Poll of 4000 voters who had watched the programme.
Guido often contrasts the way intelligent hacks treat their readers patronisingly in the tabloids. Compare Fraser Nelson, Britain’s most read political columnist, in the News of the World to Kevin Maguire in the Mirror. Today the difference is startling.
Neither would deny they were partisan, but compare their reports of last night’s debate. Fraser, calling it for Clegg says reasonably:
“He enjoyed the novelty factor. I hope he enjoys it: tonight may very well be the high point of his political career.”
In contrast Kevin Maguire, crassly talking down to his readers and taking them for fools, writes in this morning’s Mirror:
“It was a man against two boys. Gordon Brown finally reminded Britons why he’s respected around the world. Assured, determined, he was the Prime Minister. The other pair were 40-something rookies… It wasn’t a game-changer, but Brown’s back in the game.
Clegg too has reason to be cheerful… Cameron lost the most… his aura of invincibility shattered. Brown edged it and, privately, Cameron knows it.”
Brown bombed big-time in prime-time. Does Maguire really think his readers will believe this hagiography rather than the evidence of their own eyes?
Ironically, given the winner, this is less viewers than last week’s Doctor Who…
UPDATE : BBC reporting 9.4 million viewers. Sky 9.9 million viewers. More than the Nick Griffin Question Time 8 million record.
On Tuesday Guido predicted that Clegg would be the big winner, and so it came to pass. Bad Al Campbell and Mandy must now realise that they have an impossible job to do in polishing the turd that is Gordon Brown. Mrs Fawkes was scathing about the stiffness of Dave who did seem to be playing it safe too much. Labour and Tory spinners are reluctantly conceding victory to Clegg, before saying their guy came second.
In reality the slightly more objective measures, the immediate reaction polls, are unanimously scoring it Clegg first, Cameron second and Gordon last.
The focus group reactions will be studied carefully in the party campaign HQs and the leaders messages will be recalibrated for next Thursday accordingly. The punters’ smart money at specialist bookmakers Political Smarkets went from heavily backing Cameron to making Clegg favourite to win the debate half-way through the ninety minutes. Punters this morning reckon there is a 25% chance Clegg will win all three debates and a 60% chance that Brown will win none. Guido thinks that it is a racing certainty that Brown is a no hoper in the debates…
Leaving aside your own party preference, who do you think performed best overall in tonight’s debate?
Nick Clegg 51%
David Cameron 29%
Gordon Brown 19%
Don’t know 2%
Fieldwork was conducted between 21.55 and 22.10 on 15th April; sample size: 1,091 viewers of the debate.
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