STV’s SNP leadership hustings on 7 March was watched by more viewers in Scotland than any of the other televised debates in the campaign, with an audience reach of 452,000 viewers across the country.

The reach for Scotland’s Next First Minister: The STV Debate was up +57% on BBC One Scotland’s Debate Night: Leadership Special, which reached 287,000 viewers on Tuesday (14 March).

STV’s 70-minute programme was hosted by the broadcaster’s Political Editor, Colin Mackay, and was the first of four televised debates between SNP leadership candidates Kate Forbes, Ash Regan and Humza Yousaf. It received an 18% audience share.

The other two debates, on Channel 4 (9 March) and Sky News (13 March), reached 162,000 and 62,000 viewers in Scotland respectively. 


Source: BARB 2023, overnights.

Reach = 3+ continuous minutes watched.

Area = STV transmission area.

Blockquote open STV’s robust and wide-ranging debate provided a valuable insight into the priorities and intentions of each candidate, and set the agenda for the remainder of the campaign. We’re pleased that our coverage, hosted by the unwavering Colin Mackay, engaged so many viewers across the country.
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Linda Grimes Douglas Head of News and Current Affairs, STV