Oops, they are not called that. Michael Crick has the news that they've been replaced with “Prime Ministerial Debates”. This cunning plan has been dreamt up to justify the exclusion of the SNP and Plaid Cymru. Perhaps Nick Clegg is in with a real chance of becoming Prime Minister?
Anyway, it would appear that us not-so-clever folk have missed a rather important point when we were urging Brown to call an earlier election. Steve Richards explains:
There is one reason above all others why Brown will wait until 6 May and it relates to the televised debates, the wild card of the election. Brown knows that Cameron and Nick Clegg are already carving out time to prepare for these potential game-changers. He is worried that with all the other prime ministerial distractions he would be less ready if the campaign began almost immediately. As someone who prepares too obsessively for much smaller media events, Brown has decided he needs all the time he can get to focus on these potentially pivotal events.
Richards has cracked it. This has to be one of the principle reasons why Brown didn't choose 25 March. He, rather than his party, was not ready. Chilcot, Labour’s lack of money and the local election were excuses that could be easily be dealt with if Brown went earlier.
None of the April dates are plausible for reasons we have discussed.
There we have it. All we are left to debate is when Brown calls the election; before or after Easter?