The morning after the debate the night before

FOR anyone who decided that Masterchef, The Supervet or Gangs and Guns: Caught on Camera was a more compelling offer than last night’s seven-way election debate, this morning has proved there is no escape.

This morning saw the debate debated

Those who want to bed congratulating themselves on avoiding the two-hour political slugfest woke up to find it being replayed over and over again.

In print, online, on the airwaves and on social media, reaction to the debates continues to flow.

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And if rerunning clips from the debate and subjecting them to forensic analysis was not enough, politicians have been touring TV and radio studios this morning to debate the debate, and in particular the implications of SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s strong showing.

“We saw in Nicola Sturgeon, certainly an impressive performance but also a performance from someone well to the left of not just the centre ground of British politics, but well to the left of Ed Miliband,” the Conservatives’ Michael Gove said.

“I think it is a leap that is unmerited by the polls to say that a SNP-Labour government would be a popular choice in this country.

“I think that people appreciate that there would be an inherent instability in that arrangement.

In her early morning media appearance. Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint hit back.

“They would love Nicola Sturgeon to do well because that puts David Cameron back in No 10,” she told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“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.

“If Scots don’t want David Cameron, then they should think very carefully about voting for the SNP.

“We have made it very clear that we are not going to have a coalition with the SNP because we are fighting to win this election.”

As the morning wore on, the debate about the debate took on a fresh twist as the politicians who took part in the debate talked about the debate.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said: “I actually think that most people watching last night will have realised that no-one is going to win this election outright, so it’s all about who is going to work with who.

“And of course the Liberal Democrats have shown in the last five years that we can work in coalition to anchor the government in the centre ground to make sure that we act fairly for the whole of the country and that we don’t lurch this way or that.”

Figures released this morning showed that more than seven million people watched the debate, a third of all those people watching television last night.

Today’s debate about the debate will ensure many more than that feel like they watched it, even if they didn’t.