By MARK PENN, US debates expert
Published April 23, 2010
If the first election debate spawned a new political catchphrase – “I agree with Nick” – the second debate in Bristol saw the line abandoned.
After watching Nick Clegg’s popularity soar in the last week, both David Cameron and Gordon Brown sought to use the foreign affairs debate to show why they don’t agree with the Lib Dem leader, on a range of policies from the Euro and immigration to Trident and nuclear power.
They had to restrategise, and they did.
Mr Brown and Mr Cameron had to wake up to the changed reality of an electorate tired with the old and fascinated by the possibility of new.
Mr Cameron had to show that only he represents real change and Mr Brown had to show that Lib Dems are a risk to future prosperity.
They both did better, but Mr Clegg still stands as a real force in the election and as someone who can mobilise young people.