Democracy in Action

Race: New versus Old Media

Venue: First Televised Leaders’ Debate, Manchester/your laptop/your TV

Twitter build-up:

Nick Clegg (LibDem leader): Just having a first look at the studio for this evening’s debate. Nervous and excited? Absolutely.

Iain Dale (Tory campaigner): Every undecided voter I’ve called on this pm is watching the debate tonight. Democracy in action and proof that the debates are a good idea

Fairy_poo (Random member of public): Check out #LeadersDebate. You’ll find only 2 kinds of people: Those who don’t give a shit, and those who REALLY give a shit.

And they’re off:

Johnprescott (Deluded): Tonight you’re seeing the real Gordon I know. Funny, intelligent and a man of real substance.

Hugo Rifkind (Columnist for The Times): Gordon looks like he died 8 mins ago and they just restarted his heart.

All: Is Gordon Brown wearing lipstick?

Twodoctors (Green candidate): If Dave is C3PO made out of ham, Gordo looks like Darth Vader when his helmet comes off. Clegg a shaved Ewok.

Higgis (random member of public): Please, someone ask a question about prostitution. Dave: “I actually went to a brothel the other day”

Alex Massie (Spectator): Ah, this is the bit in which we all boast about how great the NHS is while demonstrating how, in fact, it is crap.

Paul Waugh (Evening Standard): Can’t wait for Clegg to say “I agree with Nick…Oh Christ, I AM Nick…”

Reelmolesworth (Random drunk): masters hav a drinking game with 1 tot from the bot when grabber cameron sa job tax. all are now INSENSIBEL



Benedict Brogan (Telegraph): Debate verdict: Brown scrabbles to survive, Cameron stays calm and Clegg gets the cream

Guidofawkes (Blogger): Quote of the Day: David Laws said… “There were low expectations for Gordon Brown and he failed to live up to them…

Johnprescott (Still deluded): Substance beats style EVERY time. Solid win for Gordon! 

Vital Statistics:  

36,483 people tweeted 184,396 tweets (three times the number tweeted during Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time), at a rate of 39 tweets per second, amounting to 5.4 per cent of all tweets at the time. Peak of 9.9 million TV viewers, averaging 9.4 million (less than the Doctor Who episode the week before and about half of the last X Factor Final’s viewing figures).


More than 250 times more people watched the debate than tweeted about it, and considering that the people tweeting were tweeting about old media anyway, it has to be the winner. But if you want to be cheesy about it, than the winner was, in fact, the electorate.

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