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Twitter learns to love the LibDems

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Our exclusive analysis of  political sentiment expressed on Twitter.com shows a surge in pro-LibDem tweets since Nick Clegg’s successful performance in the leaders’ debate on Thursday evening — mirroring the huge swing towards the party in the opinion polls.

U.S. marketing firm Crimson Hexagon is archiving all political tweets throughout the election for Reuters.co.uk and analysing them for positive and negative sentiment. The latest statistics show a dramatic spike in positive LibDem sentiment, sparked by Clegg’s universally praised performance during the televised debate, the first of its kind in British politics.

The graphic below shows 23 percent of tweets were pro-LibDem today (down 1 percent on yesterday). Prior to the leaders’ debate the highest percentage of positive tweets for any party was 16 percent.

One Twitter user, @eloquentalien, posted: “I watched the UK Prime Minesterial Debate, and while watching it I was thinking, Hmm, Nick Clegg is coming off as the best of the three…”

Clegg steps out of Cable’s shadow

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BRITAIN-ELECTION/Nick Clegg’s assured performance in last week’s leaders’ debate has helped him step out from the shadow of Vince Cable, so much so that he did not even need his finance spokesman during a trip to Cardiff on Monday.

The Liberal Democrats, so reliant on Cable’s well-publicised economic acumen during the past two years, has used him alongside Clegg for much of the campaign.

from The Great Debate UK:

Fears of UK hung parliament may be overstated

-- The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

Fears of a huhugodixon-150x150ng parliament following the UK's general election may be overstated. With Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Britain's third largest party, performing well in the first prime ministerial debate, sterling has received a mild knock. Investors do not like the uncertainty that goes with a hung parliament. While many European countries are used to coalition government, the UK is traditionally a two-party system - with government swinging between Labour and the Conservatives.

Lib Dems bag a Tory – Edward McMillan-Scott

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David Cameron’s troublesome Euro MP Edward McMillan-Scott is a Conservative no more and has joined the Liberal Democrats. There is no love lost between the independent-minded Macmillan-Scott and the Tories after they expelled him for defying the party over their (anti-)European policy.

He came to the Liberal Democrat’s Spring Conference in Birmingham on Saturday (March 13) and was more than happy to be pictured alongside his new leader, Nick Clegg.

No coalitions for Nick Clegg?

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clegg2This is the received wisdom: a hung parliament is  good news for the Liberal Democrats, because it leaves them, as the third-largest party, holding the balance of power. LibDem leader Nick Clegg will be courted by both sides and will decide whether Labour or Conservatives form the next government with him as part of a coalition administration.

But Clegg doesn’t see it that way. Until recently he wouldn’t even discuss what might happen in the event of an inconclusive vote that left either the Conservatives or Labour as the largest party but with too few seats to form a government alone.

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