LEADER’S DEBATES: Northampton Chronicle & Echo readers divided over Farage and impressed by Sturgeon

Newly appointed SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon gestures to the audience during her speech at the annual party conference at Perth Concert Hall, Scotland. PPP-150318-153947001
Newly appointed SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon gestures to the audience during her speech at the annual party conference at Perth Concert Hall, Scotland. PPP-150318-153947001

The live political leader’s debate on Thursday has sparked a frenzy of reaction in Northampton, with many Chronicle & Echo readers both handing Nigel Farage the win or branding the UKIP leader ‘deluded’.

More than 7.7 million watched the two-hour marathon political spectacle on ITV last night, with pollster website YouGov handing a surprise victory to Scottish National party leader, Nicola Sturgeon.

Its study of 1,100 people saw 28 per cent pick the SNP leader as a clear winner, with UKIP leader Nigel Farage polling 20 per cent and Prime Minister David Cameron third with 18 per cent.

Labour leader Ed Miliband managed fourth on 15 per cent, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg taking fifth on 10 per cent.

But in a straw poll of Chron readers, the SNP party leader also fared well.

Michael Hull said: “Nicola Sturgeon was very impressive and showed she could reach out beyond Scotland.”

Kenny McLean said: “Sturgeon (won) as she will work with the whole UK to bring many needed reforms.”

But the Chron poll also saw a mixed reaction to Nigel Farage’s performance.

During the debate, the UKIP leader drew criticism from Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood, when he said foreign nationals with HIV were costing the NHS £25,000 per patient per year.

Some Chron readers also reacted to the comment.

Aiden Woods said: “Anything but UKIP, how are you going to target HIV victims and foreign aid and expect people to vote for you?”

Nicholas Howard said: “Nigel Farage is an absolute deluded moron.”

But the UKIP leader also garnered the majority of positive responses from readers.

Selina Sturgess said: “Farage speaks his mind, the truth and is not a scared leader.”

Adam Burton, said: “Farage easily the winner last night, Milliband and Cameron are scared of him and UKIP.”

The battle between the Conservative and Labour leader also proved a key talking point.

Vivienne Finch gave the victory to the Prime Minister. She said: “What they (Conservatives) have done so far has helped our country out of recession and our economy has grown considerably. Milliband said nothing of use other than bang on about zero hour contracts which, let’s face it, hardly affects the majority of the population.”

While many picked up on Ed Miliband’s decision to look into the camera when speaking, some Chron readers handed him the victory.

Yvonne Alexander said: “Ed kept his cool... the others were sweating.”

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