THE BLOG

PM Must Do Debates With or Without Greens

09/01/2015 15:16 GMT | Updated 10/03/2015 09:59 GMT

The Greens have steam coming out of their ears after Ofcom ruled they are not a 'major' party and therefore will not be included in the televised leader's debates in the run up to the general election.

Ofcom's decision is quite controversial and has angered many on the left and even David Cameron. The Prime Minister has reportedly said he will not take part in the TV debates unless Natalie Bennett's Green Party is also included.

Currently the Green Party has only one MP, Caroline Lucas of Brighton Pavilion, who has a 30.1% majority. Whether the Green Party should be included in the debates is an issue that will be argued right up to wire. However, there is a deep underlining political issue about David Cameron's reasoning behind refusing to participate in the televised debates.

It is difficult for one to not include Nigel Farage's UKIP in a political blog, however, the anti-EU party should rest assured knowing it has secured its place on the panel after two successful by - elections. David Cameron knows that Mr Farage can come across very well in debates and it will affect the Tories performance more than anyone else's. Of course the UKIP vote is hurting other parties too, but not to the same extent as it is to the Conservatives.

On the other hand, with the Green Party participating in the televised debates it is likely to adversely affect the performances of both the Lib Dem's and Labour. So David Cameron wants the Greens to be included so it balances it out.

The televised debates are likely to have an enormous impact on voting intentions amongst those undecided so it's important that all leaders put out their best performances in order to sway opinion. The Prime Minister's position remains unclear as he knows that with the presence of UKIP means a chink in his armour.

It is rumoured that the Conservatives want there to be no televised debates altogether. Ahead of the 2010 general election David Cameron was a huge advocate for televised debates, but unfortunately for the Prime Minister he didn't fair too well in them. It is expected that these televised debates would better suit Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage.

Broadcasters face a huge dilemma as to whether to include the Greens or not. Omitting the Green Party may result in the Prime Minister not taking part, however, if they are included broadcasters face a legal challenge from the SNP, who have more seats in parliament than UKIP or the Green Party. It wouldn't be surprising if George Galloway then said the Respect party should also be on the panel.

The debate on the format and who should be on the panel will continue for several weeks. With or without the Greens it would be fundamentally wrong for David Cameron not to take part in the televised debates. Broadcasters may be left with no choice other than having to leave an empty chair on the panel which would be absolutely disastrous for the Prime Minister and the Conservatives.