Nicola Sturgeon wins debate, suggests YouGov poll

Nicola Sturgeon

A poll after the seven-way debate puts the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon in first place. What have the polls told us?

The YouGov poll gave the following results:

Sturgeon 28%. Farage 20%. Cameron 18%. Miliband 15%. Clegg 10%. Bennett 5%. Wood 4%.

Whilst Sturgeon did not win according to other polls it clearly illustrates that her message is proving somewhat popular. By being placed first by almost 30% of respondents this clearly illustrates that she is making an impact.

The instant reaction ComRes poll however, puts Cameron, Miliband and Farage on 21% - a three-way tie, with Sturgeon close behind, another sign that despite her party only standing in 59 out of 650 seats she is making an impact.

The full results of the ComRes poll are as follows:

Cameron 21%. Miliband 21%. Farage 21%. Sturgeon 20%. Clegg 9%. Bennett 5%. Wood 2%

The instant reaction ICM poll results are also as follows:

Miliband 25%. Cameron 24%. Farage 19%. Sturgeon 17%. Clegg 9%. Bennett 3%. Wood 2%

This ICM poll will be good news for Ed Miliband as it puts him ahead of David Cameron and gives him a win, however, the YouGov poll put David Cameron three points ahead.

The last poll to be released (by Survation) gave the following results:

Cameron. 25%. Miliband 25%. Farage 24%. Sturgeon 15%. Clegg 6%. Bennett 3%. Wood 2%.

This is the second poll to put the main two leaders in joint first place, once again indicating the closeness of the race to Number 10. Furthermore, it also suggests that Farage has done reasonably well and that Sturgeon made some headway in the debate.

Analysis:

The polls have given some varying results, but there are some common themes, one of which is of course Nicola Sturgeon's performance. For someone who's party is not standing across the whole UK this is impressive. She did not bang on about independence. She made the case for a strong set of SNP MPs at Westminster and positioned her party as one with an alternative agenda to 'Westminster austerity', something which appears to have chimed with many respondents.

In addition to this, according to the Telegraph, Twitter indicates that Nicola Sturgeon performed best, however, with the SNP surge in support it could be possible that a disproportionate number of Tweeters were supporting her.

Furthermore, As well as showing the closeness between Miliband and Cameron the polls also show how badly the Green’s Natalie Bennett came across. Her performance was not terrible, there was no massive car crash mistakes, but she failed to impress.

As for Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood, just being there is a win for her party. Plaid’s representation in Wales is nowhere near to the same extent as the SNP’s in Scotland so her performance will help get the message out there.

The polls will not tell us who will win the election, and the debate will not change the course of history, but it may all have an impact on some voters as well the spin and buzz produced in the media in the following few days. What's more is that the debates have made history. The seven-way debate is a first and will likely continue in some way or another in elections to come.

The full polling results can be accessed here.

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