In four polls after tonight’s debate, Cameron came first in one, Clegg in two, and they were equal in the fourth. Brown was last in three out of four polls, and joint second with Cameron in one poll.
YouGov: Cameron 36 per cent, Clegg 32 per cent, Brown 29 per cent
ComRes: Clegg 33 per cent Brown 30 per cent, Cameron 30 per cent.
Angus Reid: Clegg 35 per cent, Cameron 32 per cent, Brown 23 per cent.
Populus: Cameron 36 per cent, Clegg 36 per cent, Brown 27 per cent.
This comes hard on the heels of a nasty smear campaign run this morning in the national press, alleging that Clegg had acted improperly when, in fact, Clegg had not only acted properly but had also fully declared everything he was doing.
Cameron needed a knock-out blow tonight, and his spin-doctors had more or less promised one. He did not get it, and the ‘Clegg effect’ is set to grow.
On the streets, I have been amazed by the overwhelming welcome I’ve been getting since last Thursday. I went round a school this afternoon and was treated like a rock-star by children who (I guess) probably didn’t know who Nick Clegg was eight days ago, and certainly had no real interest in the Liberal Democrats.
It is changing. It is changing!