General Election 2015

Question Time leaders’ special- scrutiny live on television a week before polling day

David Cameron, Ed Miliband, and Nick Clegg have had their last chance to compete with each other in live television questioning a week before polling day.

They followed each other on BBC Question Time leaders’ special.

They had to take questions without advance notice from a live audience of voters.

Each party leader was granted 28 minutes before people drawn equally from supporters of the Labour Party, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and other parties or swing voters.

David Cameron was first to the stage.

David Cameron of the Conservative Party. Screen capture from BBC coverage.

David Cameron of the Conservative Party. Screen capture from BBC coverage.

Mr Cameron denied that a Conservative government would cut child benefits.

He defended the Conservatives’ handling of the economy and brandished a letter from a former Labour Chief Secretary claiming ‘there’s no money left.’

Ed Miliband was next to face the audience.

Ed Miliband of the Labour Party. Screen capture from BBC coverage.

Ed Miliband of the Labour Party. Screen capture from BBC coverage.

Ed Miliband dismissed the letter as the prime minister’s ‘usual prop.’

Mr Miliband admitted that Labour ‘got it wrong’ on financial regulation but denied that they had overspent while in power.

Nick Clegg spoke for the final third of the programme.

Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats. Screen capture from BBC coverage.

Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats. Screen capture from BBC coverage.

Mr Clegg described his decision on tuition fees as ‘brave’ and worth the short term political damage.

He said that if Mr Miliband or Mr Cameron believe they can win a majority then they need to lie down in a dark room.

All leaders were asked about post-election deals.

Ed Miliband remained firm in his refusal to form a coalition with the SNP.

David Cameron said the Conservatives are aiming for an outright majority.

Nick Clegg hopes a coalition with the Liberal Democrats will keep the next government from lurching left or right.

An instant poll of Question Time viewers by ICM for The Guardian showed that 44% thought Mr Cameron had ‘done best on the night’, against 38% for Mr Miliband and 19% for Mr Clegg.

Only 6% of viewers in a small sub-sample said they had their mind changed by the programme.

87% said it would make no difference to how they would vote.

When they left the studio set LMMN took screenshots of how the party leaders looked.

Mr Cameron smiled and looked pleased with himself; the Labour leader Ed Miliband stumbled and nearly fell over, but managed a cheery wave, and Nick Clegg looked rather relieved it was all over stepping off the podium gingerly.

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All three leaders were asked about immigration. Nigel Farage of UKIP also addressed the issue on the BBC programme Ask Nigel Farage.

Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP and Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru have faced questions on BBC programmes in Scotland and Wales.

The Question Time Leaders Special was presented by David Dimbleby and broadcast from Leeds Town Hall.

You can see who entire television version by clicking here.

This debate was the final in a series of four programmes that were agreed earlier in the year.

BBC leaders debate, minus Clegg and Cameron

The general election 2015: a breakdown of the first four live tv debates.

LBC hosts womens leaders debate.

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