Cameron was winner, say our panellists

DAVID CAMERON scraped past Nick Clegg to win last night’s leaders’ debate, according to a rapid response panel of City A.M. readers – but only just.

We asked a rapid response group from our panel of London’s financiers and business professionals to score each of the leaders out of 10 for performance and content.

The Tory leader pipped his Lib Dem rival to the post on performance, scoring 6.7 to Clegg’s 6.4, although he pulled ahead on content, scoring 6.5 to 5.3.

Fifty-seven per cent of the panellists think of themselves as Conservatives, suggesting that Cameron’s score should be much higher and reflecting the trend in the national polls which declared Clegg the clear winner.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown trailed both rivals, scoring 4.6 out of 10 for performance and 4.3 for content.

“Cameron was engaging and kept mentioning his personal experience of issues such as the NHS and the treatment of his son. Nick Clegg probably presented himself best. He actually answered the questions,” one panellist said.

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• “Cameron clearly demonstrated to the great British public that this election is about policies, not fallacies or personalities, and that he has the ideas, philosophy and strength to lead the next government.”

• “Clegg was the clear winner on both counts. He was clear and confident – I was surprised. Cameron was the worst. Surprised there were no questions on the City and bankers.”

• “Amazingly Gordon Brown came out of it a lot stronger than I thought he would. Clegg also performed well. Best orator was Cameron.”

• “Brown did not look at his opponents or appear to engage – much like his political approach. Clegg was good and the best at engaging. Cameron was the most votable on that performance.”

• “Clegg came across as a naïve wannabe with little to offer by way of the necessary Prime Ministerial qualities.”

• “Cameron did at least voice his determination to tackle the immigration problem and the drink/drug culture.”

• “Cameron was the only one with a vision whereas the others were point scoring.”

• “Brown was very weak and contradictory over the defence budget.”

• “Clegg just kept repeating inane bland statements or going on about issues that do not matter to the populace like Trident. Brown kept smirking.”