James Forsyth

Can Natalie Bennett exceed expectations on Thursday night?

Can Natalie Bennett exceed expectations on Thursday night?
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Few politicians can have gone into a debate with lower expectations than Natalie Bennett. After her ‘brain fade’ on LBC, the Green leader has been roundly written off. There have been murmurings that the decent thing for her to do would be to stand down in favour of Caroline Lucas, the party’s first MP and a far more accomplished media performer. But the one consolation for Bennett in all this is that it is very easy for her to beat expectations on Thursday night. She won’t have to do much to get the media to take a second look at her.

If Bennett can unloose a zinger or two, she’ll have comfortably exceeded expectations. She has some decent ammunition, the Greens are the only party who want to renationalise the railways straight away—a foolish policy but one with significant policy support—and raise the minimum wage to £10 by 2020.

The Greens tend to go up in the polls when they get coverage in the media. So, if Bennett can successfully insert herself into the heart of this debate on Thursday night, we could see an uptick in Green support. ​