Scottish election 2021: Broadcasters pledge extensive coverage as counts run over two days

BBC and STV are to extend their political coverage across the weekend as the result of the Scottish Parliament election will not be officially known for two days after polling stations close.

Covid restrictions have halted the traditional through-the-night counting of votes and instead counts have been scheduled to begin from 9am across Scotland on both Friday and Saturday.

As a result, broadcasters have said they will screen more coverage than ever before to keep viewers up to date with the results as they are released.

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TV bosses are extending political shows over three days.

BBC Scotland said its coverage will feature news from counts across the country as well as interviews and analysis from the Glasgow studio in more than 20 hours of rolling news programming on TV and radio.

Election 2021 Scotland, presented by Rebecca Curran, will air on Friday from noon until 8pm on BBC One Scotland, with the show including analysis and live reports from Holyrood as well as the use of state-of-the-art graphics to explain the impact of the results.

BBC Radio Scotland will simulcast the election programme from lunchtime on Friday as well as broadcasting election news programmes throughout the day.

On Saturday the show will return from noon to 7:15pm with Martin Geissler in the presenter’s chair.

He and Fiona Stalker will also present The Sunday Show the following day, broadcasting for one hour on BBC One Scotland from 10:15am and continuing until noon on BBC Radio Scotland.

Meanwhile, for the Gaelic audience, the BBC Naidheachdan team will be live from Inverness with an hour-long special of An Taghadh on BBC ALBA from 7pm on Friday with BBC Radio nan Gaidheal covering results through the day on Friday and Saturday.

Over on STV the channel’s Election Special, presented by John MacKay and Rona Dougall, will air for three hours from 4pm and then from 8pm for 30 minutes on Friday, bringing key declarations as they happen live on air.

An additional Election Special will also air on Saturday from 4:30pm, covering that day’s results..

Gary Smith, BBC Scotland’s head of news and current affairs, said: “This broad range of coverage over three days will provide audiences with the latest news as the story develops and in-depth analysis of how the results are likely to shape the policies of the new Parliament.”

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