Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Candidate debates in the UK

Even if there's only one, the British have held another debate among party leaders before the upcoming election.

TV election debate gets under way
Seven party leaders have made their opening statements in the first TV leader debate of the election.

It is the only time David Cameron and Ed Miliband will face each other before 7 May's polling day…
Introducing the debaters
The ITV-hosted event could be a defining moment in the campaign, with Labour and the Conservatives still deadlocked in the polls.

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett got the debate under way with an anti-austerity message, saying there was an "alternative" to making the poor and disadvantaged pay for the mistakes of bankers.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the other six parties were all the same because they supported EU membership, adding he wanted to "take back control of our borders".

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said no one would win the election and voters should think about who they want to see in coalition, saying his party offered "grit" in government.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon had a message of "friendship" for the rest of the UK, saying the SNP will work with other "parties of like mind" to end the "bedroom tax" and protect the NHS.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said his party had a better plan for the country and vowed to ban exploitative "zero hours" contracts and "save" the NHS.

Conservative leader David Cameron said the Conservatives' economic plan is working, adding: "Let's not go back to square one, Britain can do so much better than that."

Plaid Cymru's Leanne Woods had an anti-austerity message and said her party can "win for Wales" in a hung Parliament.

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At 9:01 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Lively, seven-way debate leaves Britain still searching for a clear winner

They stood seven across on the stage, the men and women who want to lead Britain, their very number a reminder of how much this country has changed in just the past five years…

The seven-way debate format was always going to favour the challengers, since they were being given a spot on a stage that five years ago was reserved for the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders. It also favoured the three female leaders – all heads of smaller parties – who in the view of snap polls did a far better job of winning over viewers, perhaps because they shouted less and spent more time actually trying to answer questions from the audience…

Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party pulled off a remarkable feat Thursday when she was widely acclaimed as the debate’s winner – winning over many viewers who can’t vote for her party – by coolly taking shots at the record of Mr. Cameron and Mr. Clegg, chipping away at Mr. Miliband’s credibility and deflating Mr. Farage’s bombast…

A snap poll by YouGov found that 28 per cent of viewers felt Ms. Sturgeon had won the seven-way argument, well ahead of second-place Mr. Farage…

The seven-way format – the only debate Mr. Cameron’s team would agree to – was always unlikely to produce a clear winner, and the Conservatives have rejected Labour demands for a one-on-one debate between Mr. Cameron and Mr. Miliband. Thursday’s muddled result may be exactly what the Conservatives had been hoping for.


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