Last night was the (first of three) live televised debates between the leaders of the three main parties:
The incumbent Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party, Gordon Brown
The leader of the Opposition and Conservative Party leader David Cameron
The leader of the Liberal Democrats party, Nick Clegg
This was an historic event since it was the first live television debate in a UK election.
It was a long debate - run without a break for 90 minutes - and I thought it was moderated very well by Alastair Stewart. I didn't like the the lack of audience noise though (no audience applause was allowed). It was like the audience wasn't there. The topics discussed were Immigration; the National Health Service (NHS); Education; Law and Order; and Political reform.
Nick Clegg appeared to be the most relaxed and speaking much more candidly than Mr Brown and Mr Cameron. And I was very pleased when Nick Clegg mentioned scrapping both identity cards and the National Programme for IT. He talked about the expense of the ID cards and how that money could be spent on more police officers on the streets. So true.
When the debate turned to political reform, Gordon Brown turned to David Cameron and said, "Please no more hereditary MPs." I was pleased to hear David Cameron's retort, "You've had 13 years to reform the House of Lords." Quite.
It was noticeable (and quite funny) how often Gordon Brown said, ""I agree with Nick". Hilarious! It wasn't exactly a subtle way to show that he's courting Nick and the Liberal Democrats for their votes!
Nick Clegg has been hailed as the winner of the first televised leaders' debate.
I enjoyed watching the debate, however, I don't think I learned any new information about the respective policies of each party leader so even though it was interesting to watch and probably inevitable that this sort of tv debate would happen here, I'm not sure of its usefulness. To me, it's the policies that matter, not how the person "looks" on tv.
Did you watch the debate? Do you think the tv debate is a good idea? Who do you think "won" the debate? Did the debate change the way you will vote?
If you missed it, you can watch the debate again:
The First Election Debate on ITV1: 15th April 2010