The nation is waiting with baited breath for the second leader’s debate… Well maybe in a parallel universe!
The first debate on ITV with almost one hundred rules stipulating what can and can’t be asked, little audience interaction and hotlines connecting party bosses to television bosses made it hard for free and frank debate. And unfortunately of the 9 million people tuning in at home less than half were eligible voters. However, no political advisor who wants a desk in Downing Street will scoff at the chance to directly reach a significant minority of the electorate. These debates can matter. The obvious and extensively covered rise of Nick Clegg is a case in point. Although the old parties versus new politics mantra that Clegg repeatedly used, is unlikely to be successfully deployed again this week, as former Lib Dem leader, Lord Ashdown warned: “the other parties will go for him now. You just watch”
And watch we will (at least some of us). The leaders debate will be broadcast on Sky Channel 517 at 8PM and repeated on BBC2 at 11.30PM