In journalism terms it was an election campaign that was dominated by the three party leader debates and by one very embarassing TV gaffe from Gordon Brown.
Did they influence the ultimate result? Perhaps just a smidgeon.
On the eve of the campaign the “poll of polls” put the Conservatives on 39, Labour on 31 and the Liberal Democrats on 19.
Nick Clegg is generally believed to have done best out of the debates and in terms of share of the vote (if not number of seats) he appears to have improved his position. At time of writing the Conservatives have 36 per cent of the votes, Labour 29 per cent and the Liberal Democrats 23 per cent.
Any road up, here my top ten political TV moments. Pick your favourite and add your own:
- 1982 – John Nott walks out of a BBC interview with Robin Day after being accused of being a ‘here today, gone tomorrow politician’.
- 1983 – Housewife Diana Gould tackles Margaret Thatcher about the sinking of the Belgrano on the BBC’s Nationwide.
- 1990 – Margaret Thatcher catches BBC political correspondent John Sergeant on the hoof outside the British Embassy in Paris and declares her intention to fight on after the first Tory Party leadership election ballot.
- 1990 – Then Agriculture Minister John Gummer feeds his four-year-old daughter a beefburger in the midst of the BSE in beef scare.
- 1992 – Neil Kinnock’s Sheffield rally: ‘Well all right! Well all right!”
- 1997 – Jeremy Paxman asks then Conservative Michael Howard 12 times: “Did you threaten to overrule him?”
- 1997 – Election night: Potential Tory leader Michael Portillo loses Enfield Southgate to Stephen Twigg.
- 2001 – The Prezza punch, then deputy Labour leader John Prescott lamps a voter.
- 2010 – The first leaders’ debate on ITV – ‘I agree with Nick’ – and to a lesser extent the two subsequent ones on Sky News and the BBC.
- 2010 – ‘Bigotgate’ – Gordon Brown leaves his mic on and reveals that he thought ‘that woman’ – voter Eugene Duffy – was ‘bigoted’.