Johnson and Corbyn go toe to toe in last bout before the ballot box
Last night Andrew Neil interviewed Nigel Farage in the last of his election specials. The event was as expected with punch and counter-punch from both sides, but the soliloquy from the interviewer at the end of proceedings was much unexpected.
Turning to the camera, the senior BBC interviewer addressed the prime minister directly. Expressing his disappointment that he had not participated like all the other political leaders, he outlined the questions that he would have asked him had he appeared. The questions were inevitably penetrating and brought into the spotlight the Tory manifesto, especially the budget promises, the likelihood of trade talks being expedited after Brexit and of course the trustworthiness of the PM, given his past form.
As ever,Neil’s narrative was sharp and accusatory, and to some extent cast Johnson in a worse light than if he had actually been present.
However, the prime minister has a chance to redeem himself tonight in the last toe to toe battle with the leader of the opposition, under the watchful eye of Nick Robinson.
Robinson does not have the same heavyweight reputation as Neil, and will have to corral a live audience and their questions, but both leaders will be aware that this is the last time that they have to impress the electorate before the general election in a week’s time.
Currently the Tories are ahead in the polls, although many pollsters concede that many members of the public simply have not made up their minds.
It is therefore even more vital that both contenders for Downing St impress tonight or at the very least do not make an almighty gaffe.
Of course, although Boris is ahead in the polls currently, history tells us that he is the one most likely to tie himself up in knots, although somehow Robinson will have to prevent him from reeling out the same old PR rhetoric that has become so irritating and old in the past six weeks.
This is probably Corbyn’s best, and last, chance to offer up a killer punch before December 12 and his backers will be willing him on.
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