From landslide to upset defeat - scenarios for May's UK election

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British Prime Minister Theresa May has defended her absence from Wednesday evening's TV General Election debate after opting to take questions up and round the country.

Amber Rudd stepped in instead of the Prime Minister in tonight's debate, as she said she was focusing on Brexit.

"There's a very clear choice at this election, there's a very clear difference between myself and Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party", she said in the southwestern port city of Plymouth in an interview with Sky News television.

"It's very odd that you have an election campaign where [the Labour party] go out and talk to people all the time and the Prime Minister seems to have difficulty in meeting anyone or having a debate", said Corbyn. That isn't a debate, that's me questioning her.

Looking back at Mr Corbyn's performance when questioned by Jeremy Paxman and a studio audience, Mrs May said: "He is not prepared to use the nuclear deterrent".

UPDATE: the BBC are now reporting that Jeremy Corbyn will be taking part in the televised debate.

"Our democracy deserves proper debate between party leaders, not just setpiece speeches and one-to-one interviews and Q&As".

Mrs May said she would be ready "from day one" to work on a new "deep and special relationship" with the European Union, a contrast to Mr Corbyn, who she said had "no plan for Brexit".

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A seven-way debate does not always yield a clear victor, but barring any gaffes - Mr Corbyn has calculated that the only way is up.

One user, Helen Robinson said: "Yeah, it's a good move for JC".

Another, Mandy Robinson, replied to say she had cancelled plans to attend. "I made a sign and everything".

"I think what is important for the voters to understand is that if we don't invest in our children, and we don't invest in them for the future then they do less well in primary school, less well in secondary school, and less well in the future", he said.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, UKIP's Paul Nuttall, SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson, Green co-leader Caroline Lucas and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood are all due to participate in the BBC debate this evening.

A Conservative party spokesman insisted that May would not appear tonight saying she was "engaging with voters about issues that matter not swapping soundbites with six other politicians".

'FX investors might not exactly embrace various aspects of the Labour party's domestic policy agenda (the renationalisation of certain sectors, a large fiscal expansion), but they could potentially live with these as the price of a less disruptive Brexit under a government that was more willing to preserve the status quo on free movement of labour and trade, ' he added. "I want to ensure we are controlling migration because too high uncontrolled migration puts pressure on our public services but it also lowers wages at the lower end of the income scale".

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