Theresa May’s decision to not take part in the BBC’s seven-way TV debate did not stop Twitter searching for the missing prime minister.
Memes depicting where she might be started trending across the UK hours before the broadcast, after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced that he would take part in the programme.
They continued to prove popular online, despite attempts by conservative commentators to focus attention on the “chaotic” debate.
Labour supporters were quick to try and find her using the hashtags #WheresTheresa and #WheresMay.
The Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron responded early in the debate to the popularity of the hashtags.
“Where do you think Theresa May is?” he asked. “She might be outside your house sizing it up to pay for your social care.”
The Twitter account for the Netflix TV show House of Cards tweeted some advice from their fictional President Underwood to the prime minister.
Green Party leader Caroline Lucas was also praised for offering her advice to Theresa May.
Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood told the audience in Cambridge that Theresa May wasn’t turning up “because her campaign of sound bites was falling apart”.
UKIP leader Paul Nuttall tweeted before the programme that he was “looking forward to Theresa May making a surprise appearance in Cambridge”.
Some thought the prime minister might be hiding in the audience.
Theresa May was not the only leader who didn’t participate in the debate. Some on Twitter asked why the Scottish National Party’s leader Nicola Sturgeon wasn’t involved.
Angus Robertson, the deputy leader of the party, took part in the programme because he is the leader of the SNP in Westminster.
Missing May ‘strong leader’
The Conservative Party was quick to push back against suggestions that Theresa May was a weaker leader because she hadn’t taken part in the debate.
On Twitter the party promoted clips from the debate which showed several party leaders shouting over each other, something also focused on by Tory ministers.
The tendency for the politicians to shout over each other also caused frustration on social media.
Compiled by the BBC’s UGC and Social Media team.
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