The nation waited for the chance to see the election campaign arrive on primetime UK television and when it did, viewers turned to Twitter to follow along too.
In a broadcast screened on both @SkyNews and @Channel4, Prime Minister @David_Cameron and leader of the opposition @Ed_Miliband went toe-to-toe with presenters Jeremy Paxman and @KayBurley, as well as a live studio audience.
According to Kantar Media (@KMUKSocialTV) the debate made up 94.7% of UK Twitter conversation about TV this evening, with more than 300,000 Tweets by 10.15pm:
Over the course of the broadcast there were more mentions of Cameron than Miliband on Twitter – but Labour (@UKLabour) saw more mentions than the Conservatives (@Conservatives).
The most-Tweeted moment came at the end of the debate as Paxman asked Miliband ‘Are you OK, Ed?’ That moment was captured in a @Vine:
And as voters watched, they also used Twitter to share their thoughts, and the official hashtag #BattleForNumber10 became the top trending topic worldwide.
Some of the greatest engagement occurred around Tweets from Lord Sugar, Rupert Murdoch and Gary Lineker:
Meanwhile, those parties not part of the televised Q&A took to Twitter to post videos and Tweets on the hashtag #TheWiderDebate:
Sky News, who were hosting the Q&A, also used our new live video app Periscope to give viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse before and after the event:
With more than three quarters (78%) of UK MPs on Twitter, it has become the live, public debating chamber for UK politics. Recent research also showed that 78% of UK users think Twitter is a good way to discover different people’s points of view on politics to help them make sense of the election.
With two more televised debates confirmed ahead of the election on May 7, you can be sure that Twitter will remain the place to watch the election unfold, 140 characters at a time.