On Friday, leading politicians from seven major political parties will participate in a live TV election debate in Cardiff, chaired by Nick Robinson.
TV debates have been part of the build-up to polling day since 2010. Here’s how the debate will unfold.
How can I follow the programme live?
In the UK, it will be broadcast on the BBC News channel and on iPlayer from 19:00 to 20:30 and streamed live on the BBC News website, where you can also follow the latest reaction and analysis on our live page.
There’ll also be a half-hour preview programme starting at 18:30 and an hour-long programme live from the “spin room” afterwards, with reaction from specialist correspondents from the Reality Check team.
It will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio 5 Live. You can listen live here or on the BBC Sounds app.
Outside the UK, you can watch the programme streamed live on the BBC News website and on BBC World News from 19:00-21:00 GMT.
Who’s taking part?
The seven participants will draw lots to determine who stands where and the order of opening and closing statements.
- Conservatives: Rishi Sunak. The chief secretary to the Treasury is second-in-command to the chancellor. He’s been an MP for four years – before that, he was a banker and hedge-fund manager.
- Labour: Rebecca Long-Bailey. The party’s shadow business secretary has been tipped by some to be Jeremy Corbyn’s successor. She has also been the party’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.
- Liberal Democrats: Jo Swinson. The Lib Dems’ first female leader has been in the role since July. She was the youngest MP when first elected, in 2005, and became a business minister in the Lib-Dem-Conservative coalition government.
- Scottish National Party: Nicola Sturgeon. The SNP leader and Scotland’s first minister since 2014, her party was the third-largest in the Commons in the last Parliament.
- Plaid Cymru: Adam Price. Leader since 2018, he was formerly MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (2005-2010). Aged eight, he told the then Prime Minister, James Callaghan, he wanted to be “prime minister of Wales”.
- The Green Party: Caroline Lucas. The former leader and co-leader is the party’s first and, so far, only MP. She was an MEP before entering Parliament.
- The Brexit Party: Richard Tice. The chairman and businessman is a close ally of Nigel Farage. He was elected as an MEP in May.
What issues are likely to come up?
Conservatives: How the party has dealt with accusations of Islamophobia, and whether the NHS would be “on the table” in post-Brexit trade talks. What Rishi Sunak will want to talk about is Brexit – expect to hear the party’s “Get Brexit done,” slogan.
Labour: How it is dealing with claims of anti-Semitism. Also expect questions on its Brexit plan. Rebecca Long-Bailey will want to talk about the NHS and Labour’s claims a Tory government would put it at risk in a post-Brexit US trade deal.
Liberal Democrats: The party is fighting the election on stopping Brexit, so expect plenty of commentary on this. Leader Jo Swinson could also be asked about potential deals with either the Tories or Labour in the event of a hung Parliament.
SNP: The SNP also wants to stop Brexit, and leader Nicola Sturgeon can also expect questions on whom she would support if no one party gained a majority. A second Scottish referendum is also high on the SNP agenda.
Plaid Cymru: Brexit – the party backs remaining in the EU, despite Wales voting to leave. Plaid Cymru wants a further referendum on EU membership, as well as a vote on Welsh independence by 2030.
Green Party: Caroline Lucas will want to talk about tackling the “climate emergency”. But expect her to be quizzed on how the Greens would finance their plan to spend £100bn a year on climate action.
Brexit Party: Its backing for a “clean-break Brexit”. Richard Tice could also face questions on the party’s plan to cap net migration at 50,000 a year and the decision to stand down candidates in Tory-held seats.
How are the questions and the audience selected?
Questions will come from members of the audience recruited by the BBC’s opinion research partner Savant ComRes, and from members of the public who have submitted questions via the BBC website.
The audience has been selected to reflect the country’s demographic distribution and political views.
And, says Jonathan Munro, the BBC’s head of newsgathering, it is being weighted to reflect the Brexit vote and will have a slim majority of people who voted Leave over Remain (except for a few young voters who weren’t old enough to vote in the referendum).
The editorial team will pick the questions, with the aim of reflecting the issues that matter to the public and feature prominently during the election campaign.
What are the parties promising you?
Here’s a concise guide to where the parties stand on key issues, including Brexit, education and the NHS.
How can these sort of TV debates influence an election campaign?
They are often seen as key moments – and participants’ answers, body language and any slip-ups are closely scrutinised in the aftermath.
The parties are given the opportunity to discuss each others’ manifesto pledges, as well as any remarks made on the campaign trail.
Journalists and political advisers watch from an adjoining room – called the “spin room”. The spinners will be trying to convince the journalists their candidate “won” – and this can feed through into media coverage the next day.
So even if you don’t watch the debate, you could be influenced by it. Which is why it’s best to watch it, so that you can make up your mind for yourself.
Younger people are more likely to watch these TV debates than other political programmes.
In 2017, the main debate programme had a younger viewing profile than most of the BBC’s regular programmes that year.
And most viewers aged 18-34 agreed it improved their understanding of the key issues, a higher figure than for older viewers.