First Wednesday: Pre-election night special – is this a “change” election?

Talk May 5, 2010 7:00 PM

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Political apathy may be on the rise in the UK, but no one can say the 2010 General Election campaign has been the predictable two-party race of old.

After his strong performance in the televised leaders’ debates, opinion polls now consistently put Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats in second place, making this the first genuine three-horse race election in living memory, perhaps marking the end of the Labour-Tory dominance at Westminster.

With polls pointing to a hung parliament, the Lib Dems could form part of a government – making a radical shake-up of our voting system almost certain. But is this really a watershed moment in British political history or are we getting carried away with Cleggmania? And whatever the outcome of Thursday’s poll, will claims of change really be made when women’s representation is likely to have made so little progress?

Paddy O’Connell of BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House will be in the chair for another of our First Wednesday discussions, lively public meetings that bring together experts and commentators and mix their views with contributions from our audience.

With: Vernon Bogdanor, professor of government at the University of Oxford and one of Britain’s foremost constitutional experts; Kat Banyard, director, UK Feminista and author of The Equality Illusion: The truth about women and men today (Faber and Faber); Ivor Gaber, professor of political campaigning at City University London; Ashok Viswanathan, deputy co-ordinator, Operation Black Vote.