Who won the debate? The women

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Although it was better than expected, the general election debate was somewhat muted, static and 
sterile.

With little vision from the three major party leaders, it was the ladies from the so-called minor parties who stood out, particularly Nicola Sturgeon, as reflected by most of the media.

During the debate, the one-dimensional Ukip leader was marginalised; the Conservative leader constantly harping back to Labour’s failures, offered nothing new, while the Labour leader did not enhance his premiership ambitions and the Liberal Democrat leader did little to disassociate himself from their mutual agreement to further austerity cuts and renewal of Trident.

In fact, the only positive inspiration for young people and any vision of hope for the future came from the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green Party leaders.

It is evident that for Scotland and the UK as it stands at present, the greater the SNP representation gained on 7 May, the greater will be the chance of an equal, fair and free society for all.

Grant Frazer

Cruachan

Newtonmore

Despite all the detailed and informative reports on the “leaders’ debate” (your reports, 3 April) there remain some important issues.

Will there, for example, be any attention given to foreign affairs in an increasingly dangerous world?

Even the debate focusing on domestic policies can’t be divorced entirely from what is happening elsewhere.

Immediately the recent “outline deal” with Iran comes to mind because of the significance of oil.

Does part of the deal include allowing more Iranian oil to be traded on world markets?

Moreover, the parties’ attitudes towards the conflict in the Middle East have not been made clear.

Nor have their foreign policy stances on Europe’s and Nato’s relations with Russia.

Arguably, a debate could be arranged between the foreign policy spokespersons from all the different parties.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk

Inverurie

In the leaders’ debate Nicola Sturgeon said she believed no leader who had benefited from free tuition fees had the right to remove them, impose borrowing to pay for such fees instead. Yet she is perfectly willing to saddle our children, our children’s children, and our children’s grandchildren with thousands and thousands of pounds of debt by borrowing to pay for her incoherent, uncosted spending plans, all for her short-term political gain.

It is simply immoral of Sturgeon to impose such a 
liability on future generations.

Ian Stuart

Russell Place

Elgin

The ITV leaders’ debate 
clearly demonstrated one thing – the need for more women to be in high level positions in politics.

The more the merrier!

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace

Edinburgh

Why did Ed Miliband not “mug” Farage for his shameful comments last night about HIV patients?

Nick Clegg for the Liberal Democrats, Leanne Wood for Plaid Cymru, Natalie Bennett for the Green Party, Nicola Sturgeon for the SNP and even David Cameron for the Conservatives all condemned his remarks, but I did not hear anything from Ed Miliband.

I understand he did comment later but is his initial hesitance related to the infamous fifth pledge mug?

(Dr) Charles Corser

Friars Way

Linlithgow

If the seven-leader debate was seen as an opportunity for the potential Tory or Labour coalition partners to tout themselves, my guess is many in this country who actually watched the programme will now be asking: “Why can’t we have a Ukip/SNP coalition in power instead?”

Farage and Sturgeon looked like they could run a nation – the rest looked like they couldn’t run a bath.

Mark Boyle

Linn Park Gardens

Johnstone

I am not a fan of election or referendum TV debates, or, anyway, not a fan of trying to elicit “performance ratings” from them, but I do think the three women party leaders in the ITV Big Seven debate outshone their male counterparts.

I also think the debate compere (perhaps the least competent woman on the night, but this is likely nit-picking) allowed Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg far too many response opportunities compared with what was apparently allowed the other party leaders.

I also think the relevant Northern Ireland party leader should have been included.

But Natalie Bennett for the Greens, Leanne Wood of the Welsh Plaid Cymru, and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP were the stalwarts.

But a repeat Big Seven or indeed a Big Eight is not for me. Women’s tennis, or women’s fitba, or men’s for that matter, will still be my preference.

On second thoughts, maybe an hour-long debate. Two hours drags a bit. Oh, and the person who called out from the auditorium – that was also a woman. They definitely stole the show.

Ian Johnstone

Forman Drive

Peterhead

I must correct Tom Peterkin’s Latin (3 April). It should be “Et tu, Clegge” (vocative case).

Colinus Filius 
Alexandri

CXL Vicus Australis

Sanctus Andrea

(Colin McAllister

South Street

St Andrews)

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