(The Scottish Govt OGL (http://www.national archives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/)],via Wikimedia)
The polls have declared different winners and the big political parties are each claiming their speakers were the best, but clearly there is a really huge wave of support by the public for Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party. Even though she may well spell a huge change for the future of the UK.
I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that a lot of people seem dissatisfied with the current parliamentary set up and to me the main party leaders trotted out the same old stuff at this televised hustings. UKIP and the Green Party leaders performed as expected too.
Nicola spoke like a sensible gust of fresh air on more than one subject and also came out with the words that many people throughout the whole of the UK have been thinking. Here are a couple of examples:
'I know it's not just people in Scotland who feel let down by Westminster politics'
'I think we've seen tonight from this discussion why we really need to break the old boys' network at Westminster because, frankly, none of these guys can be trusted when it comes to tuition fees.'
But speaking personally, I felt the debate was a flawed contest.
Why? Firstly, because two of the speakers are not actually standing as MPs in the UK General Election on May 7th. In fact it will be other members of their parties who will be standing such as Alec Salmond for the Scottish National Party and not Nicola Sturgeon herself. Leanne Wood for Plaid Cymru is another such 'leader'.
Secondly, this debate was meant to help people understand what the parties with seats represent, but only some very basic soundbites were spoken and where were the speakers for the Northern Irish Parties?
Lastly, there was no real discussion on the really important point of how the leaders will deal with a 'hung Parliament' and make it work after the election. (The newspaper pundits currently predict the chance of this at around 90% now).
So how could it work? It is predicted in some polls today that the Scottish National Party will have 48 seats and the Northern Irish parties will retain the 18 seats they already hold. The Lib Dems are predicted to retain only 16 seats, UKIP, The Green Party, SDLP and others around half a dozen or so and lastly Plaid Cymru 3 seats, this means a large total in excess of 90 seats/votes that do not belong to either of the two big parties. It is these votes which will have the most potential to be horse traded to ensure a majority vote when needed by the winner of the election!
What does this mean for the future? Possibly this is the start of change that will see politics opening up, to become more task driven and with much more decision making at a local level.
An Independent MP candidate, Simon Killane, who I am currently supporting to be the next MP for North Wiltshire, understands this. His attitude is of collaboration and working together to find a way forward to sort out the big issues, instead of using them as fodder for party political infighting. He has a successful track record of working this way already as a Wiltshire Councillor.
But ultimately it could be more than that - it also seems likely that devolution of the UK itself may be the price paid for the big parties to retain their political power in London. Only time will tell, so vote wisely!