Liberal Democrat Leader Wins First-Ever U.S.-Style Debate in Great Britain; Throws Election into Turmoil - Video 4/16/10
The Leaders of Great Britain's three main political parties took part in a U.S.-style television debate yesterday - the first ever for the British. This video reports on the debate, and the fact that Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg was the surprising winner. His showing has turned the May 6 Election into a three-way race.
The general election race was thrown wide open today as polls showed that Nick Clegg's mould-breaking performance in the first of the televised leaders' debates had dramatically boosted his party's support, prompting the two major parties to vow to train their guns on its "eccentric, surprising" policies.
Labour and the Conservatives vied with one another to claim the other had been the bigger loser from the unprecedented debate, watched by 9.9 million viewers at its peak, as Labour's election co-ordinator, Douglas Alexander, admitted: "It is now impossible to predict the course of the next three weeks."
David Cameron conceded that Clegg had performed strongly, as his aides reviewed how they could puncture the Liberal Democrat leader's image as the anti-establishment outsider. Tory sources, ruing Cameron's personal decision to grant Clegg equal status in the three debates, started to point to his past as a full-time European commission bureaucrat, as well as his firm Europhile views.
There was further good news for the Lib Dems when a YouGov poll for the Sun put them in second place on 30%, pushing Labour into third on 28%, with the Conservatives in the lead on 33%. Labour have not trailed in third place in a national poll of this kind since the days of the SDP/Liberal Alliance in the 1980s. . . MORE