International Business Times UK scores the political punches between Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband during Prime Minister's Questions.
Miliband gets up to six questions to knock out his opponent, while the prime minister ducks and weaves and hopes to land a few well-place punches of his own.
Round 1: Having scored big points last week on bankers' bonuses, this week Ed Miliband set an agenda for the NHS and the government. He hits the PM hard with his first question, quoting Cameron as saying he was keen to take "people with us." The Labour leader then asks: "But why has he failed?"
Cameron is ready for the block. In the cut and thrust of politics, he has a stat sheet that does the job for now. He says 95 percent of the country is covered by GPs implementing the health reforms, while 50 foundation trusts have written to the papers supporting the reforms and objecting to Labour's plans. He adds the former Labour MP Ann Campbell has also backed the reforms.
But there are five more rounds to go - plenty of time for a comeback.
Round 2: One suspects Miliband lured Cameron into using his entire repertoire of defence techniques on the first question. "Even he doesn't believe that nonsense," he begins, before deciding to target the prime minister's vulnerable spot: Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. "So nice to see him here today!" Miliband says.
Cameron wants the "voice of doctors to be heard" in the NHS. Why won't he listen to them?
Great bit of strategy.
Cameron, who is now on the back foot, responds with a personal quip of his own, saying don't lecture me on "happy families". He then proceeds to read something from the Labour manifesto. It has been too long since the election for that old gag. He is treading water and Miliband smells blood.
Round 3: Miliband tells the prime minister exactly what Labour achieved in government. He then uses the best line of the contest: "Even the Tory Reform Group have come out against the bill. It comes to something when even the Tories don't trust the Tories on the NHS."
He also quotes from what Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of GPs, has said criticising the bill.
It is like taking candy from a baby.
Cameron responds quickly, though weakly. Even his party is not in unison with him. Cameron says that, without reform, waiting lists would go up. That is what has happened in Wales.
Round 4: Sensing he is ahead, Miliband stumbles a little. "Can Cameron say that he is keeping his promise of no top-down reorganisation in the NHS?" he asks.
Cameron says he is cutting bureaucracy in the NHS. He will not listen to Labour because they wasted money in the NHS. Under the Private Finance Initiative, it cost £300 to change a light bulb. The NHS is improving. It is a good comeback. And an unlikely hitting equaliser.
Round 5: Two rounds left and this is where Miliband pulled away last week. Miliband says waiting lists were the shortest ever under Labour. Cameron cannot defend the promise he made. The number of people waiting more than 18 weeks has gone up. Why won't Cameron give up?
Cameron asks, if the record was so good, why did Labour lose the election? It is a garden rake comment. If Cameron's manifesto is so good, why didn't he win an overall majority? But the number of inpatients and outpatients waiting has come down, and waiting times have come down for those waiting for six months and for a year. Impartial comment and doesn'tdiffer from Labour's record.
Round 6: Both men go in for the kill, but Miliband, sensing victory, has the final stat that knocks out the PM.
Miliband says the number of people waiting more than 18 weeks has risen by 43 percent. Cameron knows in his heart that the bill is not a success. That is why people are saying Lansley should be taken out and shot.
It is often said that Cameron is on the back foot when he has no answer and just presents a personal critique. He defends Lansley's career prospects and says they are better than Miliband's. Miliband is making an issue of this to help his own leadership.
Result: Cameron 2-4 Miliband. The Labour leader recording back-to-back wins in PMQs ahead of the half-term break. The man is even looking more handsome.