The polls: Clegg rides high after debate

By politics.co.uk staff

The first opinion poll on voting intentions after the initial leaders’ debate puts the Liberal Democrats into second place.

An ITV/ComRes poll taken after the 90-minute TV show, which Nick Clegg was widely held to have won, gives the Conservatives 36% support, actually a one point increase, but sees Mr Clegg’s Lib Dems climb to unprecedented levels, just one behind the Tories.

That’s a climb of 16 points in two days, when a poll by the same company gave them 19%.

Although Gordon Brown did not perform badly, Labour’s support in the poll dropped by five points to 24%.

If such levels of support hold for the election, Britain would have a hung parliament.

Opinion polls following the party leaders’ debate last night make grim reading for David Cameron.

The Conservative leader was tipped to do well, but in instant polls after the 90-minute live showdown he was consistently bested by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, and even fell behind Gordon Brown in two polls.

An ITV/Comres poll said 46% thought Mr Clegg did best, with Conservative leader David Cameron in second with 26% and prime minister Gordon Brown with 20%.

A YouGov poll for the Sun was even better news for the Lib Dems, giving Mr Clegg 51%, a clear majority, over Mr Cameron at 29% and Mr Brown at 19%.

For a Channel Four poll, Mr Clegg was given 58%, a triumph, but David Cameron badly trailed with only 13% of viewers who thought he was best, with Gordon Brown on 28%.

Mr Cameron was again third in a Sky instant poll on 31%, with Mr Brown one point ahead of him and Mr Clegg on 37%.

Meanwhile YouGov for the Times found Mr Clegg again the overwhelming winner with 61% and Cameron and Brown trailing on 22% and 17% respectively.