GORDON Brown is under even more pressure in tonight’s debate after his “bigot” gaffe, according to a Huddersfield academic.
Dr Pete Woodcock believes the Prime Minister must land “a knockout blow” after yesterday’s furore when he referred to Rochdale pensioner Gillian Duffy as a “bigoted woman”.
The University of Huddersfield politics lecturer said: “The incident has put the spotlight on Gordon Brown and makes his performance in the debate all the more important.
“In boxing terms, he lost a few points and he needs to make that up in the debate. He will want to land a knockout punch.”
Mr Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Lib Dem chief Nick Clegg will debate for the third and final time in Birmingham tonight. The 90-minute session will focus on the economy.
“It’s the end game for all of them now,” said Dr Woodcock. “David Cameron will try and focus on Gordon Brown’s stewardship of the economy.”
The academic added that the Conservative leader would also turn his attention to Mr Clegg. Dr Woodcock said: “He will try to show how the Lib Dems’ policies would damage the economy. He will also try to counteract the Lib Dems by talking about what a hung parliament will mean for the markets.”
Dr Woodcock believes Mr Clegg will mention Lib Dem economics spokesman Vince Cable. He said: “Clegg will stress that Vince Cable predicted all the problems we now have.”
Dr Woodcock thinks the debate will pull in more than the 4.4 million who watched last week’s debate on Sky News.
He said: “I think the figures will be quite high because it will be on BBC and it’s closer to D-Day.”
The debate is live on BBC1 tonight from 8.30pm.