EU Referendum Cameron 'handled the audience better', Farage was 'incredibly patronising' - Political analyst explains televised debate

Brexit: Cameron 'handled the audience better', Farage was 'incredibly patronising' - Political analyst explains ITV's EU debate

David Cameron: kept his cool well

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Prime Minister David Cameron 'won' ITV's live EU referendum debate on Tuesday evening, while UKIP's Nigel Farage was "visibly quite irritated and incredibly patronising", says political analyst Ian Dunt.  

The debate, which was chaired by newsreader and journalist Julie Etchingham, had already been criticised because Farage, while outspoken in his view that Britain should exit the EU, is not an official member of the Leave campaign.

Both he and David Cameron faced challenges at the hands of the 200-strong audience, particularly around immigration, but according to Dunt, the editor for, it was the UKIP man who came off second best in the TV test.

"Cameron handled the audience better," Dunt told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "Farage was talking over them, he was visibly getting quite irritated.

"He told one woman to calm down, which was extremely unhelpful. He should know he shouldn't be speaking to a young women in this kind of forum in this way.

"He did sort of 'mansplain' his way through the debate, it was incredibly patronising.

"David Cameron, on the other hand, knows when to do polite."

Despite the debate's high profile, Dunt believes that little new information was forthcoming to help voters make their choice on 23 June.  

"The central message of the Leave campaign is border control," he said. "The central message of Remain is 'you're going to destroy the economy'

"So these debates do feel like you're smashing two rocks together."

The Leave campaign is about border control, Remain say 'you're going to destroy the economy'. It feels like you're smashing two rocks together'
Political analyst Ian Dunt