18 Apr 2017

Election 2017: No TV debates this time

No 10 is saying there will be no TV debates cluttering up your screens in this election.

Rather than go down the route of pretending they’re longing for such things to happen but the logistics might be tricky they’ve gone for a more open approach: forget it.

Don’t expect many press conferences either or extended interviews.

Theresa May is not a huge fan of these sorts of encounters and her team think they open up risks that don’t need to be taken. So the 2017 general election will make the 2015 one look like “access all areas” as far as the Tories are concerned.

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street in central London on April 18, 2017.

I hear the manifesto will probably be a slimmed down affair too. Mrs May didn’t think much of the 2015 effort with its 500 or so commitments. One minister said it was a “Christmas tree” of a document and “written without any thought to post-Brexit Britain.” But quite how much shape Mrs May wants to put on post -Brexit Britain at this stage is another matter.

What will the immigration, agriculture or state aid sections of the manifesto look like? How much will Mrs May want to spell out ring-fencing or the end of ring-fencing for some departments? What will she want to say about the pensioner triple lock in an election in which differential generational turnout could be key?

Theresa May’s team have had more time to ponder these things because they knew an early election was a possibility but it’s not clear how advanced the work is and whether it will be a manifesto more of themes than commitments.


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