Page last updated at 22:05 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2010 23:05 UK

In quotes: Reaction to election TV debate

The first prime ministerial debate between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg has taken place in Manchester. Here is full reaction to how they performed, and the issues raised.

PLAID CYMRU LEADER, IEUAN WYN JONES

In what was a very sterile debate, not once did we hear the word Wales mentioned by any of the leaders. Indeed much of what they said was irrelevant to our communities. Plaid offers a different choice and we have different priorities - looking after pensioners, protecting our schools and hospitals and making sure our economy comes out of recession.

SNP LEADER, ALEX SALMOND

All the debate confirmed was that the London parties plan deep cuts to Scotland's budget and public services. That's why Scotland needs local and national champions in the House of Commons to break through this cosy Westminster consensus and win a better deal for Scotland. Over half the debate should have been captioned 'Except for viewers in Scotland'. It was billed as a historic event but we got was three Westminster politicians looking the same, sounding the same and saying nothing of relevance to Scotland.

GREEN PARTY LEADER, CAROLINE LUCAS

Green issues, environmental concerns can run through everything from the economy through to health and it was very interesting that none of the other parties were even mentioning environmental concerns. There are links when you're talking about health, you could link that to air quality, the fact that our air quality is deteriorating because of so much traffic in our city centres. That whole aspect wasn't really covered and when it comes to the economy there's a huge potential for creating hundreds of thousands of jobs through investment in green energy and energy efficiency

UKIP MEP, GODFREY BLOOM

I'm a financial economist by profession and I think the papers overnight, the pink papers, will be looking very carefully at what Gordon Brown said or didn't say. Rather interestingly, he really, I think, gave the impression that he didn't give much concern to the biggest deficit in the history of the nation and he certainly didn't pledge any cuts at all.

BNP LEADER, NICK GRIFFIN

It was interesting that the first question was immigration, it's clearly a big topic of concern. They all talked a great deal about getting to grips with it, but they've been in power for 40 years when it's been let rip. They all talked about non-European immigration. But it's immigration from Europe, Polish plumbers, Polish builders which have had a catastrophic effect on jobs and wages rates in Britain, they avoided that issue.

LIB DEM TREASURY SPOKESMAN, VINCE CABLE

He did extremely well. What matters is not what the commentators and spin doctors think, but what the public thought. All of the indicators we are getting is that the public really like Nick Clegg, he seems to have come out well ahead, and I'm not surprised, one of the most frequently-used phrase in the debate was, "we agree with Nick". And he established we have distinctive positions on a variety of things, party funding, Trident missiles, prison reform, but there were other areas where we want to be statesmanlike, personal care and management of the deficit.

SHADOW FOREIGN SECRETARY, WILLIAM HAGUE

Cameron clearly won the debate. I've only seen one opinion poll about this so far, but he was the clear leader in that poll. I think he showed what a leader he was in reality and his answers, in particular on the NHS and personal care, on immigration and on discipline in schools, they showed he was the change this country needs.

HOME SECRETARY, ALAN JOHNSON

The incumbent has always traditionally been worried about these debates. Gordon showed we didn't have anything to worry about. I put it to Gordon Brown on substance and Nick Clegg on style. I think David Cameron failed on both.



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