This is getting interesting…

The Lib Dem surge shows Labour continuing to benefit in the Sunday polls. With figures like these, any one of the three parties can take the lead. But after years in the lead this is hardly the time for Conservative support to be exposed as soft. If this pattern is held the result will be unpredictable. Those hoping for another game changer from the next Leaders’ Debate may be disappointed. First because a repeat of the first debate’s impact is far from guaranteed and second, the debate is live only on Sky News, a digital channel of course, where its regular weekly share of the TV audience is 0.6% compared to BBC1’s 20% although there’s a repeat in 11.30 pm graveyard slot on BBC2. In view of the first debate’s high impact, the lateral thought for the second would be to simulcast it on the obvious terrestrial channel C 4, but I daresay that won’t happen.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London