Friday, 17 April 2015

Opposition Leaders' Debate

Nigel Farage put in a superb performance on last night's opposition leaders' debate on the BBC in the face of an extremely biased audience.

Farage got the first applause of the debate but it quickly became clear that the cheering and applause was largely reserved for the SNP, Greens, Labour and even Plaid. At one point Farage said that the audience was biased and was met with heckling from the audience and an unexpected admission from David Dimbleby that the audience had been "carefully selected" by a polling company to reflect the political balance of the panel which was, of course, all socialist with the exception of Nigel Farage.

It's a little difficult to get any real meaning from Survation's snap polling after the debate because of the presence of the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon who is only relevant in Scotland but whose Tory bashing and magic money tree economics made her very popular. It's clear that Nigel Farage came out very well from the debate, even with the SNP skewing things, it's just not possible to tell how well because of the inclusion of the Scottish and Welsh nationalists. What we needed was an England-only leaders' debate like the Scottish and Welsh only debates they're having in Scotland and Wales but the BBC would never do that.

Although Farage did very well in the polls he would undoubtedly have done better if it was an England-only panel and only people in England were surveyed. The Survation and other polls make interesting reading but they were a bit irrelevant.