Smaller parties concentrate on policies while established parties attack each other in leaders debate

Smaller parties are getting much of the praise after last night's leaders debate.

Stephen Donnelly of the Social Democrats and Anti Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett in particular gave strong performances.

A debate which saw the smaller parties given a platform allowed them to shine.

Stephen Donnelly saying the government never shows up for small businesses, while Richard Boyd Barrett's points were regularly met with applause.

Enda Kenny and Joan Burton attacked the past of Micheal Martin and his record in government, and the Taoiseach ruled out any possible coalition with Fianna Fáil whose leader targeted Gerry Adams' past.

The smaller parties spent much of their time outlining their policies, with the established parties attacking each other.

The final TV leaders debate is next Tuesday.

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