James Forsyth

Brown risks being over-prepared for the debates

Brown risks being over-prepared for the debates
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PMQ’s today bolstered my view that David Cameron will outperform Gordon Brown in the three TV debates. Cameron is simply more confident about thinking on his feet than Brown. When Ronnie Campbell and chums started suggesting that the generals who had criticised Brown’s record on defence were doing so because they were Tories, Cameron changed tack and demanded that the Prime Minister disassociate himself from the heckles of his colleagues. He was happy to move away from his planned six questions and go with something else. By contrast, Brown is much more determined to stick to his pre-prepared lines.

The news that Gordon Brown wants every possible moment to prepare for the TV debates is, oddly enough, good news for the Conservatives. I suspect it means that Brown will turn up with a litany of statistics, age-old quotes from David Cameron and some prepared attack lines. If Brown is determined to shoe-horn these in, he won’t be able to adjust to the debate as it unfolds.

Just fyi, tonight's YouGov tracker has the LibDems dropping three, having gained four yesterday. The Tories are up one and their lead is up to five points.

PS Gove and Balls are about to debate on Newsnight, should be well worth watching. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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