Leaders Debate - LIVE

There appears to be no clear winner in tonight's Leaders Debate

Winners according to the polls:

~ICM: Miliband (LAB) 25%

~YouGov: Sturgeon (SNP) 28.1%

~ComRes: Cameron (CON), Farage (Ukip) 21%

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood got the first round of applause for slapping down Farage when he make comments on the health tourism of HIV+ diagnosis.

02/04/15 Reverse order Timestamp format


  1. Welcome to our live blogging of the leaders debate. This will be only occasion PM David Cameron will directly face the leaders of the opposition parties, including Labour's Ed Miliband.

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  2. The debate will kick off at 8, with Greens leader Natalie Bennett being the first to speak.

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  3. Around 10 minutes to go! Here is tonight's debate running order.

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  4. A little bit of perspective from Guardian Political Editor Patrick Wintour...

    Nothing that will be said tonight in UK #leadersdebate will match importance of Iran nuclear deal or horror in Northern Kenya. Perspective.
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  5. Of course, one party missing from tonight's debate is the DUP of Northern Ireland.

    Outrageous that BBC has excluded NI from debates whilst including smaller parties from Wales & Scotland. Will be speaking with BBC on Mon.
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  6. Ni's DUP Party - not in debate tonight yet they have more MP's than SN, PC , Green, or UKIP .
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  7. Here we go! #Leadersdebate

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  8. Green Party leader Natalie Bennett is giving her opening statement.

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  9. Other parties trade on fear. The Greens start with hope. Vote for change.

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  10. Ukip's Nigel Farage opens now on the EU and Britain's immigration policies.

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  11. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg says that no one will win this election out-right and admits the mistakes he has made in the coalition.

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  12. SNP's Nicola Sturgeon wont pretend she doesn't want independence, but while Britain is part of the UK, she will work to make Westminster work.

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  13. Conservative leader David Cameron: "You're going to hear a lot of people claiming a lot of things... They were wrong then and they are wrong now."

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  14. Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood: "Please support Plaid Cymru, to make it Wales voice in Westminster."

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  15. Labour leader Ed Miliband says he will rescue the NHS, and build a future for all young people. Labour will cut the deficit and tuition fees to £6000.

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  16. Q. How will you eliminate the deficit without raising taxes or making deep cuts?

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  17. Clegg: Cut less than Conservatives, borrow less than Labour.

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  18. Wood: No need for arbitrary deadlines on deficit reduction. Austerity experiment has failed.

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  19. Farage: £10bn could be cut from the foreign aid budget and vanity projects like HS2 should be stopped.

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  20. Cameron highlights there are 2 million more people working since 2010 GE.

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  21. Miliband would reverse the tax cuts for millionnaires.

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  22. Bennett: A children's centre may have closed, but now their workers are on benefits. Everyone is poorer.

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  23. Sturgeon wants modest spending rises.

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  25. While the leaders attack each other, Miliband and Clegg appear to be the calmest of the seven.

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  26. On background, I can reveal that all sides' spinners ALREADY think their leader is looking strong and confident. #leadersdebate
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  27. Farage seems to struggling with perspiration under the studio lights, is he having a Nixon/ Kennedy moment?

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  28. Time for the NHS...

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  29. Ukip's Nigel Farage and SNP's Nicola Sturgeon appear to be appealing to the ITV audience the most so far.

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  30. Ukip claims that there is a net saving from pulling out of EU are highly debatable: pic.twitter.com/TemtNC9gnN
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  31. Farage says there a too many middle managers in the NHS.

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  32. Sturgeon points out they've already been scrapped in Scotland.

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  33. Clegg: NHS doesn't need warm words, it needs hard cash.

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  34. Wood: NHS in Wales faces two threats: centralisation and austerity.

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  35. Miliband would raise money for the NHS through the mansion tax and from hedge fund companies.

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  36. Cameron tells the story of his disabled son's treatment on the NHS.

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  37. Farage blames health tourism, Bennett disagrees

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  38. Sturgeon: Is there anything Farage wont blame on immigrants?

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  39. From that you wouldn't think Sturgeon ran Scotland's #NHS would you? No mention of rising waiting lists, short staffing etc #leadersdebate
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  40. Wood: The private sector has no role in the public NHS

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  41. Miliband attacks Cameron's broken promises on the NHS.

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  42. Cameron, we took 20,000 bureaucrats out of the NHS and put 9,000 nurses in.

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  43. Bennett: This privatisation is causing damage. The NHS is racing towards the American system.

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  44. Clegg: No push towards privatisation.

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  45. Clegg: Need to prioritise mental health.

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  46. Farage on health tourism again: 7,000 diagnoses for HIV + but not all are coming from the UK.

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  47. Farage: We've got to put our own people first.

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  48. So many emails from political parties telling us what to think about what their politicians just said. #leadersdebate pic.twitter.com/qyuQHG47Wc
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  49. Sturgeon: There should be no privatisation on of the NHS.

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  50. Clegg defends coalition position on the NHS.

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  51. Cameron attacks Miliband: NHS is not a political weapon... Then uses it attack Labour with the Mid-Staffs scandal.

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  52. Nigel's HIV attack went down badly in press room…hushed response. Leanne captures mood "You should be ashamed of yourself." #leadersdebate
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  53. A short break now. Next up... Immigration. I'm sure Ukip's Nigel Farage is ready for this question!

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  54. Leanne Wood seems to be going down pretty well after slapping down Farage on his health tourism/ HIV+ comment.

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  55. We're back!

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  57. Q. How would you address immigration?

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  58. Miliband: Wont get benefits for first two years, stop undercutting of wages, wont cut Britain off from the rest of the world but will have controls.

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  59. Wood: Wont go alone with scaremongering of immigrants. There are gaps in the Welsh economy and certain skills that we need, but the debate on immigration has not helped

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  60. Sturgeon: Need to make sure people don't abuse the system. Need to enforce a decent minimum wage. Majority of migrants work. 100,000's British citizens work abroad.

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  61. Cameron: Immigration needs to come down, has from outside of the EU under coalition. Can't come here to live on benefits.

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  62. Farage: Can do nothing to control immigration inside the EU. Causing crisis in housing, need to put in place an Australian style points system.

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  63. Clegg: Good immigration and bad immigration. If we turned everyone away, the NHS would collapse over night.

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  64. Bennett: We celebrate free movement within the EU. Need a controlled but fair immigration system from outside the EU, we don't have that now.

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  65. Cameron says don't give up on the EU, renegotiate.

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  66. Farage says German Chancellor Merkal wont negotiate on free movement.

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  67. Miliband: Cameron has marginalised us in Europe.

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  68. Miliband says Britain outside the EU would be a disaster for businesses.

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  69. Snap HALF TIME verdict for @ITVNews #Leadersdebate Farage 24%, Miliband 21%, Cameron 19%, Sturgeon 18%, Clegg 10%, Bennet 7%, Wood 2%
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  70. Sturgeon: Diversity is one of our great strengths.

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  71. Bennett says immigration should be more an issue of human lives, rather than about the economy.

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  72. Wood says all four nations in the UK should have to approve a pull out of the EU, Wales benefits from the EU.

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  73. Farage and Clegg clashing now over whether Britain can do anything about immigration from inside the EU.

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  74. Nicola Sturgeon is the most Googled leader so far in this debate.

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  75. Yes, Nigel, immigration has increased since the 50s, but so has world population. False comparison to compare then w/ now. #leadersdebate
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  76. Farage: Let's be honest, there wouldn't even be a referendum on the EU without the rise of Ukip.

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  77. Clegg: Leaving the EU will make us poorer.

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  78. Bennett: The Green Party would support a referendum on Europe.

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  79. Bennett: Within the referendum, the Green Party would campaign to stay in.

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  80. Wood agrees with Farage, Britain can't control, immigration from inside the EU.

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  81. Q. What will you do for young people?

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  82. Wood: We need to invest.

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  83. Miliband: Access to good education, cut the tuition fee to £6,000, ban exploitation of zero-hours contracts and build homes.

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  84. Cameron: Need to create more jobs (highlights coalition record), build more affordable homes.

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  85. Bennett: Education is a public good, should be paid for though "progressive taxation". Zero-tuition fees, changes in housing, minimum wage of £10 an hour by 2020.

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  86. Clegg: Could keep tuition fee pledge but did get the fairest deal. Huge tax cut: pupil premium, income tax thresh hold.

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  87. Sturgeon: We kept university free in Scotland and will continue to.

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  88. Big applause for Sturgeon: Should be based on ability to learn, not ability to pay.

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  89. Farage: Rich are enjoying life, poor aren't, brings the debate back to immigration with housing crisis.

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  90. Clegg attacks Cameron's education cuts.

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  91. Miliband: They're both blaming each other and they are both right.

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  93. The tweet linked to in that last post...

    Very strong performance by PM in #leadersdebate. Showing strong leadership v chaos of others. Miliband exposed on economy, faltering on NHS
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  94. Nick I don't think anyone should ever forgive or forget your sell out on tuition fees, and I hope come 7 May they don't #Leadersdebate
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  95. Farage has an interesting idea about grammar schools but fails to address private schools #leadersdebate
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  96. When your boy turns on you after 5 years of coalition government 😪 pic.twitter.com/sThMLt5Fkp
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  97. Clegg: We would introduce a rent-to-own scheme.

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  98. Farage: Need to build more homes. Gov should supply grants and build on brown-field sites.

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  100. #LeadersDebate: Mentions over the last 60 days shows Labour have the highest volume of conversation online. pic.twitter.com/38NRZUAav1
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  101. Cameron: Britain has still got clout in the world.

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  102. An audience member was shouting at Cameron while he was talking about Britain armed service men and women.

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  103. More heckling.

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  104. The audience member who heckled Cameron complained about money going on the army while homeless people are sleeping on the street.

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  106. Cameron dealt with the heckler calmly.

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  107. Ending statements...

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  108. Sturgeon: You can vote for the same old, or you can vote for something different and more progress. None of us can afford any more austerity, none of us can afford renewing nuclear weapons (Trident).

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  109. Clegg: Thank you for sitting through this two hour political marathon. When you vote keep our country fair and stable, balance the books, opportunity for everyone.

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  110. Miliband: I'll make sure we reward everyone, not just the rich, cut the deficit and balance the books.

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  111. Wood: There is an alternative from the Westminster cuts. For Wales to be strong, Plaid Cyrmu must be strong.

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  112. Bennett: If you want change, you have to vote for it. You don't have to vote for the lesser of two evils. We need more MPs like Caroline Lucas, you can deliver a peaceful political revolution.

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  113. Farage: Most of the leaders have never had a job in their lives. If you want things to be shaken up, you need to put more Ukip MPs in Westminster.

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  114. Cameron: I want to finish the job, we've created two million job, lets create more. We've halved the deficit, lets finish it off. Let's stick to the plan that's working.

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  115. That concludes the debates, time for the reaction.

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  116. What the hell are ITV playing at? I'm the host of Would I Lie To You? Why am I not there? #leadersdebate
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  117. According to an early ComRes Poll, Ukip's Nigel Farage won the debate.

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  118. YouGov representative talking on BBC News... Nicola Sturgeon is the clear winner, Nigel Farage narrowly ahead of Cameron, then Miliband, Clegg, Bennett and Wood.

    YouGov Times poll - who won: Sturgeon 28.1% Farage 20.3% Cameron 17.6% Miliband 14.8% Clegg 10.4% Bennett 4.7% Wood 4.2% sample 1,1117
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  119. ICM poll has Cameron v Miliband as a dead heat, on 50% each.

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  120. Full ICM result have Miliband as the winner by a whisker tonight.

    Guardian/ICM poll Miliband: 25% Cameron: 24% Farage: 19% Sturgeon: 17% Clegg: 9% Bennett: 3% Wood: 2%
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  121. A three-way tie between Cameron, Miliband and Farage, according to ComRes.

    ComRes poll for ITV gives a three-way tie for the lead between Miliband, Cameron and Farage.  http://polho.me/1BSc85B  pic.twitter.com/dqPMxoqL9O
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  122. A Vine has emerged of the audience member who heckled David Cameron during tonight's debate.

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  123. Party most likely to gain votes, according to ComRes poll: Lab 30% Con 29% UKIP 22% LD 11% Grn 9% None 8% SNP 6% PC 1%
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  124. Sturgeon wins the debate according to an average of the three polls out tonight.

    Johnny, who asked first question, just arrived in spin room. …here's an average of tonight's 3 polls #leadersdebate pic.twitter.com/sqgk1QiXpl
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  125. YouGov/Sun poll tonight: Meanwhile, in the real world… Tory 2 point lead + at highest in 3 years: CON 37%, LAB 35%, UKIP 12%, LD 7%, GRN 5%
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