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November 20, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:36am

ITV debate between Johnson and Corbyn peaks at 7.3m viewers with record audience share

By Freddy Mayhew

The ITV debate between Conservative leader Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn peaked at 7.3m viewers last night.

Johnson v Corbyn: The ITV Debate took the highest audience share of any major political debate on a UK channel since the first one aired in 2010, which was also on ITV, the broadcaster has said.

The hour-long head-to-head, which was moderated by news presenter Julie Etchingham, drew an average audience of 6.7m and a 32.3 per cent share for the 8pm to 9pm slot.

It had a 40 per cent share of 16 to 34-year-olds, peaking at 1.1m, ITV said.

ITV News also streamed the debate live on Youtube where it has had some 322,500 views and 3,200 likes so far. It is also the top trending item on the video sharing website.

The day before the debate aired, the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party lost a legal challenge to force the broadcaster to include their respective party leaders, arguing not to would breach impartiality rules.

The Conservative Party has faced criticism following the debate, which took place in Salford, Greater Manchester, after its official press office Twitter account @cchqpress was rebranded to appear as a fact-checking service.

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The ITV event was the first big televised debate of the general election campaign ahead of a snap vote on 12 December.

On Friday, Fiona Bruce will host a two-hour Question Time Leaders’ Special on BBC One which will feature Johnson, Corbyn, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon taking questions from an audience.

Picture: ITV

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