When are the Election Debates on TV?

Everything you need to know about the BBC, ITV and Sky debates scheduled ahead of the December general election

Jeremy Corbyn / Boris Johnson

While we’re still getting used to the idea of a general election so close to Christmas, broadcasters have already lined up a series of scheduled TV and radio debates in the run-up to 12th December.

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Here’s everything you need to know about when to watch (or listen), what time the debates are on, who’s involved and where and how to watch them…


When is the ITV Prime Ministerial Debate?

News presenter Julie Etchingham will host a televised debate on ITV at 8pm on Tuesday 19th November between Conservative leader Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

After this first debate, at 10pm the same evening, Nina Hossain will conduct one-to-one interviews with other party leaders, including Jo Swinson of the Liberal Democrats, Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP, Nigel Farage of the Brexit Party and Sian Berry, co-leader of the Green Party.

On Sunday 1st December at 7pm on ITV, Etchingham will moderate a two hour-long debate programme, The ITV Election Debate.

The Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, the Brexit Party, the Greens and Plaid Cymru have all been invited to this debate.

When is the Question Time Leaders’ Special?

The Live BBC Election Debate 2015 at Central Hall Westminster on April 16, 2015 (Getty Images)

Hosted by Fiona Bruce, this 30-minute special will see the Conservative, Labour, SNP and Liberal Democrat leaders field questions from a live audience in Sheffield on Friday 22nd November, airing on BBC One. The exact time the show will be aired is yet to be announced.

According to the BBC there are also further as-yet-unannounced Question Time specials in the works, featuring the Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and either Sian Berry or Jonathan Bartley, both co-leaders of the Green Party.

When is the Sky News Election Debate?

Jo Swinson, Boris Johnson, and Jeremy Corbyn were invited to take part in a televised debate on Sky News on Thursday 28th November.

However, it is yet to be confirmed if the event is still going ahead.

When is the BBC Election Debate?

The seven-way podium debate between leaders and senior figures from the UK’s major parties will take place on Friday 29th November at 7pm on BBC One.

When is BBC Prime Ministerial Debate?

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) and main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (R) head the procession of members of parliament through the Peers Lobby into the House of Lords to listen to the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament in the Houses of Parliament on October 14, 2019 in London, England. The Queen's speech is expected to announce plans to end the free movement of EU citizens to the UK after Brexit, new laws on crime, health and the environment. (Photo by Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The second, much-anticipated showdown between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn will take place in Southampton on BBC One at 8.30pm on Friday 6th December. The Conservative and Labour leaders will go head-to-head six days before voters go to the polls.

When is the Channel 4 Prime Ministerial Debate?

Though Channel 4 were looking to host a Leaders debate on 24th November, plans were scrapped when the broadcaster was “unable to secure agreement” with Boris Johnson’s team (as revealed by Louisa Compton, a News and Current Affairs Commissioner at Channel 4).

When is the under-30s Question Time special?

The last Question Time special before election day will focus on the younger generation’s perspective, with an audience comprised entirely of under-30s.

Hosted by BBC 5 live’s Emma Barnett, the debate will take place on Monday 9th December, airing 8.30pm on BBC1, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and 5 Live.


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Election Day is on 12th December 2019