On the night of 7th May, Bernard Ponsonby will be joined in the studio by the leading psephologist Dr Rob Johns and a panel of senior politicians. STV journalists will be reporting from count centres across Scotland, from Lerwick to Dumfries. Working with ITN, STV will also bring viewers all the key developments from across the UK. The overnight programme will begin at 2155 and as polls close at 2200 STV will have the results of a UK wide exit poll, commissioned by ITV, BBC and Sky.
On Friday 8th May, STV will deliver an hour long STV News at Six presented by John MacKay and Bernard Ponsonby live from Westminster.
The election coverage on STV includes the first Scottish TV debate in front of a live studio audience on Tuesday 7th April. Scotland Debates will feature leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon; leader of the Scottish Labour Party Jim Murphy; Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson; and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie. The debate will be chaired by STV’s political editor, Bernard Ponsonby, and broadcast live from The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh between 2000 and 2200.
Scotland Debates will be repeated on city TV channels STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh.
Popular week night current affairs show, Scotland Tonight will continue to bring viewers comprehensive coverage and analysis of the campaign, including six extended editions of Scotland Tonight with Bernard Ponsonby interviewing the Scottish party leaders.
STV’s election coverage will be supported with extensive online features and articles. All programming will be streamed live and available for catch-up on the STV Player.
On April 2nd at 2000, STV will broadcast the first UK debate of the 2015 General Election campaign. The ITV Leaders’ Debate will be hosted and moderated by Julie Etchingham. The programme will feature seven party leaders – Conservative leader David Cameron, Labour leader Ed Miliband, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, UKIP leader Nigel Farage, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Green party leader Natalie Bennett, and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood.
STV will also broadcast a series of Tonight specials that will put the spotlight on the political figures who are the key players in the General Election 2015.
The programmes, produced by ITV News, will paint intimate portraits of the party leaders in the run up to the election.
The first programme on Thursday 9th April, features the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party. The programme will be presented by Tom Bradby who spends time in Downing Street and at home with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and his family, and examines his journey to the heart of government.
In the Tonight Special focusing on the leader of the Conservative Party on Friday 10th April, Bradby spends time at Number 10 with David and Samantha Cameron, and follows the Prime Minister on the road asking him, in a series of personal interviews, how five years of power have changed him.
A Tonight Special on the leader of the Labour Party will see Tom Bradby brunching at home with the Milibands, and spending time with Ed Miliband at work, examining the man who could be the next Prime Minister.
Nicola Sturgeon will be the subject of a fourth Tonight special. Produced by STV News, Debi Edward speaks to the leader of the SNP.
Nigel Farage, Leanne Wood and Natalie Bennett feature in a fifth programme about their role in post-election Britain and what drives each of these leaders.
Gordon Macmillan, STV’s head of news, said: “STV’s extensive coverage ahead of the General Election will bring our consumers up-to-date news and analysis from across Scotland on air and online.
“The comprehensive coverage will include the first televised Scottish leaders’ debate on 7th April and a live overnight programme with the latest results from all the constituency counts in Scotland.
“With Scotland tipped to play a key role in the forthcoming General Election, we will keep viewers informed at every stage of the campaign.”
STV content will be available to ITV Border Scotland for transmission within their broadcast area.