Thursday, 2 April 2015


Some Early Thoughts

THREE-WAY TIE, says ComRes

Cameron 21%
Miliband 21%

Farage 21%
Sturgeon 20%
Clegg 9%
Bennett 5%
Wood 2%


Sturgeon 28%
Farage 20%
Cameron 18%
Miliband 15%
Clegg 10%
Bennett: 5%

"The SNP gained 1,200 new members during the leaders’ debate, which reflects the energy & optimism boosting our election campaign."

Telegraph commentators give their view

 James Kirkup

David Cameron will be much happier with this week's debate than with his Paxman ordeal last week. Yes, he came under attack from both left and right: Nicola Sturgeon was the sharpest opponent of austerity, while Nigel Farage's attacks on the national debt will appeal to old-fashioned Tories. But the Conservative leader overcame some opening nerves to stick to his plan: rise above it and look like the only viable prime minister in a crowd of political pygmies.
But was he head and shoulders above his only real rival? Ed Miliband had a decent night and attempted his own statesman act, also trying to rise above the fray and invite comparison with Mr Cameron. He even attempted to patronise the lordly Tory leader, quoting Ronald Reagan at him: There you go again. Tories believe Mr Miliband is a weakling who repels voters. This performance won't dramatically improve the Labour leader's image, but it does suggest that he does at least believe in himself.
PS if there's one lesson the big parties should take from the event, it's this: next time you need a leader, pick a woman.

 Janet Daley

In terms of force of personality, Nicola Sturgeon and Nigel Farage probably did best. Nick Clegg was often more effective than David Cameron in defending the Coalitions's record – not because his arguments were stronger but because his presentation was so much more forceful. Ed Miliband looked too pious and disingenuous for my taste but his followers were probably pleased with the event. Cameron's performance was deeply dispiriting: uninspired and repetitive. The leaders on the Left were allowed to get away with outrageous promises to spend money that isn't there without any challenge from the Prime Minister who should have produced the evidence that would have made their proposals look as absurd as they are.

 Dan Hodges

The format provided a livelier debate than many people had feared, but not necessarily a more decisive one.
David Cameron was on much more assured form, and didn’t allow the concerted attacks from his opponents to rattle him like Jeremy Paxman did. Ed Miliband built on his good performance from last week, without landing any really big blows. Nick Clegg started well, but failed to really impose himself – and took a significant hit when Cameron accused him of a “pick and mix” approach to defending his decisions in government.
Natalie Bennett had a competent outing, but failed to properly cut through. Nigel Farage was in typical polarising form.
But in my view the two big winners were two leaders Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood. I suspect the national impact of tonight will be minimal. But in Scotland and Wales the SNP and Plaid Cymru will have got boost. That’s potentially bad news for Labour, and I suspect Ed Miliband will be seriously reassessing his decision to agree to a further debate with Sturgeon and Wood later in the campaign.

Nicola is the only one of these leaders whose remit doesn't run over the whole union.

Mary Riddell

Who won? The women's collective. Bold, unpredictable, convincing (and well-chaired by Julie Etchingham). Joint first place to Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood. Ed Miliband was the runner-up (and best of the main party leaders) with a confident performance on Europe, migration and the NHS. He could have done with a bit less script and a bit more story. Still, he outshone a backward-looking David Cameron – especially with his direct hit on financial regulation: "I'm not taking lessons from you." Miliband needed a round of applause, and he got it for that. Last was a sweaty and splenetic Nigel Farage.

 Asa Bennett

Nicola Sturgeon clinched victory tonight, needling the "Westminster" party leaders and offering a siren-like appeal to voters. Ed Miliband came second, showing quiet confidence at the chairman-like centre podium. A sweaty Nigel Farage, who the bookies thought would win, wasted time early on talking about HIV-positive immigrants. The fact Leanne Wood won the first applause of the night by condemning his "scaremongering" showed his slip-up.

So, you pays your money and you makes you choice.

Winner....? No, I'm not going to say. 

But I know that Nicola did Scotland proud and even if you're not an SNP voter or supporter, I suspect you may be proud of her tonight even if you'd rather not admit it.


  1. The figures for NS post debate should be taken in comparison to the pre-debate ratings for her. Her ratings were in single digits so she has made a big impression outwith Scotland tonight.

    1. Huge.... My Twitter is full of names from England saying they want to vote for her!

      Really good post over at Wee Ginger Dug....

  2. Must agree....Nicola was excellent as always.
    One of the problems for this sort of format is Scotland's semi-detached position within the UK state where our FM is having to debate largely English issues in front of a largely English audience.
    Having said that,it appears that many English people approve of our current government's stance on important issues.
    Let's hope Scots feel the same way when it comes time to vote.

    1. Someone was just saying that this result must have been Murphy's worst nightmare.

      Oh well... That's what you get for being a right wing war monger in a supposedly left of centre party peaceful party.

  3. Nicola made sure that the SNP surge continues. Brilliant.

    1. 1500 new members tonight since the debate started, and more in pipeline. Yes, she did well, but so did Leanne. Credit to Wales.

    2. 1500 new members joined because of a TV debate, as a certain exleader of a branch office said often, I'm astonished.

    3. It is now over 1600 and climbing...

    4. It seems to me that Nicola is offering hope and people want it.

    5. Now up to 1800 in the last wee while Tris, so the girl done more than good. Both Angus and Fiona tweeted these figures in the last few hours, could be more by now.
      Wonder where they can hold the next conference, hell wonder where the Dunfermline branch can have theirs. I am off to the Villages so I imagine I will be needing to find out where they have their meetings.

    6. Good news Helena.

      I wonder how many are from England... Looking at the Wings article, quite a few I suspect.

      What I want to know is why the English cannot come up with a reasonable slightly left of centre party themselves.

      I'm sure that we could teach them how its done.

    7. You know I do not know how many times Scots on comments pages said to them to stop whining and get up and start a party which suited them. I think perhaps seeing the likes of Nicola, Leanne and Natalie, they might start thinking they need to get themselves sorted out. Farage and Ukip may have some sort of appeal to the likes of the seriously right wing Tories but hardly suitable if you have any intelligence.

    8. Good that it's changing politics in the UK. God knows it needs changing.

  4. McGovern not standing in Dundee West.
    'Ill health.'

    1. Goodness. If it's genuinely ill heath then I wish the man well. I don't think he's been an effective MP for the city. I think that his court case to try to scam £28 from expenses that cost us £27,000. I'll be glad to see the back of him. He's been an embarrassment to us.

      He's let Labour down at the last moment though. They have to find someone to take on the seat and they only have a few days to do it.

    2. Hilarious Tweet:

      AngusBMacNeilSNP ‏@AngusMacNeilSNP 22m22 minutes ago
      Wish Jim McGovern (Lab Dundee West) for the future, always got on well with him compared to whats-his-name in Dundee East. :))

      6 retweets 3 favorites

      Angus has a cracking sense of humour.

  5. 1620 new members in 3hrs.

    1. Amazing. The SNP will overtake Labour UK wide soon!!!

  6. Yes your girl 'done good ' as you so eloquently put it , to confirm in the minds of the English that we will be better off without listening your constant whinging and bellyaching , the sooner you piss off out of this increasing meaningless 'union' the better , especially for us .

    1. Troll somewhere else. Goodbye and and enjoy your pathetic jingoism by yourself which, with a mentality like the one you are displaying, would be your usual social circle.

    2. What Jim said, Anonymous.

  7. All the ladies did good...worth the waking up at three in the morning here :)

    1. LOL AH... That IS dedication.

      I'm in awe!

  8. How does one become a troll by stating the obvious?

    1. Just stop Anon. You're impressing no one.

      You clearly don't like us, though we don't mind you.

      Don't keep telling us how unwelcome you are in your union. You're preaching to the converted here. We already know, and we hate being in it as much as you having us.

      I suspect we'll soon be gone and you can celebrate all these billions of extra dollars you'll have to spend on American weapons and wars and pretending to be important, which you can keep in the Thames.

    2. Well said Tris, could not put it better myself.

    3. Merci madame... How's the packing going?

    4. Nearly done, just the odds and ends to pack you know the bits you cannot do until the last. Was out at the new house today and have to say really happy to be moving. Hubby calls it Upper Egypt, so if you know Fife you will be able to put a name to the place.

    5. Ah... there you have me. Not a clue about Fife, and even less about Egypt!

  9. By 'whining and bellyaching' at folk who couldn't give a scooby what you think.

  10. Sturgeon projected herself well. Her presentation is better than Salmond's. She let herself down a little on both immigration and an increase in benefits. The only sensible thing Farage said all night was that none of the other parties has an answer on immigration. Bennet sounded like a robot and Clegg, Milliband and Cameron were predictable. Wood stuck to her guns but her party will have zero influence at Westminster.

    1. Well, these are matters of opinion.

      Nicola pointed out the benefits of immigration. And we need to look at the demographics. We have an awful olt of old people to be kept for a very long time, and not so many young people. Whilst the Uk has to manage immigration sensibly, we most assuredly need it.

      Alternatively an awful lot of families are going to have to have more children and get them educated.

      And as for benefits we need to make sure that people are helped off them when they can be, but we hear over and over again that the government's aim is to make work pay.

      The trouble is that they do this by reducing benefits... and it doesn't work, because they have to pay benefits to the workers. If they paid a living wage surely the benefits bill would fall dramatically.

      We aren't so much supporting shirkers, more we are paying benefits so that companies can get away with paying unlivable wages.

      UK benefits are amongst the worst in Europe.

      But there's no point in arguing about this. Some people simply don't believe in decent benefits and some do.

      I guess it depends on how you feel about the poorer people in society.

      It seems to me that if people are ill, a decent society would make sure that they were looked after.

      We don't!

      Nicola appeals to people that Salmond doesn't, but I never underestimate Salmond. I're heard him speak many times and I've seen him (as recently as last Sunday, bring a room to its, women, young, old, Scots and non Scots, cheering and shouting for him.

      Nicola likewise.

      We're blessed to have so many talented people.

      It's a matter of opinion, but Farage repulses me and his party even more so.

    2. I agree that benefits are bad (I know all about them, and when a family member has a serious long term illness, support is zip). But they have to be paid for. Trident is one source of money, but how about our esteemed MSPs taking a pay cut and showing some solidarity?

      Some of the problems with immigration boils down to infrastructure. Lack of housing, additional pressure on NHS, schools etc. I can't stand Farage and UKIP - they are old style Tories. But there has to be controls. Why not a points system? You still allow for genuine asylum seekers. There is this misguided (in my opinion) belief that Scots want to open the floodgates to one and all.

      I voted for the SNP and Yes. But I don't agree with their policies on immigration.

      As for Salmond, I think he was over-confident and crossed the line into arrogance. Now's he 's lost the plot and heading for Westminster. Should have retired quietly. His presence is going to cause problems down the line. He did a sterling job dragging the SNP from self destruction and getting them into Government. But his time is done.

      But Nicola leads the party - not him. The SNP is a party, but to me it appears to be turning into a cult.