Ladbrokes have made Nigel Farage the 2/1 favourite to win any pre-election TV debate between the four “main” party leaders.
It’s only a shade of odds-on that any such debate happens. Although I think the broadcasters have made a fairly sensible set of proposals, I agree with Mike Smithson that the absence of any Green representation does seem unfair. There are already signs of some opposition from the other parties and I can imagine Clegg and Cameron in particular would probably prefer to avoid giving UKIP any more opportunities.
Farage wiped the floor with Clegg in the European debates and he would have a fairly straightforward strategy here, just to rubbish the “Westminster” parties, and he can easily make himself stand out as the independent “voice of reason”. Clegg did well in 2010 with a fairly similar hand, although it will be much more difficult for him this time as part of the coalition.
Right now, expectations are so low for Ed Miliband that simply standing on his feet and making no major gaffes would be seen as a good performance, so I wouldn’t rule out his chances. However, if there have already been two other debates in which he has put up a reasonable showing, that might not be such a big factor.
You can find our odds here.