Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, the clear winner in the first UK leaders debate, came under fierce pressure from Tory David Cameron and Labour PM Gordon Brown in last night’s televised debate (the second of three) but managed not to drop the ball, something his supporters feared.
Most instant polls showed the equivalent of a score draw, some with Cameron narrowly ahead others with Clegg in the lead. Brown, as expected, chugged along behind but, for him, wasn’t bad at all, banging on about ‘substance’ consistently if a trifle tediously.
Although the first polls didn’t show it, anecdotal evidence suggests that Clegg is scoring well (we must choose our words carefully here, recalling his notorious interview with Piers Morgan in GQ) with female voters who find Cameron a bit oily.
Younger votes too registered in droves after the first debate, presumably because they want to vote for Clegg.
So the Libs are still on track to gain around 30 per cent of the vote and, possibly, push Labour into third place at least as far as votes cast are concerned.
This would still earn them far fewer seats than Labour (about 100 in total probably) but would make the case for voting reform unarguable.
Which would be a considerable result all the same.