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Daily View: Prime-ministerial debate 3

Clare Spencer | 08:12 UK time, Friday, 30 April 2010

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Gordon BrownCommentators review the third and final prime-ministerial TV debate.

In the Guardian Jackie Ashley says things weren't as bad as they might have been for Gordon Brown:

"One thing went right for Gordon Brown: yesterday really did seem to be yesterday. His brief self-deprecating reference to 'Bigotgate' at the beginning of the debate defused the situation, and neither of his opponents were daft enough to try to make political capital out of it. Clearly shaken by his day in Rochdale, Brown seemed nervous at first, but then found his feet."

In the Spectator Peter Hoskin thinks David Cameron performed the best:

"It helped that Cameron had the clearest - and, I suspect, the most popular - line on immigration: 'We would cut immigration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands.' But, really, the Tory leader's strongest answer came in a subsequent question on improving opportunities for younger generations. What we got then was what Cameron does best: the sunshine, the positivity, the sincere concern about our nation's schooling."

In the New York Times Alan Cowell looks at how Nick Clegg's performance compared to the previous debates:

"It's worth recalling that, in the first debate two weeks ago, Mr. Clegg was the novelty, the outsider who surprised with his fresh-faced appeal. Over the space of two weeks, voters have gotten used to that and, in this final debate, his mannerisms, style and promises seemed much more familiar. Where he seemed weakest was on immigration."

Benedict Brogan says in the Telegraph that David Cameron "pulled all the stops out":

"Maybe he changed his cereal. Maybe he had a pre-match sharpener. Or a nap with Samantha. Whatever it was, it worked. He was assured, fluent, convincing, and he took the opportunities presented to him. When Mr Brown talked of his anger at the top banker who said his bank was fine (would that be the same anger he showed about Mrs Duffy I wonder?), Dave asked if that was Sir Fred 'The Shred' Goodwin, knighted by Labour and allowed to keep his pension despite crashing RBS. Neat."

James Macintyre expresses disappointment in the New Statesman that as he saw it, the debate rarely strayed from right-wing talking points:

"Presumably because of the BBC's obsession with not being seen as left-wing, there was the usual right-wing orgy on immigration after a question from the right by a token black person. There was a question on housing and house prices from a wealthy accountant. And there was a question from the right on welfare. Foreign affairs did not get a look in."

More from See Also

Commentators' verdicts on the second prime-ministerial debate

Commentators' thoughts about the first prime-ministerial debate

Tabled: Choice descriptions of the first prime-ministerial debate

Links in full

GuardianGuardian | TV debate: Verdict
SpectatorPeter Hoskin | Spectator | Sunshine wins the day for Cameron
New York TimesRobert Mackey | New York Times | Watching the Final British Leader's Debate
TelegraphBenedict Brogan | Telegraph | David Cameron shows he is ready to lead
New StatesmanJames Macintyre | New Statesman | Final debate an anti-climax

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Iain Dale's DiaryIain Dale | Cameron Wins, Clegg Stable, Brown Tanks
GuardianMartin Kettle | Guardian | David Cameron faced the job interview of his life. He passed

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