It’s been another long week of campaigning and persuading. However, this week offered us a very precious opportunity to listen to what the leaders had to say; the ITV debate. I understand that many of you watched the event and were thinking and dwelling on everything that was said (and done) and for those who didn’t I am sure that you have heard plenty about the eventful evening. Whether you watched or didn’t I thought I would use this post to share with you my views on the debate and, in my opinion, who came out on top.
Natalie Bennet, Green Party- As you may already know I haven’t much time for Bennet or her party. That being said I will try to be fair and just in this evaluation. Firstly, I would like to note how well I thought she recovered and grew throughout the debate following a shaky and nervy start. She showed voters that she could compose herself in a respectable manner and managed to present her views clearly and explicitly. This being said, I also think that she could have been more involved. I understand that it must have been difficult as the debate was moderated but she always seemed to be quite content in sitting in the corner and listening to what others had to say. It seemed that throughout the debate she used the strength of Nicola Sturgeon and the support of Leanne Wood to try and build strength on what she was saying (the three ladies seemed to stick together to some extent) and that she was much better at giving her own point of view rather than challenging others. For me it posed the question; would you want somebody who was quiet and seemingly lacking confidence to lead your country? I very confidently say no. 4/10
Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrats- Now another person who, safely to say, I am not their number one fan. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Clegg’s performance. I still don’t understand why people would vote for him and I stand by the point that he is way too indecisive on matters, often ‘sitting on the fence.’ I did think that he also built confidence as the night went on and gave some really powerful and strong answers to members of the audience and to challenges from his opposition. He was not afraid to interrupt when he felt that something he did not agree with was said and on numerous occasions he challenged others (mainly Cameron) with some force. I actually agreed with some points that he made and I think that he would be as a cabinet member, sadly not PM. 6/10
Nigel Farage, UKIP- I have always been intrigued by UKIP and in particular Farage. There has always been something telling me that he has a whole lot more to offer, and on this occasion I think he offered much more than he ever had before. As the leader of a party with fewer MP’s than the Lib Dem’s he showed a considerable amount more strength than Clegg. Often controversial and sometimes very risky I think that it is fair to say that Farage is willing to say what a fair few of us think. Whether you agree with he stands for and what he said or not, I think it is hard to deny that Farage was an extremely powerful feature of this debate. He challenged people with confidence and was very prepared with his facts and statistics, his sometimes ‘bullish’ personality shone through and he was certainly not scared of anyone in that room (even the heckler). A very strong performance with clear and well supported points. The people’s person? 9/10
Ed Miliband, Labour- Disappointing. I know of many Labour supporters who also shared this view with me on his performance. His amateur repetition and constant use of the phrase ‘if I was Prime Minister’ was not only annoying but extremely big headed of the leader. He kept on making the same points, especially about Cameron referring to the past, something Miliband simply cannot run from. His answers were often unclear and he was sometimes overpowered by the other leaders way too easily. I think that his weaknesses were showed in this debate. Boring, boring, boring. He seemed to obsessed with Cameron and was not willing to challenge the ideas and views of any other party, he only seemed interested in one thing, becoming PM and not necessarily considering the whole picture. Is this what you want in a PM? 5/10
Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru- By quite a way the worst performer of the night. Now I understand that her main focus was to appeal to the Welsh people and to try and make their voices heard. This was something also shared by Sturgeon but yet she somehow managed to appeal to a number of English voters and ensured us that she was thinking about the whole of Britain. This was the main thing that annoyed me about Leanne. She seemed to only want glory for the Welsh claiming many things as their achievements and seemingly thinking that Wales was the only country effected by Labour’s government. She seemed weak, uninterested in the whole picture and made it easy for people to pose the question, why are you here? 2/10
Nicola Sturgeon, SNP- Taking one look at my Twitter feed would show that this woman is not very popular with me. However, even I cannot deny that she gave a very strong performance indeed. Placing myself in the shoes of many Scottish voters I imagined what I would be thinking of the woman who was representing the majority of their views, I came to the conclusion that I would be pleased. She was extremely confident, sometimes even arrogant which can be needed when you are against characters such as Farage. She most certainly held her own and overpowered many of the leaders who were much powerful than her in the last parliament. Scottish voters, could she be your Iron Lady? 8/10
David Cameron, Conservatives- Calm, controlled and simply in charge. From the get go Cameron showed why he was PM for the last five years. He was controlling the arguments and giving the strongest answers. When many of the leaders had to build in confidence Cameron was operating at his peak for the whole debate. He was clear and fought off challenges from others as though he was simply scratching an itch. I think that the only time Cameron showed some weakness was when Clegg was piling on the pressure. I think Cameron was taken aback by some of the claims and challenges from Clegg and it took Cameron more time to get this under control. At the end of the night I think many voters knew why they had voted him in and knew why they would be doing so again. 9/10
So there you have it, my views. I would also like to make a brief mention about the absence of the DUP from Northern Ireland. I think it is disgraceful how they were shunned away from the debate when they have just as much right as the SNP and Plaid, if it was up to me then the DUP would’ve been offered a position too. After all, they do want to protect the Union rather than destroy it. Thanks for reading guys.