We need to talk about the Question Time Under-30s Special, which went out live on the BBC on Monday night. Recent weeks have seen their share of Leaders’ debates, but this one was probably the most high profile, substantial coverage of electoral reform ever to be broadcast during a UK general election.

Back in October, at the last Make Votes Matter Alliance meeting before the election was called, we had a discussion about the essay question: “how can we make electoral reform a Leaders’ debate issue?” One of the ways we ended up trying to do this is by working together with over 20 other organisations to deliver Democracy Day last Thursday. Together, we called on all the parties to put forward their proposals for fixing our broken democracy.

And it seems to have worked. The Question Time special saw 20 minutes devoted solely to electoral reform, kicked off by a direct and to-the-point question from an audience member named Katrina. Seven parties had the opportunity to respond. Here’s what they said…

Robert Jenrick (for the Conservatives) said he is perfectly happy with the current system and that we’ve already had a referendum on the issue. Jon Bartley (Green Party) put the record straight (the UK has never had a referendum on PR, only on another disproportional system) before making a passionate case for fair votes and better politics.

Nigel Farage (Brexit Party) agreed, drawing attention to the 2015 result in which his party won four million votes and just a single seat in Parliament – and the corrosive effect this has on engagement with politics.

Angela Rayner (Labour) didn’t really engage with the question – talking instead about how Labour wants to tackle poverty. Sadly, this misses the crucial point; that our democracy (or lack of) itself denies people the political power they need to make our society work for everyone.

No such playing-down from Humza Yousaf (SNP), who called for a Proportional Representation at Westminster and explained how much better the system in the Scottish Parliament works – forcing parties and politicians to work together and find a compromise.

Next, Jo Swinson (Liberal Democrats) made an impassioned plea for a fair voting system: highlighting that many MPs in safe seats are essentially never properly held to account. It may sound like a geeky subject, she said, but in fact it has a massive impact on the kind of politics we end up with.

Finally, Adam Price (Plaid Cymru) made some withering criticisms of Westminster’s antiquated systems and culture, and called for a PR as part of a political system that genuinely reflects the needs and concerns of voters across the UK.

It is undoubtedly a shame that not all of the parties were represented by their Leaders: particularly Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, who have the most explaining to do when it comes to their views on electoral reform. It was a pity too, of course, that Labour and the Conservatives could not offer more in response to these young peoples’ hopeful questions.

But nonetheless, this was the first of its kind. A serious, prime time debate about the voting system right in the middle of a general election campaign – and one that made clear that young voters can see right through the broken voting system they’re inheriting. It’s moments like this that can put real democracy firmly on the agenda.

You can watch the whole Question Time Under-30s Special on BBC iPlayer.