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  1. Wednesday 22 April 2015
  2. First of the all-Wales political debates for Election 2015
  3. Stephen Crabb for the Welsh Conservatives
  4. Owen Smith for Labour
  5. Leanne Wood for Plaid Cymru
  6. Kirsty Williams for the Welsh Liberal Democrats
  7. Pippa Bartolotti for Wales Greens
  8. Nathan Gill for UKIP Wales

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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And that's about it from this evening's live coverage of the first Wales election debate.

There is plenty more to come with two weeks to go to the 7 May vote - and we'll do our best to bring you all the views.

Don't forget - if you are hungry for more -

The Wales Report is on now taking the temperature as Bethan Rhys Roberts and a studio audience of voters in Carmarthen call their would-be MPs to account.

Nick Servini

Political editor, Wales

BBC Wales' political editor was at the debate - he sums up how he viewed it:

"There were no policy surprises, but what the debate did do was to give a specific Welsh perspective on these political discussions.

"Despite the fact that it's devolved, the NHS still prompted intense argument among the politicians, along with the economy in Wales - particularly food banks and zero hours contacts - and the question of whether or not further powers should be devolved."

And the final word this evening from Liz Smith:

"These debates are increasingly widening the arena from the two main parties and with performances like this from the smaller parties, voters may well take the opportunity to take the duopoly away from them."

Liz Smith:

"Owen Smith and Stephen Crabb both managed to defend their corners but failed to provide a good retort to Leanne Wood or as much passion on the need for 'fairer treatment'.

Owen SMith
Labour's Owen Smith
Stephen Crabb
ITV Wales
The Conservatives's Stephen Crabb

"Plaid have a friend in the Welsh Liberal Democrats with Kirsty Williams stating their ambition for 'Home Rule' for Wales.

"Kristy also performed admirably, keeping Labour on the hoof both in Parliamentary and Assembly terms.

"Leanne dismissed the St David's Day Agreement as not actually an agreement, but she's certainly made the case for this to be debated further."

Liz Smith: "It was a good opportunity for Nathan Gill but he did come across as slightly condescending. He managed to dismiss the others as 'bureaucratic politicians' despite being an MEP himself, and Pippa Bartolotti isn't actually elected as anything at present.

Nathan Gill
ITV Wales
Nathan Gill - UKIP Wales

"Pippa held her own and managed to take a more serious tone than usual, providing a foundation for her to aim for regional seats in the Assembly in 2016. However she is certainly not the same eco warrior character the public might have been expected, in a very different vein from Natalie Bennett or Caroline Lucas."

Pippa Bartolotti
ITV Wales
The Greens Pippa Bartolloti

So - the final thoughts on the ITV Wales election debate from our commentator Liz Smith, head of monitoring at newsdirect wales, a political intelligence company based in Cardiff Bay.

Leanne Wood
ITV Wales
Plaid's Leanne Wood

"Leanne Wood did very well tonight - possibly boosted by the practice she's had in the previous two debates.

"She's not been scared of interjecting and her profile has been massively boosted in the last few weeks. It will be interesting to see if this translates in the polls."

Don't forget - it's not just the ITV debate that is looking at Election 2015 - the BBC's

Wales Report will be focusing on the issues too - at 22:45 BTS on BBC One Wales - with Bethan Rhys Roberts debating at Carmarthen's Queen Elizabeth High School.

While people make up their minds on the Wales election debate - here's the thoughts of our commentator throughout the night - Liz Smith:

"In brief closing remarks, Kirsty Williams repeated Nick Clegg's warnings of 'Nigel Farage or Alex Salmond in Number 10', as they take forward almost a scaremongering attempt towards the 'safety' of the centrist Liberal Democrats.

"Leanne Wood repeated her call for a 'Team Wales' approach and Nathan Gill said people should vote UKIP if 'you believe in Britain'; suggesting perhaps that their core voters are not those who describe themselves as 'Welsh' but 'British'.

Debate in full flow
ITV Wales

"Stephen Crabb said the Conservatives would bring a 'stronger and more prosperous Wales', and attacked Labour, saying that the party takes Wales for granted and they have 'no divine right to rule'.

"Pippa Bartolotti said people can vote for a 'coalition of the damned or you can vote Green.

"Owen Smith takes a more realistic tact in his appeal, stating that only two parties on this stage could realistically lead the next government."

So the debate is over - but was there a winner? The 'spin room' will no doubt give us some reaction - but feel free to let us know what you think as well.

Wales election debate is brought to a close

Liz Smith on the exchange between Plaid's Leane Wood and UKIP's Nathan Gill:

"There's a little frisson as Leanne puts down Nathan Gill, in a similar way she did with Nigel Farage in the first debate.

"Nathan Gill likens the Assembly to his children asking for more food when there's already something on their plate, saying they should finish that first.

"Leanne seems insulted by this, interjecting 'the Welsh Assembly are not children Nathan'.

"Gill responded 'if you're belittled by an analogy there is something seriously wrong with you'. Safe to say that there is no love lost between Plaid Cymru and UKIP."

All the parties are now giving a 30 second summing up

ITV wales

More powers are wanted so that we can improve the life of the economy says Plaid's Leanne Wood

Those powers over energy are coming to Wales and it's right that we're able to make those decisions says Kirsty Williams

Its about striking the right balance says Conservative Stephen Crabb

The NHS, the economy and education is what matters to people, says UKIP's Nathan Gill, not more powers.

More from Liz Smith on devolution:

"Stephen Crabb says that more devolution does not have to mean more red tape; although he didn't use this to promote the role he played in bringing together a degree of consensus on further powers through the recent St David's Day Agreement.

"Kirsty Williams called for 'home rule' and this is on the cover of the Welsh Liberal Democrats manifesto.

"For Leanne, this is her key territory and said that all government should have to take responsibility for the money it spends."

Liz Smith comments on more powers questions:

"The leaders are talking about devolution, in response to an audience member's worries about extra 'red tape' this could bring to small businesses.

"Nathan Gill actually campaigned against further powers in the 2011 referendum, so it's no surprise to hear him describe the Assembly as 'bureaucrats making more work for bureaucrats'.

"Owen Smith took a more positive note, saying that Labour would devolve powers over policing, job creation, ports and a fairer funding settlement."

We should be exporting energy that we don't need says the Green's Pippa Bartolotti

On the question of more devolution, Liberal Democrat Kirsty Williams says sometimes Cardiff feels as remote as London ever did - if a decision is taken by local people it tends to be a better decision

Kirsty Williams
ITV Wales

When my children ask for more food - I normally say finish what's on your plate first, says UKIP's Nathan Gill on a question about more devolution. Plaid's Leanne Wood says the Welsh people are not children

Labour's Owen Smith says his party campaigned for devolution.

The Green's Pippa Bartolotti says that they would go for more devolution - she says there is not enough coming into the Wales 'kitty'

Plaid's Leanne Wood says Wales should benefit from the tax take and the Welsh Government should be responsible for the money it spends

Leanne Wood
ITV Wales
Leanne Wood on funding for Wales

Conservative Stephen Crabb says there will be a new Wales bill

Liz Smith as the debate looks at tax - taxation powers - and of course, funding for Wales:

"Leanne Wood has called for a 'Team Wales' approach - group hugs presumably optional - for all the parties to work together to get funding parity for Wales.

"She's referring to the Barnett formula, famously disregarded by Barnett himself, which favours Scotland more than Wales.

"She's been calling for a 'refund' of £1.2bn after the election, although she doesn't seem to have recruited any team players yet, particularly since the Vow made by the three main leaders during the Scottish referendum promised to keep the formula as it is.

"Kirsty Williams retorted that Leanne needs to 'start with her own colleagues', saying that the former leader Lord Dafydd Ellis-Thomas has dismissed this.

"Leanne said that she is sure they all have disagreements with former leaders, and said she did not think parity was too much to ask for."

Liberal Democrat Kirsty Williams says having powers here in Wales can boost the Welsh economy - with the right powers and the right administration

Conservative Stephen Crabb says devolution doesn't have to mean more taxes or more red tape.

We will increase taxes on very large corporations and transfer that money to small businesses in Wales, says Labour's Owen Smith

UKIPs Nathan Gill says they are the party of small business

The Green's have a serious position on small biz - taxes for us will not be VAT, which penalise the poor - says Pippa Bartolotti

It's all about small businesses and more powers for the assembly and whether it would mean more red tape

On to the final question of the evening - it's flown by.

Plaid Cymru's Leanne Woods responds by saying that she was sure that they all have disagreements with former leaders, but she didn't think parity was too much to ask

Liberal Democrat Kirsty Williams says Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood needs to start with her own colleagues in terms of lobbying for parity

Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood raises issue of Wales having parity with Scotland and urges all the politicians to join with her to gain parity of powers and funding

Our resident commentator for the debate, Liz Smith reflects:

"Stephen Crabb said that food banks 'soared' under Labour as well, to which an indignant Owen Smith retorted 'how dare you?'

"He said that he has opened three in his constituency since the Conservatives have been in power and says 83,000 are using them in Wales.

"However, Owen Smith has fallen short in promoting Labour's pledge to end zero hour contracts, with Kirsty Williams pointing out that Labour and the Conservatives voted against a motion in the Assembly to ban zero hours in the care sector.

"This is a difficult position for Owen Smith as he is not an Assembly Member; he may have wished in that moment that the Labour First Minister, Carwyn Jones, could have been there to provide a defence."

Labour's Owen Smith says that zero hours contract became a hallmark of the Westminster govt

The real heroes of the economy in Wales are small businesses, says UKIPs Nathan Gill