TV leaders' debate 2015: What time is it, how to watch it, who goes first, all the rules and who's tipped to win

Guy Bentley
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Everything you need to know about tonight's debate (Source: Getty)

Tonight will be something of a landmark in British electoral history as seven party leaders go head-to-head in a live televised debate.

We've gathered up the must-have info on the contest that could prove to be a gaffe-strewn game changer or electoral bore-athon with all the excitement of a joint press conference...

What time is it and how can I watch it?

The leaders' debate will air at 8:00pm tonight, live on ITV1. If you can't watch it on a TV, you can go online watch it on the ITV website.

Who's the chair and where will it be held?

ITV News anchor Julie Etchingham will be the chair of tonight's debate and will have quite a job to keep seven party leaders in order. The debate will be held in Salford, Manchester.

Who are the leaders and where will they be standing?

The podium order was chosen at random, and the leaders will appear left to right in this order:

Podium 1: Green Pary - Natalie Bennett
Podium 2: Liberal Democrats - Nick Clegg
Podium 3: Ukip - Nigel Farage
Podium 4: Labour Party - Ed Miliband
Podium 5: Plaid Cymru - Leanne Wood
Podium 6: SNP - Nicola Sturgeon
Podium 7: Conservative Party - David Cameron

What order will they speak in?

ITV has produced a table of the speaking order for opening and closing statements, as well as questions. Green Party leader Natalie Bennett will kick things off, while David Cameron has the good fortune of having the last word.

(Source: ITV)

What are the rules?

Each leader will be asked four questions which have been vetted by an ITV panel. This will be followed by an 18-minute discussion on the topic raised by the question.

What's the format?

The leaders will answer questions in front a 200-strong audience which has been carefully selected to reflect the UK's ethnic, age, gender and social make-up. The questions have been selected from the submissions of viewers and audience members. The debate will be two hours in total.

Who's tipped to win?

Anything could happen tonight, and everyone will have their own hunches about who will come out on top but the bookies have Ukip leader Nigel Farage as their favourite to win.

When will we know who's won?

At 10:00pm ComRes will release a snap poll of who viewers think won the debate. This will only be a snapshot - the view could change over time, but it will be the first indicator of who had a good night and who failed to impress. There will also be a YouGov poll that will be released after the ComRes poll.

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