Thu 12 Mar, 2015

 

Scottish Greens say plans by STV to exclude them from its Westminster election debate are out of step with a public appetite to hear the full range of voices.

STV's decision is also out of step with the UK broadcasters who have invited the Greens to 2 of their 3 proposed debates.

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Scottish Greens have been in discussion with BBC Scotland and STV and will continue to make the case for inclusion in debates.

There is a range of evidence showing that coverage and debate including the Liberal Democrats but not including the Greens would be unreasonable. A recent TNS Scottish poll had the Greens on 6 per cent and the Libdems on 4. YouGov’s Scottish poll from October had Greens and Libdems both on 4 per cent, figures replicate by Ipsos Mori in January.

The Scottish Greens have 2 MSPs with a further 2 joining the party during 2014. In the European election the Scottish Greens secured 8.1 per cent of the vote, ahead of the Libdems’ 7.1.

Since September membership of the Scottish Greens has surged to over 8,500 – close to the Scottish Conservatives’ published membership of 11,000 and that of Scottish Labour (understood to be between 8,000 and 13,500) and far outstripping the Scottish Libdems whose most recent published figures suggest a membership of 2,831.

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said:

"During the referendum campaign the Scottish Greens played a prominent role, appearing regularly in televised debates and discussions, perhaps most notably at the STV debate at the Assembly Rooms. In the context of a post-referendum election, with a politically-engaged electorate and a decline in support for two or three parties, it is clear that a broadcaster not reflecting a broader range of voices will not meet the expectations of its audience.

"I know our many members will be disappointed, and our wider support will be calling for STV to rethink their unfair approach. We have the option of consulting lawyers about a challenge."

 

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