Tonight’s Question Time is, probably, the most important TV event of the campaign. The fact that it is on BBC1 in prime time means that it is likely to attract a bigger audience than the previous debates. That it is on the BBC also means that any newsworthy moments will be pumped out across the BBC’s entire network from local radio to the world wide web.
But what really makes tonight so important is how many undecided voters there still are. Today’s Mail poll has 40% of those going to vote saying that they are either undecided or might yet change their mind. The parties seem to agree that around 1 in 5 voters are genuinely undecided. Which way these voters end up going will determine the result of this election.
So, the question is: who can appeal to them tonight? David Cameron has been on better form recently and tonight’s format, questions from a studio audience, is one of his best. Tonight, gives him a chance to show voters that, to use the cliché, he does really want it. But set against that is that Ed Miliband is on confident form.
There are signs, though, that the Tories have a bit of momentum at the moment. The last four opinion polls have all put them at 35%, just one point below what they got in 2010. The challenge for Cameron tonight is to keep this momentum going. If he can, then the Tories will be reasonably placed going into the last few days of the campaign.