Cameron Gets Last Word at Thursday’s Debate

ITV have released the speaking order for Thursday night’s debate:

The PM on podium 7 gets the final word…

 

Miliband in the Middle, Cameron on the Far Right

Thursday night’s mass-debate will see Miliband in the centre, with Cameron on the far right.

The full line up will be: Natalie Bennett, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage, Ed Miliband, Leanne Wood, Nicola Sturgeon, David Cameron.

While the PM has got his wish of being far from Farage and Ed, the Labour leader has lucked out in terms of aesthetics.

“Clowns to the left of him” says a Tory source.

Miliband v Murdoch

The Tories have hit back with a fresh attack ad from last night:

To have been a fly on the wall…

Cameron Gets Paxo’d: “That’s Not the Question”

TV Debate Dates For Your Diary

An agreement has finally been reached. Here are the dates for your diary:

  • 26 March: Live Q&A on Channel 4 and Sky News with Cameron and Miliband separately, presented by Paxo and Kay Burley
  • 2 April: Debate with seven party leaders on ITV, hosted by Julie Etchingham
  • 16 April: Opposition debate with five opposition party leaders – Miliband, Farage, Sturgeon, Bennett and Wood – on the BBC, moderated by David Dimbleby
  • 30 April: Special BBC Question Time with Cameron, Miliband and Clegg, presented by Dimbleby

Roll on Thursday…

Cameron Caves In On “Final Offer”: Agrees to April Debate

James Forsyth reports:

“Downing Street has agreed to an offer from the broadcasters for one seven-way election debate on 2 April.”

Which is a bit of a change of heart from:

“If we hold the debates in the campaign, we won’t talk about anything else… lets hold the debates before the campaign starts!”

So much for that ‘final offer’ of March or nothing. Fancy a game of poker, Craig?

UPDATE: Reportedly the broadcasters’ offer in full:

  • Paxman interviews Cameron and Miliband separately on March 26 on C4/Sky
  • 7-way debate on April 7 on ITV
  • Question Time with Cameron, Miliband and Clegg on April 30 on BBC

Alastair Campbell on TV Debates: Then and Now

Alastair Campbell, today, on why David Cameron is a coward for ducking the TV debates:

“How well I remember David Cameron proclaiming how marvellous the TV leaders’ debates were and, more importantly, how vital they were to the democratic process in the modern media age. And how pathetic it is, five years on, to watch his wriggling and weaselling to avoid them… I can see why one on one, policy v policy, plan v plan, he might want to duck this. But it is morally cowardly and democratically wrong.”

Alastair Campbell, in 2001, on why Tony Blair was not a coward for ducking the TV debates:

“The UK is not electing a president and our political and constitutional positions are entirely different. [We are not taking part because of] all the blah and the ballyhoo that would surround it… four days of build up to every debate, this is where they’ll stand and this is what they’ll do, and this is the people advising them and this is what they’ll wear, and blah blah blah.”

What was that about “pathetic”, “weaselling”, “morally cowardly and democratically wrong”?

UPDATE: Bad Al responds:

Won over by David Cameron’s argument? Or just self-serving spin from the spinmeister? You decide…

Leaders’ Debates Dates For Your Diary

election hq

The provisional dates for the TV debates are:

2 April: ITV – Con, Lab, LibDem, UKIP, Greens, Plaid, SNP

16 April: BBC – Con, Lab, LibDem, UKIP, Greens, Plaid, SNP

30 April: Sky/C4 – Con, Lab

Over to you, Clegg…

Broadcasters Threaten to Empty Chair Leaders

UPDATE:

Tory statement:

“These new proposals are being considered as part of the ongoing discussions about the debates.”

And Labour:

“We will debate anyone the broadcasters choose to invite and we are pleased to see the clear proposal to have

[…]

+ READ MORE +

2012 US TV Debates Had 8 Candidates

2012-primary

People saying that the 7-way (and maybe with the DUP, 8-way) debate is too complex for TV forget that all the US networks managed it in 2012 with the Republican Party primaries. Even Borgen had 5 candidates. What’s the problem?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Miliband: “I’ll Debate Anyone the Broadcasters Invite”

“I’ll debate anyone the broadcasters invite… It’s not for him, it’s not for me, it’s not for any party leader to decide who is in the debates, it’s up to the broadcasters. That’s the country we live in. Is he

[…]

+ READ MORE +

It Was The Chicken Wot Won It

Guido Squawks responds to the news the Greens have been invited to the TV debates:

Party round his tonight…[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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