The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

The Debate: Watch The Expectation Game

Posted by The Futility Monster on April 15, 2010 @ 09:59

Another cracker. What the hell is this?

Already this morning we’ve had a Conservative (Caroline Spelman, according to the BBC) very kindly remind us that David Cameron is only a human being, so nervousness is only natural. And not a lot of people know that.

A bizarre thought came into my mind about 10 minutes ago too. What if Gordon Brown has been engaged in a clever game of utter self-destruction over the past couple of years so that he can come out tonight clean, polished, articulate and well-briefed – and knock the lightweight Cameron into the ground?

Of course not. But let’s not underestimate the tremendously low expectations we all have of Gordon Brown as a result of his track-record of  bumbling and incompetence. That will be critical tonight.

As for Nick Clegg, not many know what to expect. His competent performance with Paxman on Monday was a big triumph, but he’s still the great unknown in this election. Which way will he go? The questioners will try to tease it out of him…

What about ITV? They are revelling in being lucky enough to get the first debate, but they’ll be devastated not to be able to sell adverts between it!

Don’t for a second think we’ll be seeing a record TV audience tonight. BBC Breakfast were saying 30 million people could watch. Utter tosh. The peak audience might hit 15m, if they’re lucky. The average will be around 10m. Bear in mind that Nick Griffin’s appearance achieved 8m for Question Time, and that was hyped to the max too.

Expectations are key to framing tonight’s debate. The pundits and spin doctors will all be hard at work today explaining what they think will be the fair result for their man. Don’t believe any of them. In fact, don’t watch any TV today. Except the debate, of course. Allow your mind to be unpolluted by what the teams want you to think.

If you do read one thing today, though, I’d suggest you stay here. At 2pm, 4pm and 6pm I will release a post on each leader, saying what I think they can achieve, and whether they will do it. Then, at 8:30pm (hopefully) I will live blog the event.

It will all, of course, be Fair and Balanced.

It’s a good day for democracy. It’s a good day for TV.

The schedule for today:

2pm: Will David Cameron Seal The Deal?
4pm: Can Nick Clegg Justify His Inclusion?
6pm: Is Gordon Brown Capable Of Fighting Back?
8:30pm: Liveblogging The Debate

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