When time is the Sky TV election debate tonight? How to watch Sunak v Starmer

When is the next election TV debate? How to watch Sunak v Starmer
When is the next election TV debate? How to watch Sunak v Starmer

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will go head to head once again in a Sky News election programme tonight as the race to July 4 continues.

It will be the second clash between the Prime Minister and Labour leader and see them set out their commitments to the country in 20-minute interviews with Beth Rigby, Sky New’s political editor, before taking audience questions.

The first head-to-head debate between Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer on June 4 was followed by a seven-way BBC debate on Friday, which saw Nigel Farage, Penny Mordaunt and Angela Rayner battle it out alongside four other leading party representatives.

Three further debates are currently scheduled beyond tonight’s event, featuring another seven-way debate on ITV tomorrow night. Both ITV and the BBC have hosted debates in an array of formats, giving candidates the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the latest opinion polls.

Here is the remaining debate schedule at a glance: 

When is the next general election TV debate?

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will take in a Sky News election programme on Wednesday, which will see the leaders face solo in-depth interviews with Beth Rigby before questions from the audience.

They will travel to Grimsby, Lincolnshire, for the event on Wednesday, June 12 and it will begin at 7pm.

The debate schedule builds up to what is expected to be the final televised programme of the election campaign, which will be another head to head between Sir Keir and the Conservative leader on June 26 – a week before the nation goes to the polls.

What channel are the debates on?

ITV and the BBC have confirmed they will host general election debates over the campaign.

The programmes will be available on BBC1, BBC News and ITV1, as well as live on their streaming platforms BBC Iplayer and ITVX.

For those watching from Scotland, the ITV debates will be on the equivalent channel STV.

ITV also streamed the first debate on June 4 live on their Youtube channel and are expected, along with the BBC, to do the same for the following programmes.

The BBC have also confirmed they will air their debates on local radio.

Sky’s debate will be available to watch on Freeview and can be streamed online at the Sky News website or on social media.

The Telegraph will be providing live coverage of all the debates with expert analysis and reaction.

The Battle for Number 10 - June 12, 7pm on Sky News

Sky News will host both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer in a UK election leaders “special event” on Wednesday, June 12.

The pair will be asked to “pitch” to voters in 20-minute in-depth interviews before taking questions from the live audience in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, halfway through their election campaigns.

The programme will be hosted by Beth Rigby and Sir Keir will take to the stage first following an FA Cup-style draw by the broadcaster to determine the order of questioning.

Much like the leaders’ first head to head on June 4, questions surrounding the cost of living, taxes and plans for the NHS are likely to dominate tonight’s programme.

The Battle for Number 10 will air from 7pm and be streamed on Sky News’ channel, website and app.

Seven-party debate - June 13, 8.30pm on ITV

Another seven-way debate will happen the following week as ITV will give the same seven parties another chance to have their say on Thursday June 13.

The debate will start at 8.30pm and run for 90 minutes with moderation by Julie Etchingham, the ITV newsreader who also oversaw the Labour and Tory leaders’ head to head on June 4.

Senior representatives from the Tories, Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Reform UK, Green Party and Plaid Cymru will face questions from Ms Etchingham as well as a studio audience live from Salford, Manchester.

It is likely that Mr Sunak and Mr Starmer will not partake in the larger debates following their head to heads and similarly, each party is able to choose its representative.

No party has confirmed who will represent them at this debate.

Question Time special - June 20, 8pm on the BBC

On Thursday June 20,  the BBC will return to host a Question Time special with leading members of the UK’s four largest parties: the Conservatives, Labour Party, SNP and Liberal Democrats.

Fiona Bruce will lead the broadcast from 8pm to 10pm in York and speak to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has confirmed his attendance, with Rishi Sunak, John Swinney and Sir Ed Davey also invited.

Sunak and Starmer head to head - June 26, 9pm on the BBC

The BBC will host what is likely to be the 2024 election campaign’s final TV debate on Wednesday June 26 – one week before the country will head to the polls.

The programme will be another head to head between Mr Sunak and Mr Starmer only, similar to the ITV debate they took part in on June 4 and hosted by Sophie Raworth, the BBC news presenter.

It will kick off at 9pm and run until 10pm.

Sir Keir agreed to the two head-to-head discussions only and said he would not speak at the larger debates happening on either channel.

How many debates will there be before the election?

So far, a total of six debates will be held in the run-up to the general election on July 4, with four left to go following the BBC’s seven-way party debate on Friday June 7 and Mr Sunak and Mr Starmer’s head to head on June 4.

This number could be subject to change as other broadcasters, including GB News, have also placed bids to host some form of political debate.

The debate announcements were confirmed after the Tories had pressed Sir Keir to take part in a record six debates during the six-week election countdown.

Conservative sources had dubbed the opposition leader “the knight that won’t fight” and “Sir Fear Starmer” after he failed to sign up to their weekly debate demand.

Labour headquarters indicated instead that their leader would take part in two head-to-head debates against Mr Sunak, matching what Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn did ahead of the 2019 election.

Will the debates clash with any football fixtures?

There will be several clashes between debate timings and football fixtures – an inevitability with the jam-packed TV schedules.

Football fans and politics watchers will be torn on June 7, when the BBC’s debate with the seven parties coincides with England’s international warm-up with Iceland on Channel 4.

England will play Denmark on June 20 – the same day as the BBC’s Question Time Leaders’ Special – but at an earlier kick-off time of 5pm before the election programme at 8pm.

So there is only one BBC clash taking place as the channel managed to avoid competing with the Men’s European Championship fixtures.

There are no more ITV football fixtures clashes after the broadcaster moved the England Women’s Euros match with France, which had been due to air on ITV1, to ITV4 as it coincided with Mr Sunak and Mr Starmer’s head to head on June 4.

When is the general election?

The general election will take place on July 4 as the country heads to the polls between 7am and 10pm to have their say over the next prime minister.

It was confirmed by Rishi Sunak in a rain-sodden speech outside of Downing Street on May 22 that the election would happen six weeks later.

Both the Prime Minister and other party leaders have been on the campaign trail since then in a bid to win over voters through measures such as the TV debates.