Gary Gibbon examines what leaders think the EU has done for Britain:
Big laugh from the audience for Nigel Farage. David Cameron says “look at my record on Europe.” Nigel Farage says: “I have.” The question from the audience on immigration is turning attention on to Europe. The audience is generally warming up a bit and that will warm up the politicians.
David Cameron ushered in one of the most cacophonous moments of the debate so far trying to attack Nigel Farage for letting Ed Miliband in by the back door – notably three of the four male leaders talking over each other.
David Cameron described the immigration issue as a “three-sided coin,” which is challenging thought and was one of the few lines produced so far that probably wasn’t rehearsed.
Nick Clegg gets a brief round of applause (were they signalled to shut up?) saying we should be open-hearted about foreign people coming here. His supporters will love Mr Clegg taking Mr Farage on.
Nicola Sturgeon takes Nigel Farage on directly again in contrast with Ed Miliband. His supporters might argue he doesn’t want to give Ukip publicity but they’ve kind of got that already by turning up. When Nigel Farage brought up health tourism Ed Miliband said words to the effect that we have to address that problem.
Ed Miliband repeatedly uses versions of the phrase :”If I am prime minister…” It’ll be a well-rehearsed line to convey authority, help waverers over the line into believing he could hold the job.
When it comes to the end of programme polls, remember there are two types of post-debate polls. The ones that come immediately after the event you might think are the most trustworthy. But we all get our opinions from other filters too. The polls that come later based on the coverage, the reporting, the subsequent debate helps to shift opinion too and measuring reaction once all that has settled down is as important if not more so.
I see Edwina Currie has tweeted:
What a huge loss to public life she is.