Sporting Index predict nearly nine million viewers to tune into the debate on ITV, slightly down on the 2010 debate figures.
Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: “The campaigning has finally started in earnest and it’s clear that debates, in whatever format, will be a crucial factor for many voters when it comes to marking ballot cards on 7 May.
“With time for each candidate to speak limited by the size of the group, viewers will likely only remember short soundbites. Nigel Farage will certainly come prepared with barbs to needle Cameron and Miliband with and we see him coming top in post-debate snap polling. However, whether his performance will translate into seats come 8 May remains to be seen.”