Nick Clegg has surged into contention as a potential prime minister, according to a Guardian/ICM poll carried out following last night’s TV leaders’ debate. A quarter of voters who watched the three leaders on the ITV programme say they will switch their vote, with most changing to the Liberal Democrats.
Clegg emerges from the telephone poll as the overwhelming winner, with 51% who watched saying he came out on top. David Cameron and Gordon Brown trail in far behind: 20% say Cameron won and 19% Brown…
The Guardian poll coincides with a survey of voting intentions carried out by ComRes for ITV…Among those voters who had watched the debate, the surge in Lib Dem support was more dramatic: up 14 points to 35%, only a shade behind the Conservatives on 36%, who were down three. Labour languished in third place, at 24%, also down three.
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…
Labour, happy to see a Liberal Democrat wave so long as it does not convert into a tsunami, continued to emphasise the similarities between Lib Dem and Labour policies. Lord Adonis, the transport secretary and a former Lib Dem, took hints of postelection co-operation a stage further by saying he would not tell voters whether to back Labour in Lib Dem-Tory marginals.
The stodgy incompetents are falling over each other trying to blame the old rival as having lost the most. They both deserve to lose.
A hell of an object lesson on why the TweedleDeeDum parties in the US fear a solid 3rd Party movement more than anything else.