British voters fixed their eyes on television screens across the country for the first US-style political debate on Thursday — a historic event billed as an exciting prelude to one of the closest elections in years cialis 20mg en ligne. But a life-sapping format of 76 rules sterilized many of the exchanges — there were no real gaffes, no visible beads of sweat and no bloodletting.
Initial polls handed a surprising victory to the third place Liberal Democrats’ Nick Clegg. The 43-year-old looked relaxed with his hand resting in his pocket. He also spoke confidently and passionately — often looking intently into the camera or to the audience — about topics ranging from immigration to greed in the banking industry. Some bookmakers last week thought Clegg would be the worst performer in the first debate and the first to sweat. The British prime ministerial debate — the first of three — was more subdued than US presidential debates or even the vicious exchanges often seen in Parliament. An estimated 20 million tuned in to see the candidates inside a Manchester studio.
Swing votes will be crucial in this election. A Populus poll for the Times newspaper showed the Labour Party closing in on the Conservatives. The poll gave the Conservatives 36 percent — a drop of 3 percentage points — to Labour’s 33 percent. The Liberal Democrats had 21 percent. The margin of error was 2.5 percentage points.
Many polls say that because the election is so close that no party may win an outright majority in Parliament. If that happens, it will be the first time since 1974 that Britain has seen a hung Parliament. If there is a hung Parliament, that could prompt yet another election this year.
Audience members in Thursday’s debate asked questions about immigration, health care, pensioners, the economy and the armed forces.
But the question that seemed to resonate most with the audience and the candidates was over the expense scandal last year that exposed lawmakers of all three main political parties for submitting claims for everything from pornography to country estate chandeliers.