The ITV/ComRes poll said it all. It was an instant phone-up poll done straight after the end of the debate – of 4,000 viewers. That’s a big sample:
Sun/YouGov echoes this with: Clegg 51%, Cameron 29%, Brown 19%
And why? It has been obvious to many for years that Nick Clegg has extraordinary intelligence, passion and energy. At long last he has been allowed a forum to show that off.
He was relaxed – the only one of the leaders to smile at the outset. Perhaps most importantly, he was the only one of the leaders to look straight into the camera for most of the time. Most of all, he showed passion and even controlled anger on every question.
Cameron was very odd. It’s as if he decided to make sure he wasn’t too relaxed or smiley. I have never seen him so restrained. The shots of him off camera showed him looking very stiff-shirted. He completely over-played the proposal to implement a 0.5 per cent NI increase. People see through this. Clegg blew apart his “something for nothing” manifesto. Cameron doesn’t know how to debate – he gave Clegg a golden opportunity to explain the LibDem tax proposal and constantly ran out of ideas. He just hasn’t got a policy intellect. Clegg most certainly has.
Brown was a disaster in that he addressed the hall rather than the camera. Big mistake. On the radio he sounded quite good – particularly on education.
But – hallejujuah! – the night belongs to Nick Clegg, but most importantly to those people in the country who want to move forward with sensible, thought out policies.