The main TV debate of Britain's national election campaign yielded no clear victor with four opinion polls producing four different winners, but David Cameron's attempt to appear the most statesman-like appeared to have paid off.
The event, on Thursday night, was staged less than six weeks before a close national election on May 7 as polls suggest Cameron's Conservatives and Ed Miliband's opposition Labour Party are neck-and-neck with neither on track to win a majority.
The results of four snap opinion polls underscored why the election - that will decide who governs Britain and its $2.8 trillion economy - is being widely described as the closest and most unpredictable since the 1970s with voters naming no fewer than four winners.
One poll said Scottish nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon had won, another said Labour's Miliband had narrowly triumphed, a third said Cameron, Miliband and UK Independence Party leader (UKIP) Nigel Farage had come joint first, while a fourth said Cameron and Miliband had both won.
None of the leaders managed to deliver a "killer line" that would set them apart from the other participants.
"There was clearly no knock-out blow," said Peter Kellner of pollster YouGov.
Jonny Tudor, 17, who asked one of the questions on the night, told Reuters afterwards: "Some performed well in answer to certain questions, other performed well on different subjects, but there was no definitive winner."
In a result that will calm Conservative nerves, a Comres/ITV poll showed 40 percent of voters judged Cameron was the most capable of leading Britain, compared to 28 percent for Miliband.
However, the debate has had little effect on voting intentions according to the first national poll since.
A Survation survey for the Daily Mirror had Labour on 33 percent and the Conservatives on 31 percent, unchanged since its last poll a week ago, although Miliband's personal approval rating had received a boost.
In an unusual format for Britain, Cameron faced off against six political rivals in what was the first and only full TV debate of a campaign that has yet to stir voters, many of whom say they feel jaded despite a rising economy.