Will these dominate everything?
Much to my surprise, I must admit, agreement has been reached on the TV debates which will, surely, become the defining moments in the campaign.
The terms seem a lot less restrictive than I was expecting and ICM is going to play a key role in selecting the audiences.
In the end it won’t be how the three perform – but the perceptions that viewers get about their characters and personalities. So in the 2008 White House encounters the thing that’s said to have done for McCain was that in the first session he refused to look at Obama and would not even mention his name.
A problem Brown’s got is that the looks so much older than the other two – because of course he is – and this will be magnified in these three 90 minute encounters.
Who is going to come out best? My guess is that unless he completely mucks it up that Nick Clegg will see the biggest uplift – simply because he’ll be seen on the same level as the big two.
What about Brown and Cameron? The expectation will be that the Tory will “do best” but it is just possible that something could happen that’ll be a game-changer.