Pre-election 'debate' Brown, Cameron, Clegg, party leaders, Arnolfini, Bristol (22Apr10) 2of2




Published on May 7, 2012

Brown, Cameron, Clegg: UK party leaders' TV election debate, Arnolfini, Bristol (22Apr10) 1of2
Election 2010: Gloves off in second leaders' debate
Leaders discuss relations with EU - Sky News Leaders' Debate
The gloves came off in the second prime ministerial debate as Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg clashed over global affairs.
In fiery exchanges, the three leaders locked horns on Europe, climate change, tax, nuclear weapons and sleaze.
Mr Brown and Mr Cameron agreed less with Mr Clegg than last week and instead stressed policy differences.
BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson said all three performed well and it proved "we are in a tight three horse race".
Opinion polls taken immediately after the debate gave conflicting verdicts over whether Mr Cameron or Mr Clegg came out on top but they agreed that the margins between all three contenders were much tighter than in the first debate.
But BBC polling expert David Cowling said there had been a significant drop in the number of people who thought Mr Clegg won, with Mr Brown having the most improved ratings.
The debate itself was livelier than last week, with flashes of anger from Mr Cameron in particular as he accused Labour of spreading "lies" about Tory policy on benefits for the elderly in election leaflets, telling Mr Brown he should be "ashamed" of them.
At several points, both Mr Cameron and Mr Brown attempted to take a leaf out of Nick Clegg's book by pointing to the squabbling of the other two.
But they avoided saying "I agree with Nick" in an effort to win the Lib Dem leader over and at one point Mr Cameron even said "I agree with Gordon" over nuclear weapons.
Mr Brown made a point of attacking Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg equally, rounding off his closing statement by telling his two rivals: "Nick you would leave us weak, David you would leave us isolated in Europe."
But the Labour leader's main pitch was to tell voters anything other than a Labour majority risked damaging the economy, telling voters: "Don't do anything that puts this economic recovery at risk."
Mr Cameron said Mr Brown sounded "desperate" and accused him of "trying to frighten people". In his closing statement, he said Britain needed a "clean break from 13 years of failure".
Mr Clegg, who was the last to deliver a closing statement, sought to strike an optimistic note, saying "people are beginning to hope that we can do something different this time" and "if we do things differently we can be a force for good in the world".
The three leaders began by calling each other by their first names, but as the debate developed Mr Clegg in particular started calling his rivals by their full names when he addressed them.

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