Election 2015

Election TV debate: How the parties have reacted

The seven party leaders during Thursday's debate Image copyright Getty Images

The parties have been reacting to Thursday's TV election debate, in which Conservative leader David Cameron, Labour's Ed Miliband, Lib Dem Nick Clegg, UKIP's Nigel Farage, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood and the Green Party's Natalie Bennett clashed for two hours before a live audience.

The polls suggest there was no clear winner but here is what the parties have been saying.

The Conservatives

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"I was delighted with the debate. I am glad the poll of polls has got me coming out on top, but to me the real abiding impression was that I have a long-term plan that is working." Leader David Cameron

"I think some of the other participants were quite feisty and scrappy, but the overall impression people will have got is if you want to look at that group of seven people and say 'who is the best person to lead the country over the next five years?', David will have come out clearly ahead." Chief Whip Michael Gove

"Nicola Sturgeon certainly outshone the other challengers last night. Let's hand that to her. But she did rather give the game away, in that she didn't just say she would prop up a Miliband government, she actually said she would 'keep him honest', by which she meant she would keep him left-wing, she would keep him on a path of departing from our fiscal plan." Defence Secretary Michael Fallon


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"I was pleased I was able to set out the choice at this election and that's what I'm going to do for the next five weeks - set out the election choice facing the British people, because they are the boss." Leader Ed Miliband

"We feel that Ed won the debate and the polls back that up. Why? Because he put forward a positive vision that ordinary working people could relate to, in very stark contrast to a diminished prime minister who had very little to say to people about what he wanted to do in the future." Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham

"They (the Conservatives) would love Nicola Sturgeon to do well because that puts David Cameron back in No 10. At the end of this campaign it's about a choice: who's going to be the prime minister? And that's between Ed Miliband and David Cameron." Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint


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"I think for anyone interested in politics there was a phenomenon last night which was two-party politics in the United Kingdom is finished." Leader Nigel Farage

"It was a resounding success for Nigel Farage and UKIP because he was straight-talking, honest and set out commonsense policies for leading Britain and putting Britain's interests first." Immigration spokesman Steven Woolfe

Liberal Democrats

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"The fact there were seven there shows that politics is becoming more fragmented, the only people who don't realise that are Ed Miliband and David Cameron - they think that it's still a game of pass-the-parcel between the two old parties." Leader Nick Clegg

"He was the only person who put David Cameron and Ed Miliband seriously on the back foot, and he took on Nigel Farage." Campaign co-ordinator Lord Ashdown


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"It is really important to me that voters in the rest of the UK do understand the SNP message. My main audience is Scottish voters... but I also want to make clear to voters in England, Wales and Northern Ireland we want to be allies in winning more progressive politics." Leader Nicola Sturgeon

"I think the First Minister is wiping the floor with the Westminster old boys' network." Former first minister Alex Salmond

The Green Party of England and Wales

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"I did really enjoy it and I was very pleased to be there and to be able to raise issues that simply wouldn't have been heard otherwise - astonishingly climate change, things like biodiversity, lost human rights, Syrian refugees and a whole range of issues that had the Greens not been there, simply wouldn't have been raised." Leader Natalie Bennett

"There is a divide in British politics. There is what I consider to be the right-wing stale politics of the old Westminster politics that want to continue the focus on austerity. Contrast that with the parties represented by women last night who want a human economy - with people at the centre of what it does." Maggie Chapman, co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party

Plaid Cymru

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"I wanted to speak for Wales, I wanted to make sure that people in Wales understood that there was someone in those debates speaking up for those issues in our communities, the concerns that people have, the effect of the cuts and so on. Leader Leanne Wood

"Leaders debate show Labour are right. The election is a straight choice in Wales - between Plaid Cymru and the Westminster establishment." tweeted Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru spokesman

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