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BBC election debate: Leading figures from seven parties prepare to face each other – BBC News

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Image caption: This is where leading figures from seven parties will face each shortly

Good evening from the BBC debate spin room – or as it’s usually called, the staff cafe – where the build-up to tonight’s main event is well under way.

Tonight, this room will be full of party officials and journalists watching the debate between representatives from the seven main parties who want your vote in less than four weeks from now.

We’re still two and a half hours from kick-off but people are already starting to arrive, cameramen are poised outside for the big arrivals and last-minute finishing touches are being applied to the tea and coffee table.

The two men most likely to be prime minister on 5 July aren’t taking part this evening, but two leading figures from their party are. For the five other political parties taking part it’s a chance to get their message across to the country.

My colleague Malu Cursino and I will be in the spin room throughout the night trying to shine a light on what goes on behind the scenes at these big events.

And if you’re thinking “what on Earth is a spin room”, this is the side-room where party functionaries and reporters gather to watch the debate and then haggle over how they think the story of the night should be told (think backstage at the Brits for the type of people who always watch Question Time).

Stay tuned and we’ll be trying to help you make sense of another big night in this dramatic election campaign.

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