Nicola Sturgeon and Douglas Ross clash in election debate
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On Tuesday, May 6, elections will be held in Scotland to elect the 129 MSPs which make up the Scottish Parliament. A political party will need a majority of 65, which at the moment First Minister Nicola Sturgeon does not have. The SNP leader is head of a minority government, with the SNP only securing 63 seats in the 2016 election.
The election campaign is well underway, with Scottish party leaders taking part in a TV debate on Tuesday night.
Debate attendees included Nicola Sturgeon (SNP), Douglas Ross (Scottish Conservatives), Anas Sarwar (Scottish Labour), Lorna Slater (Scottish Greens), Willie Rennie (Scottish Liberal Democrats).
Each of the parties taking part in the TV debate previously won seats in Holyrood in the 2016 election.
However, the 2021 election will be particularly interesting due to the emergence of smaller parties on the political scene.
The election campaign has been rocked in recent days by the announcement that former Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, has launched a new political party.
Last Friday, Mr Salmond launched the Alba Party, a pro-Scottish independence party.
Former MP George Galloway has also launched Alliance for Unity (now known as All for Unity), which opposes Scottish independence.
Over the coming weeks, many will be watching to see how smaller and new parties fare in the election polls.
How are Scottish parties faring in the polls?
According to the FT, opinion polls for the 73 Scottish constituencies show the SNP and Conservatives “narrowly ahead of their results at the last election in 2016”.
According to FT research updated on March 26, 2021, the SNP lead with 49 percent.
The SNP are followed by the Scottish Conservatives (22 percent), Scottish Labour (19 percent), the Scottish Lib Dems (seven percent) and the Scottish Greens (two percent).
As for the Scottish parliament regional list voting intention, the SNP leads with 42 percent in opinion polls, according to the FT.
The SNP are followed by the Conservatives (22 percent), Labour (18 percent), the Greens (nine percent) and the Lib Dems (six percent).
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The SNP is polled to win a majority in the Holyrood elections, according to a joint project for Express.co.uk by online pollster Find Out Now and political consultancy firm Electoral Calculus.
The survey results were combined and weighted to be demographically representative of the whole country.
Electoral Calculus found the SNP would win 71 seats in the Scottish parliament in a survey of 1,022 people aged 16 and over from March 23 to March 26.
The Scottish Conservatives were projected to win 24 seats while Scottish Labour would get 19, based on the survey results.
The data shows the Greens could get 11 seats and the Liberal Democrats could get four seats.
Who won the TV debate?
To have your say on who won Tuesday’s TV debate, you can vote HERE.
Social media was divided on the debate’s winner after it concluded on Tuesday night.
One person tweeted: “Have to say I was impressed by @lornagreens. The list vote looks very tempting…”
Another Twitter user said: “Sarwar answering really well on #ClimateCrisis.
“Douglas Ross’ answer rather concerning if you’re a young person, I would suggest”.
Another person tweeted: “Douglas Ross like a stuck record on a second Scottish independence referendum.
“It’s almost like he is so obsessed with this he’s incapable of thinking of anything else. Not a good look.”
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