Conservative Diary

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Are we sure about these leaders' debates if Nick Clegg is included?

Do I think David Cameron could beat Gordon Brown or Nick Clegg in head-to-head debate?  Yes.

Would I love watching debates as political theatre?  Yes.

Do I think debates as they are being proposed are a good thing?  I'm having my doubts.

Adam Boulton has just blogged this:

"BBC, ITV and Sky have today written to the leaders of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties with a joint proposal for three live televised debates during the next General Election campaign. The individual broadcasters would be responsible for producing and broadcasting one debate each between all three party leaders. Each of the three debates would be transmitted live by the originating broadcaster in peak time and made available to all other British broadcasters subsequently. The broadcasters have formed a joint team to discuss detailed plans with the political parties. Each of the broadcasters will seek to make suitable arrangements for ensuring due impartiality across the UK."

Debates are potentially a lifeline for Brown but an unlikely one.  Debates could, however, be a godsend for Nick Clegg.  He isn't going to be Prime Minister so why would he be included in all debates?  We should really have head-to-head debates between Brown and Cameron.  That's the real choice.  Clegg probably should be in one of three debates, perhaps even two... but three?

Tim Montgomerie


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