UK & World News

  • 27 March 2014, 1:28

Clegg v Farage: How Twitter Responded

The Europe debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage was played out on social media as much as on television screens.

At one point the debate trended first, second and third in the UK with the hashtags #LBCdebate, #CleggvFarage, #NickvsNigel.

Both UKIP and the Liberal Democrats tweeted to support the points being made live on Sky News and LBC by their men.

A poll on @SkyNews had UKIP leader Mr Farage as the winner - with more than 1,300 retweets compared with Mr Clegg's 550.

The LBC Twitter Worm also called it for Mr Farage, while YouGov reported 57% thought the UKIP leader won.

Mr Clegg drank several glasses of water throughout the ding-dong - while Mr Farage was pictured on Twitter preparing for the debate by sipping a pint of bitter at the nearby Westminster Arms.

During the debate the UKIP leader used the phrase "I don't agree with Nick" - a reference to the 2010 leaders' debates when Gordon Brown and David Cameron went out of their way to "agree with Nick".

Thousands of tweets were posted by members of the public supporting both sides.

@adzyadrenaline tweeted: "Clegg was brilliant. Personally I feel he did better to clearly get his message across. Disappointed Farage was just 1 liners!"

Another tweeter, @Ejectfast, saw it differently: "Farage answered the question about his wife's salary. Clegg ignored the question about tuition fee lies. Enough said."

The debate took place because the Liberal Democrat leader challenged his UKIP counterpart on his weekly radio phone-in show.

The two parties disagree on the UK's membership of the European Union - UKIP want to leave while the Lib Dems are pro-Europe.

There will be another debate next week on BBC2. 

The debates are likely to be the highest-profile events of the political campaign for the European Parliament and UK council elections, which take place on May 22.

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