David Cameron is doing all he can to avoid pre-election debates, for good reason

January 14, 2015 1:59 PM

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The UK is struggling to establish the practice of televised pre-election debates. Pressure is increasing on prime minister David Cameron to agree to a set of televised debates before voters go to the polls in May. Cameron is resisting. After all, he probably knows that when it comes to TV, incumbents rarely prosper.

In the US, which has a long tradition of public presidential debates, incumbents often fare poorly, especially the first time they meet their challenger. Ronald Reagan told reporters during the 1984 campaign that it was harder for a serving president “because he’s under attack.” He added: “I look ba...

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