6 epic fails from the challengers' TV debate

Miliband vs Sturgeon vs Farage vs Bennett vs Wood

It was a head-to-head-to-head-to-head clash.

1. Cameron didn’t want to do it

The prime minister decided he only wanted to do one TV debate so didn’t appear in last night’s programme – a smart move perhaps for a man who isn’t the best at answering questions (see his appearance at the Age UK conference last month, if you can bear it). However, this morning’s poll results show Miliband came out of the debate on top, with 35% of people thinking he “won”, according to a Survation poll for the Mirror. Miliband was also way ahead of the other participants for who would make the best prime minister, with 43% saying the Labour leader. If Cameron had been there, Miliband’s position no doubt would not have looked so strong.

See this Bloomberg journalist’s sarky questions.

 

2. Nick Clegg wasn’t invited

Almost everyone watching at home thought Nick Clegg had refused to take part in the debate when, in fact, he hadn’t been invited. Billed by the BBC as the “Challengers’ Debate”, the Lib Dem leader and coalition partner wasn’t asked to take part. But unfortunately most of the media forgot to explain his absence, leaving us thinking poor Cleggy had chickened out like the prime minister.

3. Miliband ruled out SNP coalition (again)

“It’s a no I’m afraid,” said Miliband about the prospect of a coalition with the SNP. But we all know he’d grab it with both hands if it would get him into No10. You ain’t foolin’ no-one Ed.

4. Farage attacked the audience

Several audience members booed the UKIP leader when he said the audience was “remarkable” after they appeared not to agree with his points. He said “even by the left-wing standards of the BBC … this lot’s pretty left-wing”. David Dimbleby was forced to defend the audience, by saying they were carefully selected by an independent polling organisation. Number one rule of public debates Nige – keep the public on your side.

5. “That’s wrong Nigel”

Ed Miliband’s line seemed to sum up how the debate went for Farage. Twitter commenters thought he seemed “desperate” and “out of his depth”. Unfortunately for the UKIP leader, the fact that he was the only right-ring politician on the panel made him look like an outsider. When Nicola Sturgeon declared: “I will work with Labour, with Leanne, and Natalie so together we can get rid of the Tories,” he was forced to keep schtum about his potential future coalition partner.

6. Miliband wanted in on the hug

Perhaps experiencing what it’s like to be a woman in politics for a change, Miliband looked on as the three female party leaders celebrated finishing the 90-minute debate.

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Readers' comments (5)

  • Farage got it right about the audience but surely he expects nothing less from the BBC who are about as balanced as The Guardian

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  • Since the audience was independently chosen for balance then its reaction to Farage was pretty unexpected since a vast majority find most of his views repugnant. The problem for Farage and Mr Hillside above is they cannot stomach people who's views don't match their own! The world, thankfully, is full of a myriad of views.

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  • @Martin - Really? Try going out on the streets sometime. Personally don't like UKIP but I'm always struck by how many sympathise, if 50% didn't have at least some sympathy for Farage, then I would suspect a typical BBC 'unbiased' audience i.e. read left wing liberal bias.

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  • I do go out on the streets (but maybe different ones to yours) and I agree, some people agree with some of his policies. On the other hand an awful lot more people don't agree with any of his policies at all. He a very divisive person so it's not surprising (to me), but obviously not to you or Mr Farage, that he got heckled!

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  • I do go out on the streets (but maybe different ones to yours) and I agree, some people agree with some of his policies. On the other hand an awful lot more people don't agree with any of his policies at all. He a very divisive person so it's not surprising (to me), but obviously not to you or Mr Farage, that he got heckled!

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