Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
15 April 2010

Top 10 political TV debate moments

Ahead of tonight's clash, we take you through the greatest debate moments of the TV era.

By New Statesman

Messrs Brown, Cameron and Clegg would do well to learn the lessons of past heroes and victims of this unpredictable medium. Check out our list of the famous TV debates and their protagonists, featuring fireworks between Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s dodgy dossier on the wife of his opponent Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

1. Gerald Ford vs. Jimmy Carter | October 1976

2. Jimmy Carter vs. Ronald Reagan | October 1980

3. Jean-Marie Le Pen on L’heure de vérité | February 1984

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

4. Dan Quayle vs. Lloyd Bentsen | October 1988

5. Malcolm Bruce pushes Gordon Brown | April 1997

6. Nicolas Sarkozy vs. Ségolène Royal | May 2007

7. Sarah Palin vs. Joe Biden | October 2008

8. John McCain vs. Barack Obama | October 2008

9. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vs. Mir-Hossein Mousavi | June 2009

10. Nick Griffin on Question Time | October 2009