Dundee, Scotland – Nicola Sturgeon came out as the highest rated, with Ed Miliband not far behind. David Cameron and Nick Clegg had slightly lower ratings. Natalie Bennet and Leanne Wood saw marks from A to F, while Nigel Farage received a failing mark.
Those were the impressions of voters who took part in focus groups conducted as part of the Qualitative Election Study at the University of Dundee last night. Fifteen people took part in the research which involved watching the debates and reacting to them in real time.
‘This is the only chance for voters to see seven party leaders on stage, defending their ideas and their policies,’ said Dr. Edzia Carvalho who is the principle investigator on the study. ‘Our participants certainly had a lot to say about the performance of the various leaders.’
Participants were asked to write down their impressions of each leader as the debate unfolded. They also gave each leader a final overall mark from A to F. Participants reported having learned useful new things from watching the debates.
‘Although people expressed some concern at the presidential style of the debates, there was wide general agreement that debates are a good thing and should certainly remain part of the General Election campaign in future,’ said Dr. Kristi Winters, the study’s international co-investigator from GESIS, Cologne.
The research is funded by the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust. For more information contact Dr. Edzia Carvalho on firstname.lastname@example.org.