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    Reflections on those TV debates

    Already the election seems a long time ago doesn't it? Some of my colleagues are researching the impact of the Prime Minister debates and I observed that although they were discussed on this forum, they seemed to be soon forgotten (you may recall that they were meant to be 'historic' and 'game-changing').

    So without wanting to open up all the animosity about party support again, what do you recall about the debates and, on reflection, do you think they had any impact on the way you voted?

    37 Comments

    Banned

    They made interesting viewing, didn't make a bit of difference to my vote and it seems nor did it make a difference in the GE.

    Bring on the next ones in 2015.

    A soon as Gordon Brown agreed to the debates it was all over for Labour,

    Banned

    The debates were a farce. Too many soft questions and no interaction with the public at them to see what the people of the contry actually want to know

    Banned

    I think Paxman should grill them while they are attached to a lie detector test.

    Nothing to hide? Ok to take a LD test then.

    Banned

    master_chief;8587010

    I think Paxman should grill them while they are attached to a lie … I think Paxman should grill them while they are attached to a lie detector test.Nothing to hide? Ok to take a LD test then.



    Surely if a lie detecter is going to be used they should be on Jeremy Kyle? :oops:

    I think that they totally distorted the vote. It over personalised the party leaders and took away the emphasis from the local candidates.

    We do not have a presidential system, we do not vote for the Prime Minister, as we have seen they can be usurped without any recourse to the general population.

    Replace them with local candidate debates and they might serve some purpose.

    Banned

    melipona;8587068

    I think that they totally distorted the vote. It over personalised the … I think that they totally distorted the vote. It over personalised the party leaders and took away the emphasis from the local candidates. We do not have a presidential system, we do not vote for the Prime Minister, as we have seen they can be usurped without any recourse to the general population.Replace them with local candidate debates and they might serve some purpose.



    Interestingly, Brown performed better in tests where people only listened to the debates on the radio.

    Banned

    Paddy Charlie;8587065

    Surely if a lie detecter is going to be used they should be on Jeremy … Surely if a lie detecter is going to be used they should be on Jeremy Kyle? :oops:



    Maybe they could take a turn each. Paxman for the politics and Kyle for the personal life as this seems as important to the electorate these days.

    I think it is hillarious that Cameron and Clegg **** each other off in a debate and are now in bed together and best buddies.......it makes me sick to be honest.

    nlambert;8587231

    I think it is hillarious that Cameron and Clegg **** each other off in a … I think it is hillarious that Cameron and Clegg **** each other off in a debate and are now in bed together and best buddies.......it makes me sick to be honest.



    +1..


    You and me both, loyal Lib Dem Voters will never trust them again I suspect.

    I would prefer to have seen the main 3 candidates on something like Have I got news for you.

    Banned

    Inactive;8587272

    +1..You and me both, loyal Lib Dem Voters will never trust them again I … +1..You and me both, loyal Lib Dem Voters will never trust them again I suspect.



    I don't think many lib dem voters are thick enough to have thought this wasn't the likeliest outcome.

    nlambert;8587231

    I think it is hillarious that Cameron and Clegg **** each other off in a … I think it is hillarious that Cameron and Clegg **** each other off in a debate and are now in bed together and best buddies.......it makes me sick to be honest.



    +2

    Banned

    nlambert;8587231

    I think it is hillarious that Cameron and Clegg **** each other off in a … I think it is hillarious that Cameron and Clegg **** each other off in a debate and are now in bed together and best buddies.......it makes me sick to be honest.



    Inactive;8587272

    +1..You and me both, loyal Lib Dem Voters will never trust them again I … +1..You and me both, loyal Lib Dem Voters will never trust them again I suspect.



    tamoil;8587315

    +2




    It's what happens in politics - but you have to discuss things and try and come to a consensus decision.

    FilthAndFurry;8587314

    I don't think many lib dem voters are thick enough to have thought this … I don't think many lib dem voters are thick enough to have thought this wasn't the likeliest outcome.



    Not at the time of voting they didn't, the Lib Dems are left of centre, the Tories are almost extreme right wing, strange bedfellows.

    Banned

    Inactive;8587349

    Not at the time of voting they didn't, the Lib Dems are left of centre, … Not at the time of voting they didn't, the Lib Dems are left of centre, the Tories are almost extreme right wing, strange bedfellows.



    That's absurd.

    Lets face it....The Lib Dems would have done just about anything to get a little taste of power!
    I voted Labour because it is what is best for this counrty......
    We will see in 5 years time when this Torycrats have brought us to our knees what a huge mistake the voting public have made.
    I admit that GB was not the best PM in the world...but it is a world ression and he can not take the blame for that.
    I wait with baited breathe to see what sort of a mess we are going to end up in!!!!!!!!!!!

    Banned

    nlambert;8587641

    Lets face it....The Lib Dems would have done just about anything to get a … Lets face it....The Lib Dems would have done just about anything to get a little taste of power!I voted Labour because it is what is best for this counrty......



    Other people voted for the Tories or the Lib Dems for the same reasons:thumbsup:

    And the Lib Dems had a responsibility to seek power to get as many manifesto points put into law. It's kinda what politicians are supposed to do:?

    Original Poster

    But what about the content of the debates themselves? I remember the 'I'm with Clegg' line from the first. And I get a sense that there no really big gaffs or stand-out speeches in any of them, but already I've forgotten most of what was said.

    And I agree, that I'm not sure they had any real impact on my vote in the end. Did anyone actually change their mind, or even their opinions about the parties/leaders as a result of the debates?

    Banned

    The biggest thing about them was that they gave the Lib Dems some legitimacy. It put them on equal terms with Labour and Conservative. The content was always going to be defensive and nothing more than manifesto points.

    But the people that voted for the Lib dems did not vote for the Tories...........if they wanted it to be a 2 horse race they should have asked their voters to either vote Labour orTory..........There will be so many disallusioned Lib dems out there that can do nothning about it now for another 5 years...what a sorry state of affairs

    Banned

    nlambert;8587799

    But the people that voted for the Lib dems did not vote for the … But the people that voted for the Lib dems did not vote for the Tories...........if they wanted it to be a 2 horse race they should have asked their voters to either vote Labour orTory..........There will be so many disallusioned Lib dems out there that can do nothning about it now for another 5 years...what a sorry state of affairs



    It was no secret that a hung parliament with the Tories getting the most votes was always a possibility.

    Therefore a coalition was always possible. Already we're seeing the Lib Dems getting some of their manifesto promises through, which can only please you if you're lib dem voter.

    Im a Labour voter....but I am sure more Lib dem Voters would have voted Labour if they knew what was going to happen now...............

    Banned

    nlambert;8587895

    Im a Labour voter....but I am sure more Lib dem Voters would have voted … Im a Labour voter....but I am sure more Lib dem Voters would have voted Labour if they knew what was going to happen now...............



    The Lib Dem's have got a share of the government. They're getting some of their policies through - that's not something to be taken lightly.

    I'm a lib dem supporter and I'm happy.

    FilthAndFurry;8587948

    The Lib Dem's have got a share of the government. They're getting some of … The Lib Dem's have got a share of the government. They're getting some of their policies through - that's not something to be taken lightly.I'm a lib dem supporter and I'm happy.



    Good for you, I would be outraged if I had voted Lib Dem and ended up with a Tory government because of it.

    Trust me, this will do the LIb Dems serious harm in the long term.

    Inactive;8588400

    Good for you, I would be outraged if I had voted Lib Dem and ended up … Good for you, I would be outraged if I had voted Lib Dem and ended up with a Tory government because of it.Trust me, this will do the LIb Dems serious harm in the long term.



    Good for you.
    There is no such party as the lib dems anymore........it will come back to haunt them

    nlambert;8588618

    Good for you.There is no such party as the lib dems anymore........it … Good for you.There is no such party as the lib dems anymore........it will come back to haunt them



    +1..:thumbsup: Agreed.

    Banned

    Inactive;8588400

    Good for you, I would be outraged if I had voted Lib Dem and ended up … Good for you, I would be outraged if I had voted Lib Dem and ended up with a Tory government because of it.Trust me, this will do the LIb Dems serious harm in the long term.



    I didn't vote for the lib dems. I was realistic.

    The lib dems would've suffered at the next election if they hadn't formed a coalition - they would face accusations of putting politics before the country, or being 'afraid' to take responsibility.

    Already they've got a referendum on political reform, some of their tax policies and a say in policy going forward.

    It's far too early to say how it will affect them in 5 years time, but they will have (for the first time) experience of office and that has been possibly the biggest factor in people not voting for them.

    Banned

    nlambert;8588618

    Good for you.There is no such party as the lib dems anymore........it … Good for you.There is no such party as the lib dems anymore........it will come back to haunt them



    That's absurd.

    FilthAndFurry;8589230

    The lib dems would've suffered at the next election if they hadn't formed … The lib dems would've suffered at the next election if they hadn't formed a coalition - they would face accusations of putting politics before the country, or being 'afraid' to take responsibility..



    That's absurd.

    Banned

    Inactive;8589261

    That's absurd.



    It's not.

    The one thing the markets like is stability - they have that with this coalition.

    FilthAndFurry;8589233

    That's absurd.



    How is that absurd!!!!
    The Conservatives are in power with a handful of lib dem dummies in the cabinet.
    The coalition will wipe out the name of Lib Dems in time....they will be no more!

    Banned

    nlambert;8589451

    How is that absurd!!!!The Conservatives are in power with a handful of … How is that absurd!!!!The Conservatives are in power with a handful of lib dem dummies in the cabinet.The coalition will wipe out the name of Lib Dems in time....they will be no more!



    I think you're being ever so slightly hysterical.

    FilthAndFurry;8589500

    I think you're being ever so slightly hysterical.



    Not at all.
    It makes no odds to me.
    I will quite happy just to have the 2 parties again fighting it out at the next general election.
    Labour and Conrats!:whistling:

    Banned

    nlambert;8589536

    Not at all.It makes no odds to me.I will quite happy just to have the 2 … Not at all.It makes no odds to me.I will quite happy just to have the 2 parties again fighting it out at the next general election.Labour and Conrats!:whistling:



    Personally, I like choice and I think you're discounting a lot of pragmatic lib dem supporters who will be very happy to have some of their concerns addressed in this parliament.

    The debates made people incorrectly focus on the leader rather than policies

    Paidia;8587743

    But what about the content of the debates themselves? I remember the 'I'm … But what about the content of the debates themselves? I remember the 'I'm with Clegg' line from the first. And I get a sense that there no really big gaffs or stand-out speeches in any of them, but already I've forgotten most of what was said.And I agree, that I'm not sure they had any real impact on my vote in the end. Did anyone actually change their mind, or even their opinions about the parties/leaders as a result of the debates?


    I think they did have an effect. I think they probably encouraged more younger people to vote. People have got used to television series where they get the chance to vote and I think the debates encouraged similar behaviour.

    I also believe that the Nixon/Kennedy aspect had an effect. Gordon looked old in comparison. It should not, but I am sure it swayed many voters.

    I believe that if the debates were just on radio:-
    1) Not so many people would have tuned in.
    2) Those that tuned in would have been more likely to have based judgements on policies.
    I also think, particularly amongst younger voters, it led them to believe that we were in some kind of presidential debate and that their vote would elect a party rather than a local candidate.
    imo. It engaged a lot of voters but mislead them at the same time.
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