The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog


No clear winner from second TV debate, polls show

Cameron didn't get the victory he needed.

Gordon Brown and David Cameron both performed far better tonight than in last week's debate. Both appeared to have read the Lib Dem manifesto from cover to cover and came armed with arguments against Nick Clegg on immigration and Trident. As a result, tonight's debate was a far more aggressive affair than last week's. In the case of Brown, "I agree with Nick" became "get real Nick".

Yet neither landed a knockout blow on Clegg and the Lib Dem leader finished strongest with a direct, personal appeal to voters not to be intimidated by a hostile media. As a result, I'm not surprised that no clear winner has emerged from the instant reaction polls.

Here are the results from the four we've seen:

YouGov: Cameron 36 per cent, Clegg 32 per cent, Brown 29 per cent

ComRes: Clegg 33 per cent Brown 30 per cent, Cameron 30 per cent.

Angus Reid: Clegg 35 per cent, Cameron 32 per cent, Brown 23 per cent.

Populus: Cameron 37 per cent, Clegg 36 per cent, Brown 27 per cent.

Judging by these figures it looks like the 'Clegg effect' hasn't worn off just yet. All is now set for the decisive, final debate next Thursday. We'll learn tomorrow whether the economy grew in the first quarter of this year and can expect this issue to dominate the reminder of the campaign.


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