Scottish election 2021: STV leaders' debate RECAP

Follow along here for Tuesday night’s leaders debate.

With just weeks before the Scottish Parliament elections, the leaders of the major parties take to the stage to debate each other on the big issues.

The debate will be aired on STV at 7.30pm.

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The five leaders of Scotland’s main political parties – (L-R) Patrick Harvie (co-leader of the Scottish Green Party), Willie Rennie (Scottish Liberal Democrats), Douglas Ross (Scottish Conservatives), Anas Sarwar (Scottish Labour) and Nicola Sturgeon (Scottish National Party). Picture: STV/Kirsty Anderson

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Scottish Elections 2021: Leaders Debate LIVE

Key Events

  • Follow here for updates through Tuesday night’s leadership debate.
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Scottish election 2021: More than one million people register to vote by post

A record number of people have applied to vote by post in the Scottish Parliament elections.


The five party leaders are in attendance: Nicola Sturgeon, Anas Sarwar, Douglas Ross, Patrick Harvie and Willie Rennie.

Douglas Ross’s opening statement starts with mentioning the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh and ends with asking people to help prevent the SNP and Indy Ref 2.

Anas Sarwar: “We can’t go back to the old arguments” - discusses building Scotland’s economy together.

Patrick Harvie: “This election is like no other” - focuses on the climate crisis and the need for action.

Nicola Sturgeon: Claims the SNP is the only party that has experienced and strong leadership. Focuses on rebuilding economy and social issues.

Willie Rennie: Starts with saying that now is not the moment for an independence referendum - put recovery first.

First question is on independence:

NS: After the crisis - not during - people should have the right to choose. More unifying for people to come together to discuss the future. “I’m the only one saying I want to be in government”. When the time is right - do we want to shape our own future.

DR: This is a big issue for the whole of Scotland. Focus should not be on independence - should be on the economy. SNP want to ‘take us back’ to the old decisions on the path.

AS: In a pandemic election. Other polls show that people want focus on the aftermath of Covid and recovery. Don’t go back to “old arguments”.

PH: We believe there should be a referendum in the next session. We should be able to agree on the democratic principle. Unable to raise standards on poverty pay and furlough due to Westminster during Covid.

PH and NS say Greens and SNP have not conferred on their manifesto’s.

NS: When the pandemic hit, SNP shelved independence, Conservatives powered on with Brexit.

DR: What was reckless was introducing an indy bill.

WR: Boris Johnson was reckless to pursue Brexit. Equally reckless to pursue indy. We need to work together for recovery. Indy too divisive at the moment.

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