This evening sees the first of the three televised debates between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg. As I don't have a functioning TV connection I shall not be watching it live but might well listen to it on Radio 4. I guess the participants are more than a little nervous right now but who, if anyone, will come out on top? A common consensus seems to be that Clegg should benefit a lot because this is a rare occasion when his party gets equal billing with the Tories and Labour. And herein lies a problem: the Lib Dems might hold the balance of power in a hung parliament but they are not going to be, on their own, the next government. So in a sense what they promise, what their manifesto says is slightly irrelevant. With just the two main party leaders the thing has balance but the whole debate will be muddled in my opinion by possibly two of the leaders ganging up against the third. We shall soon know!
Cameron has a lot to lose because expectations are high that he will be very much better than Brown at least. What about Gordon then? This is not natural territory for him and I would hope that he gets well challenged. Surely he will have to get away from tractor statistics and slogans. But can he do that?