Final Leaders' Debate Highlights

The words and pictures that swung the debate


Mea culpa

"There's a lot to this job. And as you saw yesterday, I do not get all of it right. But I do know how to run the economy in the good times and in the bad."

Gordon Brown's opening statement



Trust me on the economy, stupid

DC: "Our economy is stuck in a rut and we need change to get it moving. We have to reward work and tackle welfare dependency; fix our banks ... and get them lending again. We have to start making things again, it's no policy to borrow from the Chinese and buy goods made in China. We've got to get value for money in our public services."

GB: "Britain is now on the road to recovery. Shrink the economy now as the Conservatives want to do, and they risk your job, your living standards, and your tax credits."

NC: "We need to be frank about where cuts are needed – so that we can protect things like schools and hospitals. We need fairer taxes, so that you don't pay any income tax on your first £10,000."



Why not be honest on cuts?

NC: "None of the political parties have spelt out all the details. We've set out much greater detail than any other party – £15bn on of savings. I really disagree with David Cameron and Gordon Brown: you can't fill the black hole with a few savings on pot plants and paper clips."

GB: "We are not going to allow the frontline National Health Service, or schools or policing to be cut. We will find the cuts in other areas."

DC: "We say roll up your sleeves now – let's save waste where we can to stop the taxes. It's the right thing to do."



Taxing matters

GB: "They [the Tories] will give an inheritance tax cut to the 3,000 richest people in the country of £200,000. That's the same old Conservative party – tax cuts for the rich and cutting the child tax credits for the very poor."

DC: "With the mess left by Gordon and Labour, where out of every £4 the Government spends, one is borrowed, it's not possible to make great big tax giveaway promises. Even if it would be a lovely thing to do, you can't. What we've said is let's try to stop the one tax that's going to hit the lowest-paid people and that's the national insurance tax."

NC, challenging DC on his inheritance tax policy: "That's the most creative justification I've ever heard for giving tax breaks to double millionaires."

Coming over 'ere...

GB: "We have banned unskilled workers from outside Europe and we have a list of occupations we want reserved for people in Britain."

DC: "Immigration has been too high for too long. There needs to be a cap."

NC: "They are here, whether we like it or not, they want to come out of the shadows and pay taxes. Gordon Brown, you can't pretend you can deport people when you don't know where they are. Get real."

Rubbish analogy of the evening

DC: "Banks should not be behaving like casinos, taking wild bets."

NC: "High-risk casino investment banking."

Don't listen to these two

GB: "I hate to enter into private grief but both of them have got this wrong."

NC: " ...the two old parties... "

Ronald Reagan memorial soundbite

NC: "Here they go again... "

Random smiles

1 (Gordon Brown)

Please kill Gordon!

DC: "What you're hearing is desperate stuff from someone in a desperate state."

DC: "Last week in these debates he tried to frighten people, and he's trying again... Gordon Brown has got to stop misleading families in this country like he's been misleading older people and cancer patients."

Snap judgements

ComRes/ITV News: DC 35, NC 33, GB 26

Times/Populus: DC 38, NC 38, GB 25

Angus Reid: DC 36, NC 30, GB 23

YouGov/The Sun: DC 41, NC 32, GB 25

ICM/Guardian: DC 35, GB 29, NC 27

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Sport
Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final
football
Extras
indybest
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on