Peter Hoskin

Take your seats

Take your seats
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Right – the pizza has been ordered, my glass is overflowing with raspberry Ribena (New! And delicious!), and I've fired up the old cathode ray tubes. But, somehow, I'm still feeling quite ambivalent about tonight's TV debate. Maybe it's because I still suspect it will be a cautious affair – with neither side wanting to risk the kind of mistake which could define their evening. Maybe it's because of the wall-to-wall coverage of the past few days. Or maybe it's because the New York Times has a (deliciously arch) point when it writes that UK politics is finally "moving into the television age".

In the end, the most interesting thing to come out of tonight may well be the viewing figures – not just how many people tune in overall, but how many tune out half way through, that kind of thing.  They might be our best measure yet of whether people are willing to engage with mainstream politics again, after a year in which Parliament has hardly done itself any favours.  In that respect, tonight could turn out to be a tentative step towards closing the gap between the people and their representatives.

But let's hope I'm wrong – let's hope that tonight is exciting not just for it's historical significance, but for what is said and done on the screen. I'll be live-blogging it all from 2030. So we will see, shortly.