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Prime Ministerial Debate: Your reaction

17:37 UK time, Thursday, 29 April 2010

The leaders of the three main political parties have taken part in the final TV debate of the campaign. How did they do?

David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg focused on the economy for the first half of the debate, before moving on to immigration, housing, unemployment and education.

The BBC hosted the event live from Birmingham University. The previous debates were broadcast from Manchester and Bristol.

What did you think of the debate? Who do you think was the strongest? Have you changed your voting preference?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 26

  • Comment number 1.

    I don't anticipate this debate having any real effect on the polls as the novelty has worn off this campaign now , and a lot of postal ballots have already been cast.

  • Comment number 2.

    Awwww....no-one tapped the mike to see if it was working lol

  • Comment number 3.

    The party leaders have finished their opening remarks. Who did you think was the most impressive?

  • Comment number 4.

    My prayers are for you G. Brown. I know you are a good man at heart, you`ve made mistakes but i know you are the only one among them to save this country. All the best in the debate. much respect.

  • Comment number 5.

    The debates have had exactly the undesired effect I feared; a transition away from policies to US style personality politics.

    I won't be watching.

  • Comment number 6.

    Gordon is right - he did actually make the right decisions at the right time - cameron did not

  • Comment number 7.

    Brown looks a bit more nervious than previous weeks, but i'm glad he brought up yesterdays flop in the first line of his opening statement. This will be an interesting evening!

  • Comment number 8.

    I'm watching Coronation Street instead, I can't stomach another 90 minutes of this. Will flip back over at 9.

  • Comment number 9.

    cameron cannoy ahve it all ways - saving front line services and cutting taxes - it cant be done - where are these extra £12bn efficiency savings going to come from?

  • Comment number 10.

    Bit rich for Cameron to start by saying we need industries to be based in this country rather than abroad. The Tories destroyed our manufacturing base, sold our manufacturing companies off and went over to a service based economy. Now we have lost all these industries it will be difficult and expensive to get them back

  • Comment number 11.

    clegg is right - we need a german style grand coalition

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    I am most definitely not changing my voting preference. It's Labour. I come from near Rochdale, and I sincerely hope that no-one is diverted by the "bigot" reports. I don't mean to offend, but bigotry is alive and well in this country. Let's see the debate turn to the economy. Much respect on that to Gordon Brown.

  • Comment number 14.

    There was a typo in Browns opening remarks - it should have read: I know how to RUIN the economy...

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm going to focus on the real issues. They are wearing far too much foundation.

  • Comment number 16.

    Brown : You can trust me on the economy.

    With a deficit totally £900bn...no we can't !!!

  • Comment number 17.

    They all agree on cutting the public sector to protect the rich, so it would be crazy for teachers, university staff, civil servants, hospital workers etc etc to vote for any of them.

  • Comment number 18.

    Nick Clegg has gone from the underdog to clear favorite in three weeks. Cleggmania

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    To Mr Clegg,
    I notice in your party’s election manifesto that you propose to put Britain at the heart of Europe, to use our influence to ensure Europe serves British interests.

    This is a noble goal. However, I understand that the EU exists to benefit the general interests of its member states, which may not coincide with our single nation’s interests. For example, GDPs in Europe for some countries are showing signs of expansion and others are showing signs of contraction. As GDP dictates policies and spending for a nation, surely any general policy adopted by Europe or variation in “euro” interest rates would be detrimental to the minority of member states’ interests?

    As there are 27 member states in the EU, each with MEPs (elected to implement polices that are beneficial to their own states) and 3 candidate countries, by putting Britain at the heart of the EU would you not be putting the UK’s economy at the mercy of the EU as opposed to “influencing” the EU in favor of UK interests?

    As the British have “a misplaced sense of superiority, sustained by delusions of grandeur,” (which is a harsh statement, but can be argued), wouldn’t using British politicians to “influence” the EU be a little impractical and potentially dangerous to the economy?

    Best Wishes

    Andrew

  • Comment number 21.

    Clegg lands the first blow offering concensus and working together - just what the electorate is trying to get the Tories and Labour to understand. Gordon missed the opportunity to revisit the 'government of all the talents' angle which added to his honeymoon lead originally. Of course, predictably, Camoron does not want the share power with anyone!

  • Comment number 22.

    Its not about winning, its about policy and trust. I don't trust Conservatives, I just don't and none of the reading I have done has changed that. I might think Labour haven't completely messed things up since the recession, but they didn't help us get here. The Conservative 'word' for a while now has been change, I vote Lib Dem. As I have done for the last ten years since I could vote. I agree with their policy and I have no reason not to trust them. Naive you might say? No, just aware that I have plenty of reasons to not want to vote for Conservative and Labour over the last umpteen years of them being the two major parties. Plus I agree with the Lib Dem idea of what we can do and what we need to do. The debates are interesting, knowledge is valuable, but I would hope people vote for what they want and what appeals to them over the so called 'tactical vote'. Why give any politician the idea that they are more popular than they are? Like we want from our politicians, be honest and vote how YOU want to.

  • Comment number 23.

    Great start from Cameron the usual guff from Brown!

  • Comment number 24.

    Cameron has not said he is counting on an extra £12bn on top of the 15bn already planned efficiency savings for 2010-11 to give a tax cut to a load of business men who put us in this mess

  • Comment number 25.

    That's it..........I've had enough, is DC sponsored by Mothercare?

    Every week, M&S this, Mothercare that! Hmph!

    With Respect.

  • Comment number 26.

    Greedy businessmen say the tories are right - no suprise. A bit like bankers saying they deserve their bonuses. Same old Tory values!

  • Comment number 27.

    some stabbing now going on! Fight!!!

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    I love it when cameron says marks and spencer, mothercare, sainsburys do not support "tax on jobs" but lets face it if the bosses from these places took alittle off there fat bonuses maybe it wouldnt be so bad. it just seems like all the big spenders dont wanna help they want to keep there money so the smaller working classes get footed with the bill.

  • Comment number 30.

    15. At 8:40pm on 29 Apr 2010, Em wrote:
    I'm going to focus on the real issues. They are wearing far too much foundation.


    Em..fair point, well made.

    With Respect.

  • Comment number 31.

    Brown going back to good old-fashioned Keynesian economics - like it!

  • Comment number 32.

    Where are the millions of jobs for those out of work Mr Cameron?

  • Comment number 33.

    getting the scroungers and wasters back into work is a great aspiration...how will the conservatives do it?

  • Comment number 34.

    Cameron is like a record stuck in a grove; has he got nothing new to say?

  • Comment number 35.

    Confused government and taxes?/

    It will be a fight now even more

  • Comment number 36.

    cameron is kidding hiself if he thinks you can get an extra 12bn efficiency savings in 9 months - and yes it will take cash out of the economy

  • Comment number 37.

    Why does Gordon continually shake his head, it just makes him look even more like he doesn't want to be on camera and he is shying away from the real questions...

  • Comment number 38.

    Q1 : The Deficit

    Cameron: 5/10
    Clegg: 5/10
    Brown: 5/10

    dull and predictable

  • Comment number 39.

    Gordon is being himself. Goodbye to the funny smile. Looks far more comfortable

  • Comment number 40.

    None of these political leaders can admit the truth about our economy as any politician telling the truth (that the UK economy is bankrupt) will be immediately vilified by the press and the public.

    Gordon seems to confuse the government budget with the economy.

    Nick is doing the "I'm not Labour or Conservative so vote for me" routine.

    Dave needs to adopt a Thatcherite approach and tell us we need to bring back strict controls on government spending.

    Finally, as many people are voting by post this debate is almost pointless.

  • Comment number 41.

    A government of all talents sounds good until you look at what talent there is.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    Go, Gordon. Kick them where it hurts on the economy...

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    Labour couldn't find efficiency savings even if they punched him on the nose.

    Brown has said he has been cutting the number people working in the public sector for years...when he's been INCREASING them.

    He's also been saying that he plans to cut the budget deficit.When Brown talks about 'halving the debt', he doesn't mean 'I'm going to halve the debt from £900bn to £450bn' like any sane person would but halve the ANNUAL debt, from £180bn to £90bn annually, meaning it continues going upwards.

    The country will become another Greece under Labour.

  • Comment number 46.

    Waste and mess from David? Expenses? MP's?

  • Comment number 47.

    Gordon didnt leave the economy in a mess it is camerons mates in the city that has stuffed the economy and it is ordinary people that are having to bail them out

  • Comment number 48.

    Well, shows that a politician can't even make an opening statement without misleading, or more brutaly, telling a lie. Brown said he acted immediatly when the banks got into trouble....he has a very short memory, the government waited for some time before acting over Northern Rock. It's exactly this sort of blindingly obvious atempt at deception that has made us so sick and angry at politicians, Labour particularly, for years now.

  • Comment number 49.

    9. At 8:38pm on 29 Apr 2010, CLyons wrote:
    =====================================================
    Don't be a wally! Taking your definition, how the heck can Brown therefore guarantee no cuts to Police, NHS, Schools, that there will be no weeds in my back garden! Ridiculous posting! If you are going to be bias at least listen to the argument. I do have a question in return for you though! Can you name one Promise that Brown has kept?

  • Comment number 50.

    I see Cameron is doing what he does best - looking after the rich! Well nothing ever changes, Tories will always look after the CityBoys & their wealthy chums!

  • Comment number 51.

    What are they going to do about taxes?
    Brown spends time looking back and sideways - but what is the plan?
    Camoron also looks sideways - again what is the plan?
    Clegg recognises the absurdity of the current tax system and plans to redistribute the tax burden.
    One out of three answered.

  • Comment number 52.

    Gordon Brown said "Once you built a hospital you don't have to build it again and hence you can cut capital expenditure". He seems to have forgotten about PPI/PFI where he has mortgaged our kid's futures for the next 30 years and there is nothing he can do about it.

  • Comment number 53.

    At last! It took 3 hours and 10 minutes of debating for someone to finally mention tackling the Welfare system which is surely one of the roots causes of our country's debt. David Cameron was the one to do so and say that this issue will be tackled - with no response from the other two... guess where my vote's going!

  • Comment number 54.

    are Clegg using the first names of the people with the questions, very personal...nice touch...Brown is just doing his usual false smile, and Camery is just banging on about all those businesses that have signed up to team blue...
    i wish the background would stop changing colour though...very distracting

  • Comment number 55.

    Good for Gordon. Coming out and stating that he won't form a coalition with the conservatives. About time we had some principles stated.

  • Comment number 56.

    Oooo gordons on fire tonight, nick clegg very quiet and david whats his face is usual smug git

  • Comment number 57.

    well of course cameron believes in inherited wealth - he would not be a millionaire without it

  • Comment number 58.

    If someone aspires to being "middle class" in our so called "classless society" why do they need state hand outs?

    I am single, no kids, reasonable job, can't get a mortgare, can't buy a house...why does my bloody tax go to help Hyacinth Buket to pay off her mortgage!!!?

  • Comment number 59.

    That nice Mr Clegg so far again......

  • Comment number 60.

    The Tories are always banging on about reducing tax, but they mean less tax for the rich. Even Thatcher taxed the rich more than any of them. Clegg did well in pointing out that the poor pay a greater proportion of tax than the rich. Wait for a VAT increase, another tax on the less well off.

  • Comment number 61.

    Good comments from Cameron suggesting that anyone earning over £20k will pay more tax. Is anyone going to challenge him?

  • Comment number 62.

    Out of the three debates David Dimbleby gets my vote over Alistair Stewart and Andrew Neil. Would like to see him do more question time type interventions but maybe next time...

  • Comment number 63.

    46. At 8:47pm on 29 Apr 2010, barry white wrote:
    Waste and mess from David? Expenses? MP's?

    Absolutely Mr White.

    Also:

    ....becoming very bored with the DC 'I believe...etc'.
    Unfortunatley, I've read your manifesto DC; not sure HOW I will benefit from your 'change'.

    With Respect.

  • Comment number 64.

    I wish Brown and Cameron would stop trying to make points off each other - don't they realise all they're doing is strengthening Clegg's argument that he's the only one to offer real change?? They all need to talk about what THEY can do, not nitpick the other parties, they just look petty...

  • Comment number 65.

    ANYBODY voting labour should read this before they put an X in that box!!! Gordon Brown says he is the only person who is able to look after rebuilding our economy...this from the man who singlehandedly sold 395 tonnes of this countries gold reserves that raised $3.5Bn. We are now in an unprecedented recession...if he had waited til now that gold would have raised $15.25Bn!!! and we wouldnt be in half the mess we're in now!!! I wonder what his response to that would be?????

  • Comment number 66.

    Now that we know what to look for, Brown seems false in every single thing he says.

    For example his promise "to halve the deficit in 4 years". What he really means is not that he'll halve what we owe, but that he might halve the amount of extra debt we take on each year.

    Basically he has no plan to decrease the national credit card debt owed, but he says that he won't buy quite as much new stuff next year as he did this year.

    Meanwhile, the interest on all this debt goes up and up and up. When will *somebody* finally ask Brown to explain how anybody on this planet could possibly borrow their way out of debt?

  • Comment number 67.

    Lies from Brown.
    Too good to be true from Clegg.
    Sense from Cameron.

  • Comment number 68.

    13. At 8:39pm on 29 Apr 2010, Bertie Hanson wrote:
    ====================================================
    And your vote of course is respected so it should. I do not think however that Mrs Duffy gave one question that was bigoted or racist. Mr Brown however, in the car was a bigot!

  • Comment number 69.

    I would rather watch paint dry, I have not watched one and everytime the election is on I turn over. The BBC wonder why people don't vote it is the TV's fault, on all day and night.The news is only election rubbish the same old day in day out. Won't make a bit of a difference to me I will vote for whom I want to. The BBC seem to think we are thick and need them to spoonfeed it to us 24/7 We are going the USA way lots of channels and rubbish on especially at election time.

  • Comment number 70.

    In at least one of the constituencies a merger of back office staff (HR, IT and Finance)between the Council and NHS Primary Care Trust is occuring... Rather quickly! On paper this looks really good using specialist skills between the two organistaions, but does the government really believe that incorporating these skills between completeley different requirements will benefit all organisations... and is it legal to allow various organisations to manage each others data personal or otherwise?

  • Comment number 71.

    If Gordon Brown is so concerned about fairness why has the gap between rich and poor has increased dramatically under New Labour.

  • Comment number 72.

    it shld be about substance brits pls listen to fact from G.Brown,dnt get deceived by camerons looks and suave or sentiments that clegg is enjoying now vote labour

  • Comment number 73.

    I'm loving Clegg's bouncy manner! He's actually enjoying engaging with the issues, in contrast to GB's and DC's posed manner.

  • Comment number 74.

    Does anyone know just how much is wasted in the NHS...what about the swine flu vaccines, total waste of millions of pounds.
    Clegg is doing okay, he says what people want to hear, not sure if I trust any of them though.
    Have they all got lippy on? I like the colour of Gordon's.

  • Comment number 75.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 76.

    Gordon being Passionate? Its about time any of them shows any emotion whatsoever.

  • Comment number 77.

    I'm watching this with my 12 year old daughter. She reckons the only one who is talking English is Clegg. Fair point me thinks... Apparently Cameron is wittering. I can't say I disagree but given that I'm a Buckingham constituent, I can't vote in line with my conscience anyway. So much for democracy!

  • Comment number 78.

    Gordon keeps saying "It's not fair!!" Is he going to start stamping his feet soon? Where his Sue when he needs her?

  • Comment number 79.

    Looks like the 'old guard' are points scoring and Nick Clegg doesn't appear to have any answers.

  • Comment number 80.

    DC needs to be careful on his comments about our Forces and the right kit. This DOES make me grumpy. (Sorry everyone!)

    I think I've posted before about my father going to the Falklands in 1982 to do battle in the middle of winter wearing summer kit. Please shut up about this DC, some of my Dad's soldiers (quite a few in reality) suffered from trenchfoot.

    Think. With Respect.

  • Comment number 81.

    C'mon Gordon............

  • Comment number 82.

    Poor, poor, poor, Dave. You can't defend what you want to give to your rich mates...

  • Comment number 83.

    Cameron is getting shinier

  • Comment number 84.

    cameron is getting desperate - this is a cracking debate!

  • Comment number 85.

    Clump - round two to Brown. Camoron on the ropes trying to explain why he wants to give tax handouts to his land owning buddies.

  • Comment number 86.

    I can't understand why Clegg and Cameron don't challenge Brown about having squandered all the taxpayers money over his 10 years Chancellor (remember "prudence") so that there was no money in the kitty to get us through the recession which was inevitably coming. Where has all the money gone? He inherited a balanced budget from the Conservatives!

  • Comment number 87.

    SO according to Gordon i'm rich as I might earn £20k this year? I'm self employed, after being made redundant last year i got absolutely nothing from the government, paid for my own re-training, and will now pay more NI under gordon. I get no tax breaks, benefits, housing, etc etc. Why? I work and pay taxes and haven't burdened society with kids I can't afford!

  • Comment number 88.

    Background very distracting.

    Someone has kidnapped Gordon Brown and replaced him with a headshaking automaton with a smile glitch.

    Clegg is such a keen bean, isn't he?

    Cameron looks nervous and has fluffed a couple of lines.

  • Comment number 89.

    Q2 Taxes:

    Cameron: 6/10
    Clegg: 8/10
    Brown: 6/10


  • Comment number 90.

    clegg very clever to go back to the questioner - he is slicker than cameron

  • Comment number 91.

    No result on taxes for me

  • Comment number 92.

    I'm fed up with Nick Clegg's 'I'm an outsider' performance. If GB attacks the Tories, DC has to respond, so it's disingenuous of Nick Clegg to then say "hear they go again"

  • Comment number 93.

    Tax credits are obscene. Gordon Brown has been one of the most successful communists ever. He will only be happy when he can tax us at 100% and employ most of us to work out how little we should all be allowed back in credits.

    What very few people understand is that the highest rate of tax is actually 100% - if you are on benefits and start earning the reality is that it is taxed at 100%.

    We need to encourage people off benefits and not force them to remain on them.

  • Comment number 94.

    why does cameron do such an obvious turn to the camera?

  • Comment number 95.

    Why is David Cameron trying to grow a tash now?I cannot concentrate on any thing he is trying to say.

  • Comment number 96.

    45. At 8:47pm on 29 Apr 2010, HongKongPhooey wrote:
    =============================================================
    I hope thousands read your post mate! I and hundreds (literally) of people are those that Gordon says he has cut. What he as done in reality is effectively put us on Gardening Leave (average 2 years some that I know of for a fact 5 years) on full pay and even drawing annual bonuses. It is a scandal but it is also about time the truth came out. If this man tells you your Dog is in reality a Cat I defy you not to check.

  • Comment number 97.

    Do any of the leaders agree that we must always have an elected prime minister in office?If the prime minister 'like' tony blair stands down there must be an elected called immediatly.

  • Comment number 98.

    This £900bn isn't even accurate.
    There is nearly another £800bn that comes under private finance initiatives.The whole reason that governments(both Labour and conservative)use PFI's is that because of the way they are financed,they don't show up as a debt to the UK,even though we are paying through the nose for them.
    They still can't come clean regarding the nations problems

  • Comment number 99.

    How can anyone possibly believe Mr Brown? no matter the clarefied response he simply charges on making the same old false charges

    Please understand this is the man who wasted billions and got us into the mess we are in now

  • Comment number 100.

    Nickand Gordon brown look and argue ridiculously tonight.

 

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