10 years ago

I thought the debate was fascinating. I was particularly pleased with Nick Clegg's performance but also thought that Gordon Brown did much better than expected. I think this debate has 'switched voters on' to the election and will bring people out to the ballot boxes - watch this space!

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10 years ago

I have always been impressed by the LibDem policies and ideas. I think that these debates will provide a great opportunity for Nick Clegg to reach many more people and show the country that there IS a credible alternative to Labour and Conservatives. It is good to see Lib Dem percentage points rising, I hope that the next Parliament gives them a real chance to show what they can do for our country.

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10 years ago

Stop apologising for 'Nasty Tories'; stop looking like a wimp. Stop pouring tea for old ladies; they are pleased to pour tea for Prime Ministerial candidates. Put a tie on. Stay out of the kitchen. Look like a leader. To promise to increase - inflation-plus - funding of the arcane, Soviet-styled, NHS is naive! If you can't make savings here, you will fail to manage the economy. Full stop. [Health Service? - at least 4,000 pa are killed by expensively-paid 'professionals' ] Professional medical staff KNOW they are unproductive and overpaid. Nursing staff know that management is crazy; many are better off (but not the NHS) if employed by an agency. Contractors take it to the cleaners - literally! The NHS behemoth needs to be re-invented and refined on a zero-base plan, retaining the principle of 'free care at the point of delivery for those in need' (but not those who don't). We do not need a humungous organisation on the same scale as the Chinese Miltary - It's designed as a killing machine!

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10 years ago

hmm I thought Nick Clegg was poor, repetitive, vacuous and with the wrong policies. However, I will admit that I thought the general public would think him the winner because he was more relaxed and used blokesy and folksey language. So here's my prejudice, people go on emotion and that is the problem with these formats.

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