Today marks a historic day. Its the first ever live UK TV Election Debate.
I have high hopes that even in the completely de politicised UK the debate will cause a wave of interest and excitement amongst voters. The Independent suggests this morning from a poll it commissioned that 30 million people will tune in and of those 50% say that the debate could influence the way they vote. Wow - thats 15m votes up for grabs.
Inspite of the oh so very typically British need for rules (and in this case 70 rules) to govern the event I am looking forward to a contest that reveals more to the public about each of the candidates than we are able to glean from PR prepared set pieces and carefully orchestrated policy statements.
The Q&A will be dull. All possible chance of excitement killed off by Candidate preparation, schooling and spin. The part that interesting is the debate itself where the 3 of them are let loose on each other. Its a relatively short segment so make sure you're back from making cup of tea or you risk missing it.
Alongside 30m others we will be listening in but not just as voters but as insight managers. We will be monitoring, analysing and reporting on all the chatter on Twitter and Facebook to see how the candidates are performing. We will be recording personal sentiment and comparing it regionally. With the stakes so high its going to be fascinating evening.
Social media channels and clever insight technology is giving us the opportunity - for the first time - to listen to the groundswell and to reveal actual sentiment. Check back with us as we will be posting results from all 3 of the live debtaes on a specially created Market Evolution election blog.