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ITV News anchor Julie Etchingham hosts a live, two-hour debate on Thursday 18 May at 8.00pm on ITV. ITV News anchor Julie Etchingham hosts a live, two-hour debate on Thursday 18 May at 8.00pm on ITV.

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The ITV Leaders’ Debate airs on Thurs 18 May at 8pm on ITV

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Following prime minister Theresa May’s announcement of a snap general election to be held on Thursday 8th June and with campaigning now underway, ITV News anchor Julie Etchingham hosts a live, two-hour debate on Thursday 18 May at 8.00pm on ITV.

With party leaders of all seven of the parties represented in 2015’s debate – the Conservatives, Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens – invited to participate (although Theresa May has already said she will not be taking part in any TV debates).

As before, the leaders get the opportunity to make short opening statements at the start of the programme and closing statements at the conclusion of the debate, while during the debate, each leader will in turn answer questions asked directly by members of the studio audience, before the floor is opened up to a period of free flowing debate.

The first election debate on ITV in 2010 made broadcasting history, and was the most watched factual programme of any kind during that year, with more than nine million viewers tuning in. The format was repeated for the 2015 general election, again getting high viewing figures. With the shadow of Brexit likely to dominate proceedings, the ITV Leaders’ Debate will once again offer viewers the opportunity to see party leaders engaging in debate on a number of significant issues.

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