May sets out her stall

Laura Kuenssberg
Political editor
@bbclaurakon Twitter

image source, AFP/Getty

At the moment (although we know Theresa May is very capable of changing her mind) there won't be head to head TV clashes between the PM and Jeremy Corbyn - or the PM and Nicola Sturgeon, or the PM with anyone else for that matter.

One, the Tory leader is no fan of the glitz of the TV studio. That's one reason why Number 10 is adamant that she will not take part in TV debates. But two - it's not just down to her very different style, but also, as David Cameron learnt very quickly, front runners in any campaign have everything to lose in those debates, and the underdogs have everything to gain.

Downing Street knows they will take a certain amount of flak for the decision not to play ball, and the opposition parties are of course relishing every opportunity to say that the PM is too frightened to defend her record.

But right now Mrs May's allies are willing to wear it, rather than broker the risk of taking part, even if the broadcasters go ahead with the programmes without her.

What will you hear a lot of from the Tory leader? Well if her very first campaign visit is anything to go by, David Cameron and George Osborne's "long-term economic plan" mantra will be replaced by the phrase "strong and stable".

On the stump you'd be forgiven for losing count of the number of times she used the phrase. One totting-up puts it at 13 mentions.

Brexit has undoubtedly set the backdrop for this election, and provided the catalyst for its timing. But the Conservatives plan to win to deliver their version of Brexit by again and again comparing what they claim is the "strong and stable" leadership provided by the sitting prime minister, and the alternative put forward by Jeremy Corbyn.

Tomorrow he'll make his first big election speech, his first big chance to recast that argument.

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