OFCOM: SCOTTISH GREENS EXPRESS CONCERN AT UNEQUAL COVERAGE
The Scottish Greens today (7 Jan) reacted with concern that Ofcom, which regulates commercial broadcasters such as STV, is proposing guidance which would deny the party equal coverage in the forthcoming Holyrood election.
The Scottish Greens, who are projected to have 9 MSPs in May, launched an online petition at the weekend in light of similar proposals by the BBC. So far over 5,000 people have signed the petition.
Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone said:
"Five parties have been in the Scottish Parliament since the start and we're one of them. We're on course to play a greater role in the next parliament, so the public deserve to hear from us whether via the BBC or STV.
"We're grateful for the support we've had from the public since the BBC’s proposals became known on Sunday. It’s a concern that the commercial regulator has similarly failed to take into account our strong polling, surging membership and the high approval ratings for Patrick Harvie. We will of course make formal submissions to both, and would encourage others to do so, as the case for equal treatment is extremely strong. We look forward to revised guidance being produced."
-The Scottish Greens polled 8 per cent on average in 2015, nearly double the 4.4 per cent achieved in 2011 and well ahead of Lib Dems' average of 5.7 per cent. Greens have consistently outpolled Lib Dems for over two years.
-All indications are that there will be a record number of Green MSPs elected in May, with the average projection for 2015 being 9 seats (using the Scotland Votes calculator from Weber Shandwick). This is again comfortably ahead of the Liberal Democrats.
-Only five parties have won continuous representation in the Scottish Parliament - the five currently represented - including the Scottish Greens.
-Ipsos-Mori regularly poll on the approval ratings of Holyrood party leaders, including Patrick Harvie, who is shown to be by far the most popular opposition leader, well ahead of Willie Rennie, Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale.
-The Scottish Greens have over 9,000 members across the country. Most recent figures for the Lib Dems suggest 2,800.
Ofcom says its proposals are relevant to party election broadcasts ("PEBs") and broadcasters' own editorial coverage, e.g. news and current affairs programming
Scottish Greens' online petition urging BBC to rethink its proposed guidance