Rules agreed for leaders’ TV debates – and Clegg to open the batting

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is to speak first in the first debate, hosted by ITV, while Gordon Brown and David Cameron will do so in the subsequent debates, on Sky and the BBC.

From the BBC:

Three major broadcasters – the BBC, ITV and Sky – have agreed on the rules for hosting party leaders’ debates in the run-up to the general election.

The three 90-minute sessions will begin by focusing on domestic policies, international affairs and the economy.

The studio audiences will then be able to ask direct questions on any subject, with viewers doing the same via e-mail.

Labour’s Gordon Brown, Tory David Cameron and Lib Dem Nick Clegg agreed last year that they would appear.

The BBC is to hold separate party leader election debates in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Nick Clegg said,

It’s great news for the millions of people who are really angry, annoyed and frustrated about politics after the expenses scandals and want us to do things differently,” he said.

They want a different kind of general election campaign and I think these debates will give people the chance to have a really good look at the leaders, their values, their character, their judgements, their policies, before they make up their mind how they’re going to vote at the ballot box. [Sky]

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6 Comments

  • If I continue my criticism of sporting metaphors, the problem is you don’t open the batting with your biggest hitter.

    Unless we are saying the debates are Twenty/20, pointless showbiz pap that’s no substitute for the real thing 🙂

    (Yep – I think I’ve tortured that metaphor to death now 🙂 )

  • I imagine a fair number of viewers will tune in for a while ok the first debate and get bored before long and switch over. Going first in the first debate might be an advantage!

  • Cllr Patrick Smith 3rd Mar '10 - 1:33am

    I am absolutely certain that Nick Clegg will really enjoy this TV debate national coverage opportunity to inform the voters of L/D Election policy.His appeal will be strong to first time voters and also to students facing a lifetime of debt under Labour.

    I am a bit disconcerted ,however,if questions are all audited, as Nick Clegg`s great strength is to respond spontaneously to the Economy, Afghanistan,ID Cards,Cleaning up Politics at Westminster..

    There should be at least 30 minutes for free interaction with the audience in each of the 3 X 90 minute sessions.

    Good luck Nick!

  • Grand. Lets hope the provincials heed the clear message the English parties and media are sending them and something good can come from this constitutionally illiterate, democratically indefensible piece of nonsense.

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