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Election 2015: Leaders grilled in TV Q&A - what did you think?

PUBLISHED: 13:30 27 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:30 27 March 2015

Prime Minister David Cameron is interviewed by Jeremy Paxman (right) on the Sky News/Channel 4 programme: Cameron & Miliband Live: The Battle for Number 10, at the Sky Studios in Osterley, west London.

Prime Minister David Cameron is interviewed by Jeremy Paxman (right) on the Sky News/Channel 4 programme: Cameron & Miliband Live: The Battle for Number 10, at the Sky Studios in Osterley, west London.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

David Cameron and Ed Miliband were grilled by Jeremy Paxman and a studio audience last night in the first of the general election television set pieces.

The Prime Minister and Labour leader were interviewed individually in the Sky News/Channel 4 programme: Cameron & Miliband Live: The Battle for Number 10.

An ICM opinion poll for The Guardian newspaper found that 54 per cent of those questioned thought David Cameron “won” the Battle for Number 10 interview show, with 46pc plumping for Ed Miliband.

Comparing how the two leaders fared on Twitter during their sessions with Paxman and Burley, Ed Miliband was mentioned in 95,032 tweets, Cameron in just 77,482 up to the time he finished his audience Q&A.

Did you watch the broadcast? What did you think? Send your views to shekha.vyas@archant.co.uk or Tweet us @hackneygazette

Here’s a summary of the key points:

• Mr Cameron admitted that he would not be able to live on the kind of exclusive zero-hours country that the coalition has outlawed.

• He said the UK was “immeasurably stronger” after five years of his premiership and claimed that “we’ve turned the economy round” but accepted that his Government had failed to meet the “no ifs no buts” pledge he made in 2010 to get net immigration down to the tens of thousands over the course of the parliament.

• But he said it remained “the right ambition” and insisted tougher welfare rules would squeeze arrivals from the EU.

• Pressed repeatedly on whether he and Chancellor George Osborne knew where they would make £12 billion further savings from the welfare budget over the next parliament, he said: “We know it is possible. We know there will be difficult decisions and we will have to go through every part of the welfare budget.”

• Mr Miliband said democratic socialism remained an important Labour value - saying it was fundamental to the question of what sort of country Britain was going to be.

• He said wealth creation is an incredibly important part of building a more prosperous society and a fairer society. But he wants all levels of society to do well and not just those at the top.

• Mr Miliband firmly defended his decision to rule out an in/out EU referendum, arguing that it was not a priority for the country and leaving would be a disaster and applauded Mr Cameron’s successful push in the face of strong Tory opposition to legalise same-sex marriage and raise foreign aid spending to 0.7% of GDP but said he didn’t think they would “have a pint” together.

• He refused to put a figure on a maximum population for the country and admitted Labour “got it wrong” on immigration and on the forecasts made by the last government.


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