By the very nature of politics not everyone will agree over the winners and losers, but according to a snap Survation poll in the direct aftermath of the BBC’s Challengers Debate, opposition leader Ed Miliband claimed a marginal victory.
When quizzed on the overall victor, 35 per cent of those surveyed gave Mr Miliband – who is the 5/6 favourite to be Britain’s Prime Minister on July 1st – the nod, while SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon once again impressed in earning 31 per cent.
Nigel Farage fared best of the rest, though the Ukip chief did manage to draw boos after slating the BBC’s choice of audience, branding them “left-wing even by the BBC’s standards.”
Farage did score some points on the issues of immigration and defence, but the under 4.5-seat line for his party at 4/7 still looks a sensible wager.
It was the interaction between Mr Miliband and Ms Sturgeon which gave rise to the major storyline of the evening.
Scotland’s First Minister openly seized the opportunity in front of the watching electorate to offer her Labour counterpart a path towards coalition.
Ms Sturgeon said this election was about “seizing an alternative to austerity,” adding: “I want Labour to be bolder and deliver the change we need.
“Don’t turn your back on that, Ed, and let David Cameron back into Downing Street.”
However, citing “fundamental disagreements” over the future of the Union, Mr Miliband flatly rejected this ploy to undermine the Tories, instead urging anyone watching to vote Labour if they wished to see the end of a Conservative government in May.
He then signed off from proceedings by openly challenging Mr Cameron to debate him one on one in the remaining weeks before the public go to the polls on May 7th.
By drawing such a strong line in the sand over a potential Lab/SNP alliance, it may certainly hinder Miliband’s hopes of forming a government in the 1/8-rated likelihood no party gain the necessary majority to rule alone.
In this instance there is also quite a lot of attraction in backing a Conservative minority government at 5/2.
With all the main polls still finding it difficult to split the two leading parties, some form of coalition looks inevitable at this point.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.