Breakdown of persuasiveness of each political party during Leaders Debate (15 April 2010)

Cranfield School of Management

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UK Election 2010

Day of Leaders Debate - Thursday 15th April 2010
Persuasiveness of real-time Experiences for the Leaders Debate by Political Party

How likely did it make you to vote for this party in the election?

This chart isolates just the texts sent in for the 3 main parties during the Leaders Debate. Of the 625 texts on the previous chart, 592 are for the 3 main parties with 33 being for other political parties. Participants are asked to text whenever they come across a political party or an issue that makes them think about one. It is therefore possible that an issue mentioned by one of the main party leaders made a participant think about a smaller party.

Liberal Democrats received the highest number of texts for the Leaders Debate (238 versus Conservatives at 174 and Labour at 187) which suggests that this party was coming through most strongly. Not only did LibDems receive the highest quantity of experiences for the Leaders Debate but these were much more persuasive than for the other two parties.

“Nick Clegg gave an excellent performance and more than held his own against the more experienced leaders. He was the only one who was able to substantiate any of his claims/promises with financial details. I very much admired the fact that on two topics (economic policy and future care for the elderly) his suggestion was that no party had the definitive answer and it is time to put people before politics and try to find a multi-party solution.” (Liberal Democrats, Leaders Debate, Fairly Positive, Slightly more likely to vote)

The experiences for Labour were persuading people not to vote for this party. In comparison with the freshness of the LibDems, Labour suffered with its recent record in power. As one participant commented in their diary…

“Gordon Brown looked tired and jaded, he also seemed to have forgotten to do a lot of things over the last 13 years.” (Labour, Leaders Debate, Fairly Negative, Made no difference)

David Cameron, although a credible alternative for some, seemed to come across less well than people expected.

“David Cameron seemed nervous. Trotted out the usual platitudes. Was not convincing.” (Conservatives, Leaders Debate, Neutral, Much less likely to vote)

The Leaders Debate format appears to make people more interested in voting at the election once they understand more about the issues each party stands for.

“All three leaders were present in the live TV debates on ITV. I watched it in the living room with my family. It was interesting and very relieving to find out what each party stood for. ..The debate was very helpful and makes me WANT TO VOTE!!!!” (Labour, Leaders Debate, Fairly Positive, Much more likely to vote)

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