Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Leaders debate viewing figures

By Friday morning the BARB figures will be in for tomorrow's Leaders debate. Will the anti-political mood of the nation return a pathetic 2m viewers, only marginally more than the Chancellors debate at 1.6m, or the 16m viewers that David Herdson of Political Betting expects?

I reckon that Cameron, Clegg and Brown will be hard put to equal last week's viewing figures for Gene Hunt (6.6m), let alone Corrie and Enders at over 9m each, or Doctor Who at 9.6m

Herdson reasons that QT with Nick Griffin pulled in 8m viewers at 10.35pm - and therefore that the leaders debate at 8pm should attract twice as many. I think he's well wrong. People tuned into QT because immigration is the biggest political issue on the ground, and they wanted to engage with the national debate. They know by now that none of the triumverate will have a word to say about it, and that the debate will revolve around accusations and counter accusations of fiscal incompetence, deeply boring and a massive viewer turn-off.

What's my guess? Well, I'll go for 5m. If I'm right, it doesn't bode well for turnout figures for the election, which if falling under 50% for the first time will be disastrous for our democracy.

Let's see. This is one I'm hoping I'm wrong on.

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