Panel verdict: Cameron wins debate again

DAVID Cameron won last night’s leaders’ debate by a clear margin, according to our rapid response panel.

We asked a rapid response group from the City A.M. / Panel of London’s financiers and business professionals to give each of the leaders a score out of 10 for performance and content.

According to the Panel, the Tory leader was streets ahead of his rivals, scoring 7.6 for performance. Last week, the Panel gave him 6.7 out of 10 in this category, against 6.9 in the first debate.

Cameron was also ahead on content, scoring 7.2, against 6.8 last week and 6.5 a week earlier.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg came second with 5.5 for performance and 4.6 for content, a lower score than in previous debates. Last week he scored 5.8 for performance and 4.9 for content, against 5.8 and 5.3 a week earlier.

Gordon Brown polled third again, scoring 4.1 for performance and 4 for content. Last week he scored 4.6 and 4.4, and in the first debate he scored 4.6 and 4.3.

• interviewed 154 panellists from the City A.M./ Panel by email last night. Apply to join the Panel at


• “Cameron appeared sincere and energetic and offered real solutions that were well thought out. Clegg looked less confident and offered little, except to criticise the two main parties. Brown was okay, but struggled to explain why he had not delivered all of the things he was promising over the last 13 years.”

• “On economics, Brown is best.”

• “The evasion on the deficit was astonishing: are they that stupid or are so many voters just so naive that they are terrified of telling the awful truth of the need for austerity?”

• “Cameron was stronger than in the previous debates but he is still opaque about cutting the deficit and shrinking the public sector.”

• “Cameron addressed the issues and came across as having a real plan.”

• “Clegg’s performance really grated; he overplayed the ‘look at these other two fighting’ card while hypocritically happily succumbing to Punch and Judy arguments himself.”

• “He came across as arrogant and vacuous. Fortunately Brown realised that Clegg had little to say and generally ignored him. This led to a more interesting debate. Cameron was cool, collected and statesmanlike.”

• “Cameron seems to be the most credible on the economy, wanting to stimulate growth via tax cuts for businesses.”