The day after Thursday evening’s televised debate, headlines have been dominated by Ed Miliband’s battle with Nicola Sturgeon. However, in social media, the focus has been elsewhere. The ‘group hug’ has taken the internet by storm. The debate ended with Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP, Natalie Bennet of the Green Party and Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru, sharing a group hug on stage before going across to shake Ed Miliband’s hand. The Labour leader stood alone at one end of the podium, while Nigel Farage stood equally isolated at the other. The three ladies and their parties have been clear in their support of each other and commentators have labelled their friendship as the “progressive alliance”.
The group hug has immediately become a topic of much discussion on social media, but if it wasn’t already trending, it certainly shot up the list when Nigel Farage himself tweeted about it. The UKIP leader in fact selected a second photo of the three ladies shaking hands with Miliband, and wrote: “When they say, ‘We’re all in this together…’ they really mean it…”
The UKIP leader’s tweet was of course one of the talking points, although it wasn’t the only one. Farage accused the audience at the debate, selected by an independent polling company, of being a typically left-wing BBC audience. The comment has of course led to some strong criticism of the UKIP leader, particularly due to the unfounded nature of his accusations. Nevertheless, Farage's comments certainly ensured that UKIP remains as controversial as ever. #Election 2015