Yesterday evening I struggled through the first live debate between the main party leaders and avoided dropping off by keeping an eye on the ITV1 website watching viewers’ comments and their ever changing score card.
Those who said that David Cameron had most to lose were proved correct. Denied his well rehearsed brief he looked distinctly uncomfortable as he listened to what his opponents had to say. Gordon Brown suffered the ‘Nixon effect’ nervously grinning and laughing uncharacteristically in the wrong places while viewers consistently put Nick Clegg ahead with his assured performance.
More surprising though was the Party reactions afterwards. On the BBC News Vince Cable said it as it had appeared while Alan Johnson gave his considered smart response but the ex-boy-star William Hague actually claimed his man the victor. Back on ITV George Osborne was speaking from the same script, perhaps on the basis that if you say the same thing over and over people will begin to believe it. Not this time. The media have seen to that.
But at the end of the day these ‘X’ factor performances should not be about personalities and their delivery but about policies. One of the ironies following the outcome of the debate is that we should now hear more about them and be better able to make an informed judgement thus making the Great British voter the clear winner.