Campaign for parliamentary elections on May 6 in the UK has reached its first really important moment: the televised debate between the leaders of three political parties. Today, April 15, from 20 (London time), Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Labour Party leader David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party and Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party will face in the ITV network studios, major television network UK private. It is the first time that the leaders of Britain’s main political parties have locked horns in front of a television audience in the run-up to an election.
According BBC, “the first debate of the three planned this campaign will focus on domestic politics. It will be held in Manchester and will be held before an overflow audience of about 200, chosen according to their political preferences, representative for the whole UK. Debate format was established after long negotiations between the three parties and contains no fewer than 76 rules to ensure equal access and fair debate of the three leaders”. Some commentators have expressed concern that stricter rules will inhibit the real debate, but nobody denies that the organization of the first televised confrontation is good.
One aspect that must be noted: Great Britain had to wait 50 years after organizing the first televised debate between U.S. presidential candidates and 42 years after a similar debate in Canada between the three major party candidates for prime minister. It is true that the three leaders of UK are found weekly face to face for 15 minutes interpellations of Prime Minister in the House of Commons, but the televised debate is moderated by journalists and can ask questions by voters.
Analysts forecast that the televised debates will influence voters, especially many undecided. Currently an average of polls last week, lies in leading the Conservative Party, with 37% followed by the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats with 31% and 20% of voting intentions. Translated into seats – the majority single-member district elections with a single ballot – most likely outcome is a chamber of the Commons (650 members) without a majority, the first of its kind since 1974.
After debate Thursday, April 15, will follow a second, broadcast by Sky News, on April 22, devoted to foreign policy and the final on April 29, the BBC devoted to the economy.