Last night's first ever party leaders debate in Britain, a few weeks ahead of the national election there seems to have had a seismic effect on voters who watched.

The Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg, photo on left, won the debate over Gordon Brown of Labor and David Cameron of the Conservatives by such a wide margin that a Guardian poll now shows his party with a massive 14 per cent increase in popularity among those who watched.

After a dull first week the campaign has suddenly exploded with excitement about Clegg and his prospects for power.

Clegg took full advantage of the fact that the other two party leaders are utterly known quantities and that he is the new face.

His debate performance was superb and he addressed voters issues directly to camera while the other two looked at the audience. He accused the other two leaders of playing "pass the parcel" essentially taking turns to misgovern Britain over the past 30 years.

Now his astonishing surge means that the entire election in Britain could be up for grabs again.

While no one is predicting that the Lib Dems as they are known will form the next government as the majority partner, their rise in support will be closely watched to see which party they will draw from.

The race is sufficiently close that where that support come from will be vital.
The media is delighted of course that they have a new face to play around with and there is a touch of the Obama phenomenon beginning here.

It will be fascinating to see how Clegg's party does on election day

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