Interviewers can cause a politician a lot of frustration with a choice question or two. Andrew Neil added to the embarrassment for Theresa May after her social care U-turn last Monday with his grilling on the same day. His questions to Jeremy Corbyn on Friday about his position on the IRA forced Labour to wrestle with that as an issue over the last few days. It won’t be any easier tonight, as both leaders have to sit down with Jeremy Paxman.
The Tory campaign is now on a more stable footing. The polling wobble seems to be over, as the party is back enjoying double-digit leads over Labour. Ian Lavery, the party’s election co-ordinator and a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, sounded sanguine on Sunday, declaring that no matter what the result is next Thursday, “ it’s only the beginning of the Corbyn project”.
Theresa May has sought to refocus the campaign on Brexit and leadership, doubling down in her attacks on Jeremy Corbyn at a campaign stop today in Richmond. “If you can’t lead your own party, how can you possibly lead the country through this very historical moment?” she told her audience. Tom Harris sympathises with this line, writing: “If Labour were actually to win on June 8, either by securing a majority or by becoming the largest party in the Commons, Jeremy Corbyn himself could not reasonably claim to enjoy the support of even a majority of his own MPs; the difference between the number of Labour MPs and the number of Corbyn-supporting MPs would at least be vast enough to give the monarch some pause for thought before she picked up that phone.”
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn will not just be tested by Jeremy Paxman tonight, but the general public too – in a Q&A moderated by Sky’s Faisal Islam. The Prime Minister will be hoping to show what her promised “strong and stable” leadership means in how she handles questions, while the Labour leader will be aiming to show that he can hold his own under fire. Make sure to follow our liveblog for the latest analysis of the spectacle.
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