GE2019 has become increasingly about Johnson’s efforts to deflect scutiny

November 28th, 2019

How the latest developments will go down with the electorate is hard to say but, as has been said before, a key element in TMay’s failure to keep her majority at GE2017 was her refusal to take part in the debates. This was shown as a significant factor in the post-GE2017 polling.

An issue with the Andrew Neil interviews is that it is said that other leaders were told by the BBC that Johnson would also be taking part in his own programme when they agreed to do it. The fact that Corbyn was seen to take a pasting has made Johnson’s avoidance even more pointed.

Tonight’s Channel 4 debate on climate change had the PM being empty chaired and this is likely to impact on how he’s covered by the media.

Johnson has to be careful that his approach doesn’t become an issue – something that his opponents can attack him over that resonates.

A big challenge for all of the leaders is that the minimum length of an election campaign is now five weeks and there’s plenty of time available for the party messages to be sidetracked.

Mike Smithson