The Oxford Forum

The Oxford Forum is a student run organisation which encourages discourse and debate within Oxford, allowing students to engage with a diverse range of issues.

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The Oxford Forum's Election Debate

  • Blue Boar Lecture Theatre Christ Church Oxford UK (map)

Hosted with OUCA, OULC, OULD, university students representing UKIP, and a city councillor representing the Greens

As the final format of the television debates was fixed as a seven-way contest between the main national and regional party leaders, the Forum is in turn going to host its own multi-party debate involving representatives from the main Oxford-based political societies to represent the views of their parties and those of their Oxford-based members. Joining the debate will be Oxford University Conservative Association, Oxford University Labour Club, Oxford University Liberal Democrats, university students representing UKIP, and a city councillor representing the Greens.

Before the debate, audience members will be asked to vote for their preferred party; this will be repeated after the debate in order to gauge how the night has changed peoples’ opinions as well as comparing the audience’s political stance to that of the general public.

The debate will run for two hours and will be divided into four main topics of relevance to the election: the economy, welfare, health and social services and finally the changing British political dynamic. Each of these will run for roughly fifteen minutes and at the end of the night each spokesperson will have the opportunity to provide a thirty second closing speech to summarise their party’s line. Speakers will be seated facing the audience in alphabetical order.

Each section of the debate will begin with a thirty second opening statement from each representative. The order in which these statements are made will be decided by lot. After these opening statements, the Chair will invite responses from other representatives for ten minutes of debate. This format will be repeated for each of the four topics to be discussed.

At the end of the debate, the Chair will ask for questions from the audience. These questions will be addressed to a particular speaker and each speaker will receive one question each. Their responses will be limited to thirty seconds. If there are no audience questions for a given speaker, then the Chair will put one to them himself. After the five-six minute audience participation round, speakers will be invited to make thirty second closing statements. 

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