|Debate LIVE: Opening salvo Posted by Ian at 8 57 PM on Thursday, April 15|
And they're off: A wide eyed stare from Nick Clegg, a smirk from David Cameron and a brief nod from Gordon Brown, who was described not as Prime Minister but as leader of the Labour Party.
Over the first few questions it;s clear all three are surfing on a massive adrenaline wave. And their instinctive debating tactics kick in - Gordon Brown is dredging up statistics, Nick Clegg is clear and concise and looking straight to camera. David Cameron is running away with the interventions during the blistering pace of the part where they all contradict each other and is at risk of sounding too much like a school teacher.
Over immigration and crime it's pretty level pegging. Gordon Brown is clearly rusty when it comes to old school debating. David Cameron and Nick Clegg are standing closer to the microphone and getting their interventions in quicker.
David Cameron is also winning with the personal anecdotes - a heart breaking story about a woman whose son was killed by a burglar, while Gordon Brown was quick to remind people about the moral lessons he learns from his father.
No real winners at this stage. It feels like the opening 30 minutes of a Champions League Final