Sir John Curtice's instant reaction to the Johnson v Corbyn election debate

19 November 2019, 21:14

Sir John Curtice believes Boris Johnson will be the happier of the two candidates following the head-to-head General Election debate with Jeremy Corbyn.

For the first time, we saw the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition face-off live on LBC ahead of a General Election.

And the Professor, the UK's leading elections expert, told LBC that no big punches were landed, something that will please the Conservatives.

Speaking to Iain Dale, he said: "Anybody who listened to that will be clear of two gentlemen who wanted to talk about two different politics with two very different themes - Boris Johnson "Get Brexit done" and Jeremy Corbyn trying to say we should end austerity and reduce inequality.

"I think where Boris Johnson tended to score however, is not only was his narrative clearer, but he was also better at supporting his arguments with examples. Jeremy Corbyn seemed to be much more comfortable in complaining on what he thought had gone wrong, but less specific about how he would change things in future.

"At the end of the day, I think that Boris Johnson's camp will be quite satisfied with that. He did not make any serious mistakes. He didn't outpoint Mr Corbyn, but the point is, he certainly didn't fall on his face. Mr Corbyn didn't score many hits.

"And a draw - or even a score draw - will keep Mr Johnson happy."

Sir John Curtice was in the LBC studio to watch the debate
Sir John Curtice was in the LBC studio to watch the debate. Picture: LBC

Sir John pinpointed two good lines which really struck home.

He said Mr Corbyn's line about having nine years of coalition chaos in response to the Prime Minister's warning on a deal with the SNP was very strong.

While he also praised Mr Johnson's quip about Labour not just having a magic money tree, but a magic money forest.

Watch his full analysis at the top of the page.