Almost one million people watched last night's RTÉ Prime Time Leaders' Debate between An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and Fine Gael Leader, Enda Kenny, on RTÉ One and RTÉ.ie/live last night.

RTÉ.ie had its biggest day of traffic ever, with over 1.5m hits.

Most commentators agreed that Bertie Ahern won overall, despite a strong performance from Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny.

The debate took place as the parties entered the final week of the General Election campaign.

Speaking in Cork today, the Taoiseach said that Fianna Fáil had exposed the myth of the Fine Gael contract.

While Mr Kenny, campaigning in Donegal, said he was very happy with how the debate had gone, but added that the debate was just a component in the electoral process.

This morning, Minister for Finance Brian Cowen claimed that the debate had exposed holes in the Opposition policy platform.

The minister said Enda Kenny was unable to explain how he would fund the extra hospital beds he had promised.

Mr Cowen said the Fine Gael leader had not spelled out what elements of the National Development Plan would be sacrificed to pay for them.

He said the Taoiseach had shown 'that when you got into the detail, the Fine Gael contract doesn't stack up'.

And Minister for Health Mary Harney insisted that money in the NDP was earmarked for major projects like the planned Children's Hospital and that it could not be used to provide the beds promised in the Fine Gael platform.

Responding, Denis Naughten of Fine Gael could not clearly explain what projects would be left out, but said that it was clear from last night that Mr Kenny had what it took to be Taoiseach.

Mr Kenny said there was money for his promised beds in the 'capital side' of the NDP and that Fine Gael would prioritise its use for their construction.

Asked about the questions being raised about his ability to manage the economy, Mr Kenny said people should just wait and see.

Televised clash

During the debate, Mr Ahern stressed his own lengthy record, both as a Taoiseach and a senior minister for most of the past two decades.

Enda Kenny talked of new energy, a fresh approach and more accountability.

In an opening statement, the Taoiseach said the best way forward for the country is to vote for Fianna Fáil to build on his Government's achievements.

Mr Kenny appealed to the public to vote for change or stay with what he claimed was a tired Government that does not keep its word.

The Taoiseach rejected suggestions that ten years in power is too long, saying he is as excited now as he was when he took up the post back in 1997.

While the Fine Gael leader said the Fianna Fáil/PD Government was responsible for a litany of broken promises.

The issue of Bertie Ahern's personal finances also arose, with the Taoiseach saying he did not object to answering questions on the topic, but he did object to information being leaked from the tribunal. He said he did nothing wrong.

More than 580,000 people tuned in to watch Wednesday night's debate between leaders of the four smaller parties.

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