The first TV debate preceding the UK elections has been considered historic as it's the first of its kind in the UK and although largely considered a British version of the American Presidential debates, it is distinct in its character. The debate itself was an excellent exposure to the three main party leaders in the UK and their personalities and although polls say that the liberal democrats won the first debate, the debate seems to have been more than just about winning or losing. It made an impact on the British public and could even redefine the way politics is done in the UK.A land of the British Empire, politics in the UK seem to be now more about connecting with the people directly and TV debates help the entire political process to move closer to true ideals of democracy.
Nick Clegg, leader of the liberal democrats opened the debate by urging people to consider an alternative to "these two' meaning Labour and Tories. With hands in his pocket and a defiant and domineering presence, Clegg contended well with the two more senior leaders. Although a relative newcomer, Clegg seems to have mastered the game very quickly and was able to persuade people to consider him as a potential Prime Minister. The most outstanding trait about Nick Clegg is his intuition combined with assertiveness and this was seen in the way he delivered his speech and arguments to the audience. It was also 'Labour's Love Lost' when Clegg did not agree to agree with Gordon Brown.
Clegg was always intuitively sure that he would win the debates, he was always happy about TV debates which Cameron loathed and Brown was suspicious about. This was Clegg's platform and his opportunity and he made an impact. Now, in the eyes of the British public, he is definitely a possible Prime Minister, and would possibly take the lib dems further ahead in this election and the next elections. Nick Clegg won on confidence.
Leader of Labour Gordon Brown was the more mature of the three. He was smiling and less angry than the other contenders, very patient and acted more as a mature guardian against two defiant people. Gordon Brown definitely showed that his knowledge in politics was the best and most advanced and anyone watching the debates could make out that he is a Prime Minister and not just a contender in elections. His mannerism and attitude were controlled, polished and his arguments were very practical and precise. Gordon Brown continues to stand as the Prime Minister of Britain and although Clegg has now given a big boost to the liberal democrats, Gordon Brown's chances haven't gone down significantly after the debate. He gave his facts, figures and brought substance and practical sensibility to the arguments. Gordon Brown won on content.
Cameron always disliked the idea of a TV debate and the discomfort and dislike showed on his face and attitudes. He was defensive and began slowly but quickly caught the momentum of the debate although even conservative pundits believe he may not have used the stage to his full advantage. We can predict that Cameron will come out better in the later debates as he would now know the strategy that Brown and Clegg have adopted and that is "Tories have no clear policy and no clear figures'. Cameron was also more abstract in his arguments and talked of a bigger society and used other such abstractions and provided more half baked examples from his personal experience than other contenders which may not be a good idea in a limited time debate. A lot will depend on the Tories' campaigning strategy which they are very good at and sometimes better than other parties. Cameron lacked on clarity but the closing statement he made had an impact on the audience and it was better than the other contenders. Cameron could possibly win on the campaigning, if not on the communication.
The first TV debate may not be decisive in terms of results or impact but could have permanently changed the course of this UK election and Lib Dems are predicted to improve their hold significantly across the country. Gordon Brown hasn't lost anything and Cameron and his party will gain momentum in terms of campaigning. Although the campaign heat has just begun, there's a lot of smoke already especially above the British skies and not just due to volcanic ash.