UK politician Nick Clegg wins historic first televised political debate

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nick Clegg
Image: Nick Clegg.
Gordon Brown
Image: ΠΑΣΟΚ.
David Cameron
Image: World Economc Forum.

Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has been unofficially declared the winner of the first televised election debate in British history.

The results of several early opinion polls concurred that Clegg's ratings surpassed those of Conservative Party leader David Cameron and Labour Party leader Gordon Brown:

  • Populus for The Times—Nick Clegg 61%, David Cameron 22% and Gordon Brown 17%
  • YouGov for The Sun—Nick Clegg 51%, David Cameron 29% and Gordon Brown 19%
  • ComRes for ITV News—Nick Clegg 43%, David Cameron 26% and Gordon Brown 20%

A less scientific sample composed of TheGuardian readers yielded 59% support for Clegg, 32% for Brown and 9% for Cameron. However, pundits have dismissed Clegg's win as irrelevant, since voters vote for local MPs, not the prime minister.

Although such debates are usual in the United States, this is the first one taking place in the United Kingdom. That television election debate, which ran on ITV at 8:30 on the 15th, will be the first of three others and was set to focus upon domestic issues, though one of the questions drifted to cover the British nuclear deterrent and the British involvement in Afghanistan.

The second debate is due to take place on Thursday, 22 April 2010 at 8 p.m. It will be broadcasted by Sky and will focus on international issues.