After former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, Labour frontbencher Barry Gardiner and SNP Commons leader Angus Robertson launched a stunning attack on the Prime Minister’s absence from the debate, members of the Barnet audience defended Mrs May and said the criticism was undeserved.
One woman said: “The problem is it is now just a debacle, talking about why she wasn’t there – we’re not talking about politics anymore.
Theresa May's decision not to attend a BBC election debate has been defended on Question Time
“Yesterday it was just an embarrassment to watch politicians talk as they did because it wasn’t so much a debate, it was how you can put each other down and shout over each other.
“It’s just not helpful."
Another woman quickly added: “I want to see a woman of substance running this country.
The TV election debate – in pictures Wed, May 31, 2017
The televised debate saw Jeremy Corbyn, Amber Rudd, Paul Nuttall, Caroline Lucas, Angus Robertson, Tim Farron and Leanne Wood go toe-to-toe
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The politicians taking part in the debate
“I don’t want to see a soap-star and how many brownie points they can score.”
“I thought [Theresa May] didn’t make that much of a difference.”
Both comments received big applause from other audience members, but that didn’t stop Ukip deputy chair Suzanne Evans launching a fresh tirade of abuse towards the Prime Minister.
She said the “strong and stable” mantra used by Mrs May had become “weak and wobbly”, and suggested that the Prime Minister has started to “fall apart”.
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Lib Dem leader Tim Faaron and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were both present at the debate
Brexit Secretary David Davis jumped to defend the Conservative leader, saying that she had shown “formidable” debating skills in her short tenure as Prime Minister and that she certainly was not afraid of her political opponents.
He continued: She’s done about 5,500 miles around the country, 59 meetings, four times as many questions from journalists as Mr Corbyn has faced – so it’s hardly walking away from that.”
The audience member said the politicians' debate conduct was 'unhelpful'
During the 90-minute programme on Wednesday evening, party leaders accused Mrs May of lacking “guts” and “running away from the debate”.
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron launched a string of attacks on Mrs May during Wednesday’s debate, saying: "Where do you think Theresa May is tonight?
"Take a look out your window. She might be out there sizing up your house to pay for your social care."
This week's Question Time is the last before the election
Meanwhile, Green party co-leader Caroline Lucas said the "first rule of leadership is to show up".
She added: “You don't say it's the most important election of our lifetime and not be bothered to show up."
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood added that Mrs May was absent because "her campaign of soundbites is falling apart".