The Great Debate UK
- Timothy Clark and David Greatbatch are professors at Durham Business School. The opinions expressed are their own. -
The debate is finished and the polls are in. They consistently show that Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was rated the best performer on the night. Some instant polls put him over twenty percent ahead of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron.
Running up to the debate tonight most commentators agreed that Clegg had the most to gain given his general lack of exposure and profile with the electorate when compared to other two party leaders.
For the first time he was treated the same as the other party leaders. His success tonight partly emanates from a much increased profile with many viewers, but his positive poll ratings also benefited from a number of features from the debate itself.
- Tony Samphier is a campaigns consultant and organiser of the election policy comparison web initiative DEMREF 2010. The opinions expressed are his won.-
The start of the general election campaign has, thankfully, seen the party leaders fighting over the political reform territory, particularly Gordon Brown and David Cameron, with the Liberal Democrats, traditionally full of reform ideas, slightly overshadowed.
from UK News:
Election day is fast approaching and with the poll gap narrowing between the Conservatives and Labour, there is a very real probability that the UK will end up with a hung parliament. For the first time since 1974, the UK may be left without clear political leadership.
- What will this really mean for British business?
- How will the markets and sterling react?
- Will a hung parliament scare off international investors?
- Could the economy survive a second general election within a year?
from UK News:
Britain's first live television debates between the leaders of the three mainstream political parties are not the only new feature to add spice to the upcoming general election, which Prime Minister Gordon Brown today announced will be held on May 6.
The 2010 vote is also the first time politicians and their strategy teams have had to factor in the micro-blogging site Twitter.com. The social media tool, which did not exist at the time of the last election in 2005, now has over 75 million users who between them sent four billion tweets in the first quarter of 2010.
— Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own –
National Insurance contributions make an unlikely battleground for the British election. They lack the sexiness of income tax cuts. But NI is a bad tax and the Tories are right to pledge to overturn Labour’s plan to raise it.
Unfortunately, their timing smacks of desperation as their poll lead melts away. More to the point, it flies in the face of their commitment to cut Britain’s vast budget deficit.
-Justin Fisher is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Magna Carta Institute at Brunel University. The opinions expressed are his own.-
Barring a huge surprise, it seems most likely that the general election will be held on 6th May 2010 — the same day as the local elections.
So keen is the British prime minister to airbrush out his decade as a "light touch" finance minister that he embraced the heretical idea of a levy on financial transactions as one way to make banks pay for future bail-outs -- the so-called Tobin tax.
The Labour politician and intellectual Richard Crossman once described the British constitution, with a sovereign Parliament at its centre, as a “rock” against periodic “waves of popular emotion”.
-Richard Wellings is deputy editorial director at the Institute of Economic Affairs and editor of the IEA blog. The opinions expressed are his own.-
If the Conservatives are elected, as the polls currently predict, they will have to tackle the worst fiscal crisis in peacetime history.