Leaders’ Debate 2nd April 2015: The Verdict

See what Team ELLE made of last night's TV debate


After last night’s seven-way, two-hour TV debate featuring representatives from the Conservative, Lib Dem, Labour, SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru and UKIP parties, the verdict is in from three members of Team ELLE. With their very different political backgrounds and leanings, see what they made of it below.

Leisa Millar
Acting Content Director, 32
A serial voter, Leisa’s on it when it comes to election time. So what did she make of last night’s showdown?


'Well, that was quite brilliant, wasn't it? It is incredible, really, that a debate such as this doesn't happen as a matter of course before a general election; here's hoping it will from now on.

Yes, it was so much theatre, but such an important means of the electorate getting a feel for who these leaders are - how they interact, what impassions them. Nicola Sturgeon was a highlight for me. The women overall were very strong, which was a pleasure to watch (though I do think some of this 'didn't they do well?' commentary after the fact is verging on the ridiculous. I mean, why shouldn't they have?)

But, when it comes to winning my vote - and I wouldn't dream of not casting it - I didn't hear anything that surprised me, or made waver over who I'll be supporting come polling day.'

Phebe Hunnicutt
Digital Director, 33 
Originally from the US, this is political geek Phebe’s first election where she can vote as a British citizen. So what did she make of last night’s on screen verbal fracas?

'I am a bit of a politics nerd and as a new UK citizen, I am excited to get to participate rather than just observe. I can't say last night's debate changed my opinions, but it was still interesting to watch. The big group debates are a staple of the early campaign season in America, and while this British version was a bit more polite, it was more or less what I expected. The shocking candidate said something shocking, and everyone took their chance to take a shot at the incumbent. This format feels more like politics as entertainment than a proper chance to interrogate their positions. However, the bonus of having all the parties participate was getting to hear from the women who would not have been on stage in a smaller debate.'

Billie Bhatia
Fashion Intern, 25
After forgetting to vote in the last election, Billie’s resolved to get stuck into election season this time around. So as a first-time voter, what did she make of the debate?

'Having been a lazy student and wrapped up in a University bubble I didn't vote in the last General Election. I was hounded by guilt at this choice - people have fought for the right to vote and I just ignored it and further justified my absence of voting, with the mentality that one vote was not going to make a difference. This time, as a tax payer, I took more interest. Last night's debate (if I am being completely honest) left me a tad overwhelmed. The leaders of the seven represented parties are players in a game - and they play it really well. When each one spoke I believed what they were saying, I believed in them. Then, when the next one spoke, my feelings were repeated. Making the decision as to who you, as a British citizen, entrust to run the country is no easy feat and after this round, I have still not yet picked my winning horse. But I am interested, so I wait with for the next round and maybe there will be a Eureka! moment where I think "Yes! This is who I believe in". But until then the jury is still very much out.'

Let us know what you made of last night's debate and tweet us your thoughts @ELLEUK.

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