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On Thursday, the leaders of the three main parties in Britain take part in a crucial televised election debate on the economy. It will be the final debate before the May 6 election.
The race has narrowed after nearly three weeks of campaigning and Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg are locked in a dead heat.
Labour leader Gordon Brown though is still very much in the race and is only trailing a few points behind in opinion polls.
However, after Brown's 'bigot' gaffe on Wednesday, it is unclear how that will affect him at the polls.
We want to know what you think of the debate. Who are the winners and losers? Who do you think will win the general election next week?
well am not in the UK but according to the debate i listen i think Mr Brown should give chance to others
from the gambia
Welcome to our live debate coverage. The debate has kicked off with the first question of why the leader's just won't tell people where the spending cuts will come from.
I think it will be a hung parliment now lib dems are splitting votes
There will be a hung parliament but considering the deficit this would be the best time for it. Whoever governs will be unable to enact new programs as they will spend the first four years in deficit reduction mode.
sustainable Energy Man rlsh the worlds real superhero is the solution to climate change!
Cameron can say what he wants but smooth talking is not enough to win this election. If the conservatives win the NHS is doomed as are standards in schools. Well at least the wealthy will be ok though!! I still remember growing up in England in the 80s under a Tory government. There was always a distinct feel of hopelessness.
Interesting comments Andrew... how do you think the debate is going so far? Who is doing the best?
i'm so tired of cameron trying to capitalize on brown's gaffe. you know that both him and clegg have said worse in their private moments.
Gordon Brown has got to stop shaking his head the whole way through this debate! It just doesn't look professional. He is looking really tired, I think the last couple of days have got to him.
i'm scared. it really looks like the conservatives might win.
do people realize what this will mean for the country?
it feels like the british public have to pick their poison
feels like cleggmania is over – people agree?
dont hate on brown
They're feisty today~! for once the brits seem interesting
I think brown is obviously more on the offensive as he has to be after yesterdays faux pas. Clegg seemingly is saying common sense things however there is always a concern about promises Made by liberal democrats as they, up until three weeks ago could have frankly said anything as they were never contenders, and Mr Cameron strikes me as being guarded. It's more about what he is not saying verses what he is. The conservatives need to state and promise clearly that the middle class and working class will not experience a dip in a standard of living if they come to power. They however cannot.
Iseriously think the british people will def get it wrong if the went david and his conservates. Gordons view on taxes makes so much sense he'd def get my vote unfortunately am in zambia
If I was to pick one who is doing better right now than another I would go with Clegg or Brown.
Cameron is just style over substance, at least Brown understands what he says and practices what he preaches. I grew up in the 80's under the Tory's and it was a nightmare (and I was only a kid!!)
Labour will deliver I have every faith
There is nothing that stands out so far or is a game winner for any of them and again I think it is due to the economy. The public are aware of the very real constraints the next few years will bring.
I am a first time voter, though i probably wont vote, i cant see a difference between any of them, the real issues are ignored, Immigration, Europe. Technology, whereas nobody seems to have a better grasp on the economy either.
Its ironic for Gordon Brown to talk about needing more technology 3 weeks after they force through the Digital Economy Bill, which only holds technology back
I think Nick Clegg is doing well this debate - though he didn't seem to be sincere when denying that he is a Euro-supporter.
Seems like Gordon Brown is really getting out there on the offensive.
On immigration: cameron's "cap"plan is absolutely one of the most Ill conceived ramblings I've heard yet. That's not a plan, that's a soundbite. Clegg however makes no sense either other than bringing back counting in and counting out at the borders. Browns points plan is like slamming the gate close after the horse has bolted. He says"action" I say " desperation".
It seems to me that the debate is more of a PR and sound bite opportunity rather than a genuine debate. The invidulator is so docile that he could have been hired by a common publicity agency. He cannot even ask one probing question. If the analogy fits: he is laying an alley hoop for the politician to slam dunk and look good. This is a poor excuse for a debate
Emma I share your sentiments david has nofigures to support his to me he's just talking Gordon knows where his bread is buttered
Clegg just said it best. " get real". On immigration the conservatives are straying into ukip territory.
@David Cameron, you cannot cap the EU immigrants, he doesnt know what he is talking about
@Nick Clegg, a good idea, but the implications may bring more illegal immigrants
@Gordon Brown, well, they have had over a decade, and he just seems more intent on trying to attack his rivals than actually talk policy
Amused that Brown is taking full credit for lower Interest rates even though he really does not have a choice.
So summing up the debate. None of the candidates are entirely believable, there was no "knock out punch", empathy can get a politician only so far and at this point a hung parliament would probably be a good thing so the status quo can be maintained. Perhaps a difficult government would force the parties to actually come together for the good of the country.....oh wait that's a bit too close to fantasy, not unlike cameron's pledge to save 17 billion pounds by streamlining the governments stationary budget!!
I think David Cameron is doing marginally best so far, i like his policies about responsibility (such as giving responsibility to schools themselves, allowing people to buy their own homes).
Labour have done OK on the education from Nursery to High School. But its been a let down from College to University, the student loans don't even cover accommodation costs this year and they still want to put the tuition fee's up
So I'm not a british political expert, and far from it, but why is it that Mr. Cameron and Mr. Clegg seem so much more calm and poised than Prime Minister Brown who is always on the offensive launching, some would say personal attacks, especially geared toward David Cameron. Is this generally how British politics are carried out or is the Prime Minister just on the defensive?
Is Clegg failing to take the pressure as he keeps forgeting who's asked the question and where they are. He also forgot if one of the audiance had retired yet or was still at work. I think the Clegg mainia was just a short blip rather than an actual move forward for the Liberals.
Strong closing statement by Brown though he does seem to be grasping at straws.
Nick Clegg won, because he attacked both parties always at once. It was difficult to react for the other parties.
Brown's command of the subject – the economy – was evident. But his day is over – he as much as conceded a Conservative win or Tory-LibDem collaboration in his closing remarks. Clegg is the most refreshing event of the entire campaign; he seems more comfortable in his own skin than both Brown and Cameron. I am actually hoping for a hung parliament, if for no other reason than to force the Tories to deal with some opposition. I can not warm to Cameron – he appears to me to be inflexible, over-rehearsed, glib and angry. Personality and character do count.
I have a question to ask..... Why immigration is always presented as a big problem and why not anyone admits that it is actually THE money making business? Why not anyone make it clear that immigrants pay huge fee every year? Why anyone not make it clear to ordinary British people that immigrants are not entitled to benefits like tax credits, job seeker allowances and child tax credits? Why not anyone mention that immigrants contribute by paying taxes?
GORDON BROWN, EXPERIENCE IS NOT ENOUGH AND YOU NEED NOT BE CONFRONTATIONAL TO BUTTRESS YOUR POINTS.NICK CLEGG IS THE MAN OF THE DAY FROM COMPORTMENT ,CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM TO REALISM
So that’s all us UK voters get. All of the major issues ignored across all of the three debates.
UK house prices just jumped another 10% (to nine times the average salary in my area), and all three candidates offer price increasing strategies clearly designed to line the pockets of their generations and further devastate the young.
We need higher interest rates, we need them now, and we must adopt the mortgage lending caps of our lower house priced European neighbours. “Affordable houses” are slums. Real house prices need correcting, so all of the shared ownership schemes, the self certified and interest only mortgages, the unfair public sector worker price breaks and the stamp duty holiday’s must end.
The last decade’s taxation policies have halved private sector pensions and restricted private sector pay rises to below inflation whilst public sector pay and pensions have boomed. Lack of banking legislation forced Britain to be the first country to apply a stimulus and has made us the last major western power to start recovering. Crime has soared to the point where everyone’s just stopped reporting it, and it's become a shameful experience to be British in this day and age. What a legacy for the history books, and for those of us who’ll be around to read them, with housing prices and the stimulus debt as they are, maybe our generation’s already history.
A simple choice now. Vote for more of the same, or let Clegg force students and their redundant professors to work as waiters, or take a package of cuts, new legislation and the slight possibility of house price corrections on the back of them. Shame joining the Euro's been rulled out at a time when our weak currency could give us a long term advantage, ............................................................... but,
my vote has grudgingly stopped floating.
gordon browns comments about the lady in rochdale just goes to show the contempt he has for the people of this country and the genuine concerns that we have. If that is what he thinks of a lady who has been a supportere of his party all her life then what would he have to say about the rest of us, the majority of whom do NOT support him in any way shpe or form .The sooner he is gone the better and good riddance I do not however envy his successor though. There will be one hell of a mess left behind to sort out and it will not be an easy task
Cameron is going to take it, but let's hope it IS a hung parliament, with the Lib Dems acting as a brake on Tory ambitions. The Tories have not managed to pull away – which is no bad thing. Like others, I remember the hopelessness (for many) of living in Tory Britain of 1980s'/early 90s. I think it is inevitable that the Tories are going to get in – but hopefully with the likes of Nick Clegg and Vince Cable also in the game.
Emma, they haven't delivered in the last 13 years. How much longer are you prepared to hang onto that faith?
Hmm.. the ignorant in charge of keyboards? This is an interesting election because there is so much at stake. After the financial craash induced by the banks – deliberately? – we are now told we have to pay for those cuts, thats every tax payer – which works out to about £90,000 K for every family! That's the one one thing none of the parties are saying to the electoraate! Of course! We are told we need to save the banks. Hehe. They assume the electorate is too stupid to work out what is going on. Can I just say, the Brit electorate is not dumb – but we have a very stupid media who are as stupid and vile as a bag of snakes.
priority should be given to the recovery path, as its always difficult to sustain gave aways, rest is the people of UK to decide.
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