- Viewers of the first televised election debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn were split down the middle on who performed best.
- A snap YouGov poll found that 51% of viewers believed Johnson won and 49% believed Corbyn performed best.
- The findings come despite a clear lead in voting intention polls for Johnson’s Conservative party.
- The two leaders clashed on Brexit, the NHS and their personal characters.
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Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are neck-and-neck in the race to win over the British public, with viewers of the first televised general election debate between the two men split down the middle on who performed best.
Recent polls have shown Johnson’s Conservative Party with a clear lead over Corbyn’s Labour party, with Johnson’s personal ratings well ahead of Corbyn’s.
However, a YouGov poll of viewers following the ITV Leaders Debate on Tuesday found they were almost equally divided on which leader was more impressive.
The snap poll found that 51% believes that Johnson had performed best in the debate, while 49% thought that Corbyn came on top.
"Leaving aside your own party preference, who do you think performed best overall in tonight’s debate?"
Boris Johnson – 51%
Jeremy Corbyn – 49%
(Figures rebased to exclude don't knows)
— YouGov (@YouGov) November 19, 2019
The two men clashed on issues including Brexit, the NHS and their personal characters.
On Brexit the Labour leader was pushed repeatedly by Johnson to say how he would campaign in a second referendum, while the prime minister was repeatedly accused by Corbyn of putting the future of the NHS at risk from a post-Brexit trade deal with the NHS.
Johnson was met with derision by some audience members when he claimed his word could be trusted, while Corbyn was pushed to explain his response to claims of anti-Semitism within the Labour party.
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