Election 2017

The social media search for the missing prime minister

Social media searches for missing Theresa May. Image copyright Twitter: Lee James Brown

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.

Image copyright Twitter: Mike Power

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."

Labour student Christopher Knott and his friend Christian Calgie, a Conservative supporter, decided to check that she wasn't on their doorstep.

Image copyright Christopher Knott

The Twitter account for the Netflix TV show House of Cards tweeted some advice from their fictional President Underwood to the prime minister.

Image copyright House of Cards

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas was also praised for offering her advice to Theresa May.

Image copyright Twitter: Caroline Criado Perez

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.

Image copyright Twitter: @Superfind
Image caption Some thought she maybe hiding amongst the audience in Cambridge

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.

Image copyright The Conservative Party
Image caption Conservative ministers shared this image of the opposition leaders

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.

Image copyright Twitter: Boris Johnson

The tendency for the politicians to shout over each other also caused frustration on social media.

Image copyright Twitter: Adam Jhugroo
Image copyright Twitter: @BathSUPresident
Image caption The president of the University of Bath Student's Union thought the speakers sounded like children.

Compiled by the BBC's UGC and Social Media team.