Thursday night marked the meaty beginning of the General Election campaign as eager viewers tuned in to Channel 4 to watch David Cameron vs Ed Miliband in ‘The Battle for Number 10’.
The programme opened with TV legend Jeremy Paxman and the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, and they began with a spark of fury and erupted into debate soon after. Despite Paxman’s own personal political preference being Conservatives, he managed to separate that from his profession and grilled Mr Cameron in front of the nation. When Cameron was asked if he could ‘live on a zero-hour contract’, he repeatedly avoided the question in true politician style before proceeding to tell Paxman, ‘that’s not the question’. However, Paxman eventually squeezed the answer out of the PM and he admitted that ‘no, I couldn’t live on a zero-hours contract’. He took his time.
After Paxman’s grueling questioning, Cameron was exposed to the studio audience where he appeared to be far more relaxed and seemingly comfortable. The audience asked questions regarding the NHS, police force and even the status surrounding disability in the UK. But when looking on the Twitter tag ‘#BattleforNumber10’, it was clear that viewers thought Cameron was a ‘cop-out’ and many disagreed with what he responded to questions with.
Then came Labour leader Ed Miliband who seemed to please viewers far more. He began with the questions from the audience which were arguably a smooth ride when compared to Paxman’s horrifying head-to-head. What particularly stood out about Miliband to the viewers on Twitter was that he appeared to be ‘well prepared’ for all of the questions and he genuinely wanted to answer the questions asked by voters in the audience.
Following this was Miliband’s worst challenge: Jeremy Paxman. The man praised as ‘TV gold’ was seemingly quite harsh on the Labour leader, some viewers claiming that the debate had ‘lost all credibility’ after he began to quiz the PM hopeful on press speculation. This did seem to thoroughly backfire on Paxman as Miliband completely altered the view of many voters in the head-to-head. When told by Paxman that many people didn’t think he was strong enough for the most powerful job in Britain, Miliband responded with ‘hell yeah I’m tough’. When told by Paxman that the man on the tube thought he wasn’t a good leader and newspapers thought he wasn’t good enough, Miliband responded with an extraordinarily passionate speech on how he has been ‘underestimated’ throughout his whole time in the Labour Party. And, it appears that it all worked out for him despite some viewers claiming that he was given a harder time by Paxman and Kay Burley who also hosted the programme.
It does seem that there is only one reaction to the debate judging by Twitter. Click the tag ‘#BattleforNumber10’ and you will find an overwhelming amount of voters claiming ‘there’s only one winner’ and the winner is Ed Miliband. Another prominent reaction of voters is that ‘no wonder’ Cameron refuses to go head-to-head with Miliband as he is ‘too scared’ to face him – last night’s events proving that point to many.
Whoever you vote for in this General Election, think very carefully as you only have 41 days left to make up your mind.