Nicola Sturgeon clashes with Anas Sarwar in heated debate
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Scottish party leaders took part in another televised debate which aired on Channel 4, on April 27. Political commentators claimed the debate showed the worst of Scottish politics with party leaders showing an obsession with the constitution and resorting to repetitive attacks.
Scottish voters will head to the polls on May 6 to elect 129 Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) across 73 constituencies.
The five main party leaders vying for votes went head to head on Tuesday, just nine days from election day.
The politicians clashed over a host of issues ranging from independence to the country’s planned recovery from Covid.
Nicola Sturgeon went up against Conservative leader Douglas Ross, Labour Party’s Anas Sarwar, Liberal Democrat Willie Rennie and Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie on Tuesday.
A poll published on Express.co.uk asked readers which political leader they felt won the Scottish election debate on April 27.
The poll saw readers crown Douglas Ross the winner of the debate, with a total of 69 percent or 1,781 people believed he maintained the strongest performance.
A total of 261 people said they did not know who had won the debate, equating to 11 percent.
Overall, 259 believed Nicola Sturgeon was the next strongest performer, also equating to 11 percent.
The Labour Party candidate won seven percent of the vote, with 198 people backing his performance.
The Liberal Democrats candidate won just two percent of the vote compared to zero percent who supported the Greens co-leader.
This worked out as 73 and 19 people respectively backing Mr Rennie and Mr Harvie.
A total of 2,591 people responded to the question: “Who won tonight’s Scottish Election debate?”
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The poll prompted fiery debate among Express.co.uk readers and on social media.
One person wrote: “How this woman has managed to con the electorate of Scotland for the best part of 14 years I will never know. She wouldn’t have lasted 14 days working for a private firm that’s for sure”.
Another reader was disenchanted by all of the political leaders, writing: “Labour saying Tories are the biggest threat to the UK, not Labour who have proved time and time again to be the worst political party in the last 100 years, followed closely by SNP.”
On social media, the outcome was much more split.
One Twitter user wrote: “Hope everyone enjoyed the shoutiest man contest. Ross won that. #NextLeaderOfScotland”.
Another commented: “I’m gonna call this one now – Sturgeon has won this debate by a country mile. #NextLeaderOfScotland #C4News”.
One person added: “Ross was poor and shouting down. Anas was bland and too scripted. Winner tonight by a mile was Nicola Sturgeon. Willie was non-effective. Patrick spoke well when he got asked anything. #NextLeaderOfScotland”.
What happened in last night’s debate?
Mr Ross was probed about the recent backlash fired at Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has faced allegations he said he would rather see bodies “pile high” than institute a second lockdown last autumn.
He responded by saying he did not believe the PM had said the controversial comment.
The Scottish First Minister attacked the Conservative candidate saying there is a stench of sleaze with the Tory Government.
Mr Ross responded by saying Ms Sturgeon was found “guilty” by MSPs in parliament.
In terms of independence, the Scottish Liberal Democrats leader said the independence argument is depressing to discuss amid the ongoing Covid pandemic.
He said the country wants to focus on the major issues surrounding coronavirus rather than independence.
Patrick Harvie said Scottish people had no faith in Westminster and the country needs to be independent.
Mr Sarwar supported Mr Rennie’s stance, saying he would like the country to unite to deal with the pandemic and he wants to avoid a divided nation.
He said: “Do we really want the next parliament to be an extension of this argument, frankly of this circus?”
This response prompted Mr Harvie to ask Mr Sarwar if he wanted a second vote on the constitution.
Ms Sturgeon said she wants to focus on the recovery from the pandemic, but would like a second vote once the recovery is over.
She added an independent Scotland in the EU would “open up free trade again across 27 other countries”.
Mr Ross attacked the Scottish First Minister and said the country should not have another referendum on the constitution.
He said the union of the UK is voluntary, claiming it is the most “powerful and successful economic and political union that the world has ever seen.”
The Labour leader called Mr Johnson the “biggest threat” to the UK.
He said: “The biggest threat to the United Kingdom is Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party.
“You can choose something different, we can actually make a change and choose to focus on what unites us as a country, not what divides us, recognising that we have come through a crisis together.
“Do we really want to come through this crisis and go back to politicians arguing with each other, arguing in their own interest, not the public interest?”
The Greens co-leader said: “I think there’s a rock bottom level of confidence in the Westminster Government in Scotland.
“The election that we have right now is about giving people in Scotland the option to choose between two possible paths for our country, one as a small independent country trying to get back into Europe, or the other is a part of Boris Johnson’s Brexit Britain.”
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