Debates 'Change Course of Politics'

Article excerpt

HOW people will vote at next week's election is still unclear but Teessiders do agree voters have been influenced by the television debates.

Last night marked the last of three TV debates among the main party leaders.

And although each party claims their man won, polls show it was a close run between Nick Clegg and David Cameron.

Political expert John Craig, inset, from Teesside University's school of social sciences and law, believes that the debates have been good for Clegg who emerged from the first debate an unlikely winner.

He said: "Two weeks later, the froth of the early polls has worn off, but the Liberal Democrats are still consistently polling ahead of Labour. If they poll ahead of Labour next Thursday it will be the first time they will have done so in a General election since 1918.

"It's hard to imagine they could be in this position without the debates - so it looks like these may be four and a half hours of TV that will have changed the course of UK political history."

Healthcare manager Keith Clarkson, from Redcar, who thought Cameron won last night's debate said: "I think it has brought politics to the fore. …