Google thinks Nick Clegg won as well

Rise in searches for Lib Dems during leader debate

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Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg not only found himself widely judged to have been the winner of the first ever televised leaders debate ahead of a General Election, but he also managed to get people searching for more information on his party.

Clegg, Conservative leader David Cameron and Labour's Gordon Brown took to the television studio to argue the toss over domestic policy, in the style of the celebrated US presidential debates, and it was the former who came out on top.

With Facebook already measuring approval on its live metre, Google (as ever) was also watching, and a post on the Official Google Blog showed a big rise in people seeking out the Liberal Democrat manifesto and more information on the only party to vote against the controversial Digital Economy Bill as it was forced through parliament.

Many queries

"Nick Clegg, his Liberal Democrat Party, and its manifesto generated many queries as people searched for Lib Dems and Liberal Democrat manifesto 2010," said Google's blog.

"Searches for David Cameron and the Conservatives beat out the well-known incumbent Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Labour, but the two parties' manifestos generated about the same number of searches.

"Many Brits sought to watch the debate, searching for ITV election debate and live political debate, while others sought real-time polling information with queries such as debate polls, leaders debate poll and who is winning the debate."

Trident isn't a gum?

Interestingly, several terms that were used in the course of the debate were also tracked; including major issues like the replacement of Britain's ageing Trident nuclear deterrent, what exactly Quangos do (even Google doesn't really know) and what the reference to jobs tax might mean.

In truth, we're just waiting for the PlayStation and Xbox Parties to arrive and sweep all the Luddites away in a sea of fanboy politics.

Although, actually, with childish debates, making things needlessly personal and an inability to accept that the opposition has ever got anything right, they'd probably fit right in.