FINAL LEADERSHIP DEBATE: Thursday 29th May, BBC1, 8.30pm ALERT ME
And so – as Barcelona go into their Champions League semi-final second leg to lock horns with Inter Milan this evening, the political world has its own battle to host. The third leaders debate, shown on BBC1 tomorrow, is certain to be a turbulent and passionate affair.
Barcelona have a mountain to climb in their bout, but the three political figures taking to the stage in the Midlands on Thursday are on more level terms, making it an increasingly exciting prospect.
Although Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg took an early lead in the first showdown after he distanced himself from the other leaders and put forward some refreshing views on the important issues, we go into the third battle with Brown and Cameron very much still in the mix. After a shaky start from the other two, they held their own in what was a more even and passionate second debate. Cameron managed to get his act together last time, and Brown continues to be stoic and reliable.
The Tories saw the last meeting as a ‘make or break’ for their party and proved this by ensuring a fiery event. Clegg showed that initial hysteria around him and his party was no flash in the pan, and managed to hold his own with the more established political figures. Brown remained firm and dismissive, but perhaps now lags slightly behind his rivals.
To add extra spice to the proceedings, a viewing war has broken out between the BBC and ITV. Refusing to move the popular Coronation Street from its 8:30pm slot, the BBC accuse its rival corporation of attempting to nick viewers from its debate coverage. As well as the war for political public popularity, there is a competitive drive for viewing figures. It will be interesting to see who wins this as well as the competition for political Brownie points.
What is certain is the importance of this final debate. It could make all the difference at the polling station on May 7th as millions of people tune in to see who comes up with the goods. Watch the football, but make doubly sure you tune in for this battle. Whether you fancy Brown, Clegg or Cameron, let David Dimbleby and the BBC confirm your allegiances.