House of Commons Library

Televised debates between party leaders

Published Monday, March 30, 2015

This note sets out the background to the current debate about televised debates between party leaders during a general election campaign. Three debates were held for the first time in the UK during the 2010 general election. The BBC, ITV News, Sky News and Channel 4 have put forward proposals to change the format of the televised leaders’ debates to be held before the 2015 general election.

Jump to full report >>

TThis note sets out the background to the debate about televised debates between party leaders during a general election campaign. Three debates were held for the first time in the UK during the 2010 general election. The BBC, ITV News, Sky News and Channel 4 put forward proposals to change the format of the televised leaders’ debates to be held before the 2015 general election and, following prolonged negotiations, the following formats for the debates have been agreed.

26 March 2015: David Cameron and Ed Miliband were interviewed separately for a Channel 4 / Sky programme and then answered questions put by the studio audience.

2 April 2015: a seven-way debate will be held on ITV between the leaders of the Conservative Party, the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Labour Party, Plaid Cymru, the SNP and UKIP.

16 April 2015: the BBC will broadcast a ‘challenger’ debate, which will feature five opposition party leaders but not those of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats.

30 April 2015: a BBC 'Question Time' special programme will be broadcast with David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg appearing separately.

The Note does not provide information on Party Election Broadcasts (PEBs); this can be found in Standard Note SN/PC/3354, Party Election Broadcasts.

Commons Briefing papers SN05241

Author: Isobel White

Topics: Broadcasting, Elections, General elections

Share this page

Stay up to date

  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts Commons Briefing papers

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.