ITV is to air the first leaders’ televised debates this year after drawing lots.
With David Cameron (Conservatives), Ed Miliband (Labour), Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats), Nigel Farage (UKIP), Natalie Bennett (Green Party), Nicola Sturgeon (Scottish National Party) and Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru) featuring, this will be the first debate to include other parties outside of the main three at Westminster and is scheduled for broadcast on 2nd April on ITV.
The next debate would feature the same set-up, but this time broadcast on BBC One two weeks later on 16th April. The last debate, to take place on 30th April, would see just the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband do battle on Channel 4 and Sky News.
The broadcasters have vowed to air the debates, even if leaders decide not show up. It came after David Cameron voiced his objection to UKIP’s Nigel Farage being invited. This led to the broadcasters inviting the other leaders, including the Greens, who Cameron said must be part of the debate for him to take part.
The first leaders’ debates took place in 2010 and were deemed a success, with more than 10 million tuning into the first debate.