Leaders debate: in their own words

Millward Brown have again analysed the language used in the leader’s debate. They describe the debate as the “We all disagree” debate.

Other findings include:

Each of the leaders said “people” more than 40 times and it topped the list of words used by both Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg.

David Cameron used the word “country” 50 times. It was Gordon Brown’s second most used word and also appeared in Nick Clegg’s top 10.

Gordon Brown was the most aggressive of the three leaders, and the most personal and direct in his attacks. He said “David” more often than “Britain”. Two of Nick Clegg’s top ten words were “Brown” and “Cameron”. David Cameron mentioned the others by name the least.

• Unlike last week – where Clegg and Brown had the fewest word choices in common – there was no obvious bias in the common language between leaders. The areas of common concern included “business” and “security” which were both used by Brown and Cameron; “climate” and “energy” used by Brown and Clegg; and “immigration” and “clean politician(s)” by Cameron and Clegg.

Brown used the most language geared at international affairs including “Britain”, “Europe”, “European”, and the “world”. Counter-intuitively Cameron focused more on “Europe”, Clegg on the “world”.

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