Nick Clegg comes out on top after TV debate

Each of the three parties claims success, as YouGov poll shows overwhelming support for Clegg.

Polls have suggested that Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg did the best in yesterday's televised leaders' debates.

Each of the three main parties has claimed that their leader 'won' the debate. Labour said that Gordon Brown has been "very substantial", while the Conservatives said that David Cameron was "strong and personal".

A YouGov poll for the Times, however, gave Clegg the overwhelming majority of 61 per cent, with Cameron and Brown trailing behind with just 22 and 17 per cent respectively. Other instant polling also placed Clegg on top.

While Brown and Cameron argued over a range of domestic issues, Clegg attempted to portray himself as an alternative to the two main parties.

Most commentators agree that the biggest impact of this will be to insert the Liberal Democrats in the consciousness of the electorate.

Lord Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the Lib Dems, told the Today programme: "I think everybody agrees it was Nick Clegg's night and I think he did extremely well and in the party we are extremely proud of him."