Voters believe TV debates are important to help them decide – now will Theresa May show up?

The PM has refused to clash directly with other leaders


Theresa May insists that she will not participate in TV debates ahead of the general election, and now Jeremy Corbyn says that if she doesn’t show he won’t either.

But a poll published today shows that 56 per cent of people think that TV debates are ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ important to helping them to make up their minds. Among 18-24 year-olds, that rises to 71 per cent, according to the BMG/Electoral Reform Society poll.

‘These figures show voters now see TV debates as ‘part of the furniture’ of a General Election,’ commented Katie Ghose of the Electoral Reform Society.

“That’s particularly the case for younger voters – meaning it’s therefore crucial for youth engagement that they take place.

“The last two General Elections saw millions watch the televised debates, allowing politicians to reach out beyond the already-politicised and speak to a hugely diverse audience.

“It would be a travesty for the debates to be cancelled simply because one side decided to torpedo this now-crucial part of 21st century politics.

“With such a short election period, the debates could play an absolutely essential role. Leaders owe it to the voters – and especially Britain’s young people – not to back out.”

Other party leaders, including Tim Farron, Nicola Sturgeon and Caroline Lucas, have slammed May’s decision not to participate in debates.

See: Theresa May’s refusal to take part in debates is an insult to the public – broadcasters should empty chair her

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4 Responses to “Voters believe TV debates are important to help them decide – now will Theresa May show up?”

  1. Will

    If debating on live tv was in her interest then she would be there but if it is only in the interest of the whole voting public then of course she won’t.

  2. uglyfatbloke

    No need for a debate up here; Scottish Labour is supporting several tories and a couple of lib-dems anyway.

  3. patrick newman

    It would be a great step forward if she actually answered the questions posed by reporters at set piece cheerathons! Now she is exposed to the full glare of publicity it is clear she does not like being challenged and she is vindictive. The Abu Qatada episode resulted in her calling for the UK to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights. Can you imagine what the rest of Europe and beyond would think of that. Strong and stable leadership is the opposite of what she displays!

  4. Lawman

    There are 3 reasons Mrs May will not appear:

    1. Such events favour the smaller parties;

    2. As the Conservatives are, at present, said to be on course for victory, there is nothing to gain and everything to lose;

    3. She is poor at dealing with hostile interrogation.

    If Mrs May will not appear, then Mr Corbyn is correct to say he will not attend: see reason 1 above.

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