tv debate

Peer Steinbrück, the Social Democratic Party challenger hoping to unseat Angela Merkel, German chancellor, had everything to fight for. A live 90-minute TV debate broadcast on four of the biggest TV stations to an audience estimated at 15m just three weeks before election day. The “duel” has been the most keenly anticipated election event in the campaign to date.

So did the man who served as Ms Merkel’s finance minister in a previous coalition government from 2005-2009 land any real punches? Read more

Neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama pulled any punches in the debate. (Getty)

Welcome to the US election round up on the morning after a debate – described by one veteran observer as “immeasurably the best” in US history, where President Barack Obama was seen to have rediscovered his combative style, but Mitt Romney stood his ground against a flurry of rhetorical punches.

According to the Financial Times, the first post-debate polls showed Mr Obama as the perceived victor, just. A CBS poll reported that 37 per cent of respondents said Mr Obama won, while 30 per cent said Mr Romney did. A CNN survey said 46 per cent of those asked thought Mr Obama won, while 39 per cent said Mr Romney won the clash held in a town hall format at Hofstra University in New York state. Read more

AP Photo/Patrick Kovarik, Pool

AP Photo/Patrick Kovarik, Pool

By Tony Barber in Paris

The temperature of France’s presidential election debate shot up on Thursday night when Nicolas Sarkozy snapped at François Hollande that he was “a little slanderer”. Up to that point, Sarkozy had contented himself with the rather more tame accusation that Hollande was telling lies. But “a little slanderer” – that stood out.

Otherwise, the really striking feature of the debate, I thought, was how little the two candidates had to say about international affairs. Read more