Tonight's Question Time Special could be the defining moment in general election campaign
Tonight Fiona Bruce will host a Question Time Special in which the leaders of the Conservatives, Labour, SNP and Liberal Democrats will each take questions from the audience for 30 minutes.
It is the second occasion that Johnson and Corbyn will confront each other head to head , after ITV’s televised debate earlier in the week, but the inclusion of Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon promises to make it a more rounded affair.
The sparks are sure to fly and the proceedings are sure to rely on Bruce’s ability to maintain some semblance of order.
Time management will be imperative, as will the nature of the questions chosen for debate.
The judgement of the first Johnson/ Corbyn clash was that neither emerged victorious, however now that Labour and the Lib Dems have published their manifestos, there are sure to be claims and counter claims about their contents.
Johnson will want to appear as the senior statesman, with the gravitas that the role of prime minister dictates, but in this company he could well appear to be full of hot air and bluster and the least suitable for the position.
While he is sure to concentrate on his Brexit message, the NHS has taken precedence in the electioneering headlines and he will have to bring more to the table to be convincing.
Interestingly, Johnson is still ahead in the polls, but the gap is closing which indicates among other things that the eventual outcome will be another hung parliament.
Given that the Sturgeon and Swinson are both ardent remainers in the European debate, and would find it impossible to merge in any way with the Tories, there could well be three people on stage tonight who could represent the make up of the next government.
Inevitably this issue will arise tonight and dependent on Johnson’s ability to rein himself in. this could well act in favour of all the opposition parties.
Two further Question Time Special are planned in the run up to December 12, which will give the Green Party and the Brexit Party their moment in the spotlight, but it certainly looks on paper as if tonight’s bun fight could be the most important main event.
UK Government After 2019 Election
|Labour – Snp Coalition||12/1|
|Conservative – Dup Coalition||18/1|
|Labour – Lib Dem – Snp Coalition||22/1|
|Labour – Lib Dem Coalition||25/1|
|Conservative – Brexit Party Coalition||33/1|
|Conservative – Lib Dem Coalition||66/1|
|Lib Dem – Snp Coalition||200/1|
|Lib Dem Minority||200/1|
|Conservative – Labour Coalition||300/1|
|Lib Dem Majority||400/1|
|Brexit Party Minority||750/1|