STV confirms first TV leaders' debate as part of extensive Scottish Election programming

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STV has announced comprehensive coverage of The Scottish Parliament election race including a live debate featuring five Scottish party leaders and an overnight results programme hosted by political editor Bernard Ponsonby.
Marking the formal start of the 2016 Scottish Parliament election campaign, STV will host the leaders’ debate on Tuesday 29 March at 20.00. It will feature First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish Labour Party Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, co-convener of the Scottish Green Party Patrick Harvie, and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.
The debate will be chaired by Bernard Ponsonby at The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh in front of an audience comprising a representative sample of the Scottish electorate, picked in conjunction with STV’s polling partner, Ipsos MORI.
STV will also broadcast a series of one-to-one interviews throughout the campaign, where Bernard Ponsonby will put the spotlight on the party leaders.
Throughout the pre-election period, the country’s top current affairs programme Scotland Tonight will provide full coverage and analysis of the key events and issues of the campaign, in addition to up-to-the-minute news coverage on STV News at Six and in-depth commentary and analysis online on
STV’s Scottish Parliament election coverage will culminate in a comprehensive overnight results programme on Thursday 5 May, running from 22.30 to 06.00 the next morning, presented by Bernard Ponsonby and featuring coverage of all the results from the Scottish Borders to Shetland.
More than 40 of the declarations will be covered live by STV’s correspondents across the country, while Bernard is joined by expert panellists and contributors in the STV studios in Glasgow.
Friday 6 May will see full analysis of the results on a special edition of STV News at Six, followed by a special Scotland Tonight at 22.30.
STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh will be previewing the debate on Live at Five at 17.00 on 29 March and repeating it at 22.00, immediately after the STV broadcast. STV City channels will also simulcast the overnight coverage on Thursday 5 May.
All programming will be streamed live and available for catch-up on the STV Player.
Gordon Macmillan, head of news at STV, said: “For the third consecutive year, STV News will be at the heart of the story as Scotland prepares to go to the polls.  Across TV and online, we’ll report on the headlines and issues that matter to Scottish voters.”
For further information, please contact the STV press office:-  
Richard Holligan
0141 300 3416
Anna Hendry
0141 300 3830 
Notes to editors
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