STV Debate Unionist Fit-Up 69

It feels its like the referendum all over again. The STV debate had a very peculiar audience, where the Labour and Tory all join together warmly to applaud unionist points, and Jim Murphy got an enthusiastic round of applause before he even started speaking.

I wondered how on earth they got an audience so completely unrepresentative of Scottish opinion, and the answer was not hard to find. The audience has been selected “based both on current opinion polls and the last general election result.”

Not the Holyrood election, not the referendum, but an election five years ago where about 75% of the electorate voted for the Unionist parties, and where the Labour Party was polling twice as well as it is now. On top of which, STV do not reveal what relative weighting they have given to the last general election and to recent opinion polls. It certainly looks like the greatest weight was placed on the last election result.

So we have a stitch-up where Nicola is responding to an audience completely unrepresentative of Scottish opinion today, and where unionism, Labour and the Lib Dems are all vastly over-represented. Do not think this is accidental.

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69 thoughts on “STV Debate Unionist Fit-Up

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  • Clydebuilt

    Craig …. Tonight’s debate is followed by the BBC debate tomorrow night……. Seems to me the plan is to exhaust Nicola. …. Why didn’t the SNP refuse tonight’s debate unless Patrick Harvie took part. ?Yes the audience sucks….not surprised the STV debate during the referendum had a similarly biased audience. Also recall Oor Bernard giving Alex Salmond a particularly hard interview near the vote in September.
    There doesn’t appear to be a single SNP person in the audience

  • Republicofscotland

    Yes Craig, I was just thinking that, I first realised it was fit up, when the Green Parties,Patrick Harvey was denied a voice in the debate,yet nationwide the Greens had a representative,debating with the PM.

    Bernard Ponsonby now beginning to give Jim Murphy a open platform.

    It tedious to watch the usual three London ruled leader’s gang up on the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon.

  • louise

    You are spot on – tried to get on the aberdeen one – no joy but said I was an snp member – my mate got on and she’d applied later. (She’s a green.) My mum just texted to say the audience is not representative. She’s 75 and it’s as clear as mud to her and I never even asked her! And it’s damn ridiculous that they don’t have Patrick Harvie on – the Greens are polling higher than the libdems!!!! Plus the Greensa are ace.

    Keep up your good work, Craig. We need people like you! Thank you.

  • Kempe

    Well I’m sure you’d all prefer Ms Sturgeon to be faced with an audience entirely made up of nationalists but that wouldn’t make “good television” would it?

  • Republicofscotland

    Nicola Sturgeon received the loudest cheer, during the summing up section, of the debate,which is encouraging.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well I’m sure you’d all prefer Ms Sturgeon to be faced with an audience entirely made up of nationalists but that wouldn’t make “good television” would it?

    I suppose,it would’ve made a change,if the Greens had been invited,along with the three unionist parties,controlled from London,who constantly gang up on the SNP.

  • Republicofscotland


    Randy Andy aka Prince Andrew,cleared of sex scandal by US judge.

    Anyone surprised? Me neither,mud doesn’t stick to the Royals.

  • MBC

    I think it’s shocking that the Greens weren’t allowed on. The SNP should have done more to challenge that. It would have meant at least one other non-Unionist pro-indy party in the line up plus their supporters.

  • ronnie anderson

    Its easy to spot a plant Nicola,s 1st questioner 5 pains taking minutes. one question.

  • Clive Watkins

    You seem to be mistaking Scottish opinion with SNP opinion. Same thing happened with the referendum when the SNP were amazed to see that majority of Scots didn’t actually agree with them. Making a lot of noise doesn’t equate to representing the majority.

  • Jamie

    Conspiracy! Conspiracy everywhere I tell you!

    If Sturgeon can’t stand up to a bit of tough questioning from UK citizens in a debate on the general election, then maybe she should go and work on the tills at Asda.

    Yes, she got the loudest cheer (hang on, I thought the crowd was stacked against her….) – but during summing up, proving she has lots of rhetoric but little debate. Note she also got laughed at twice.

  • Donald Urquhart

    Every opinion poll in Scotland has shown, for years, that the majority do not support Trident. Yet here we have a “representative” audience, the vast majority of whom applauded the replacement of Trident argument.

    Strange that!

  • MBC

    My biggest complaint quite honestly was that it was so darn dull. But that’s what Unionists are, I’m afraid, a pile of dusty cliches, shells of former parties. Totally without passion, direction, substance. End it.

  • Sean Gill

    The whole audience appeared selected to support the repeated ethos of ‘too poor, too poor, too stupid’. Where were the people enlightened, inspired, educated, and given articulate voice through the referendum debate – sadly they appeared to be absent from tonight’s debate.

  • Peter rankine

    The audience were not totally realistic of today’s voting public. They looked as though they had been hand picked. Why did the first person have so much time to continue with one question to Nicola.I would say Parsonby was very impartial towards her and more on Murphy’s side.
    What can you expect though.
    Hope everyone sees through Murphy and his cohorts.
    The only party interested in Scotland interests is SNP
    Hope they have a clean sweep at the election.

  • Patrick Roden

    @ Clive Watkins,

    Eh? This is a general election Clive, so can you tell me what other debate in these elections, will have the same audience selection criteria as this?


    The SNP currently poll at around 45% so there should have been a far larger representation of current Scottish opinion than we saw tonight.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Nice posts from Clive Watkins and Jamie (above) which, between them, seem to sum up the situation on the thread and in the real world rather well.

    It is always good to see sanity break out.

  • ScottishLass

    I spotted two familiar faces in the audience who were on the unionist side in the referendum debates…out of the thousands who probably applied to be a member of the audience…what were the chances of these two being picked again?

  • Jim Caddis

    Have to say the whole set-up was rank, it sounded like a Tenants Association AGM where a load of aggrieved tenants turn up with personal issues. The constant interruptions from Murphy was a sure sign of weakness. And I would like to see the audience selection questionnaire, many seemed like plants, the fact the main questions were decided in advance of the programme going live suggests a committee at work here.

  • patrick rolink

    Jim Murphy was very dishonest in his assertion that he had not supported £30 billion of cuts. No one question Ruthless on where the £12 billion of welfare cuts would come from and Bernard failed to nail Murphy on his failure to answer the question on revenue levels raised due to 50p tax rate changes!

  • Robert Peffers

    100% correct Craig and immediately confirmed by the following ITV News. Cannot remember their wording but it was more or less said the debate was designed as a Nicola vs The Unionist debate. I don’t watch TV except at my friends house.

    He sets his recorder to let me check facts after we watch a programme but he had not included the ITV news in the recording so I cannot give a transcript. It was, though admitted as quite plainly meant as a Them, (Unionist) Vs Nicola showe.

  • William Cruikshank

    after watching this, it reminded me of the Independent vote, rigged audience and geared towards the unionist vote

    How are going to secure that our votes on 7th May, will be honoured. The same counters will probably be used. And our secret unionist will be out in force again, cheating us again.

  • INDY

    Easy answer is- those people have been sitting there patiently since last September, certainly sounded like it.

    Lots of empty seats-why?

    Someone tweeted all white audience in multi-cultural Scotland. Can anyone confer this?

  • lysias

    Somebody should independently fund exit polls. If nobody else does it, the SNP should (although hiring an independent, reputable polling outfit, so that the polls can’t be accused of bias).

  • INDY

    Did anyone make a list of all Jim’s many promises. I’m pretty sure he said I was to get a new fridge/freezer.

    Some of them really sounded desperate. The real threat of losing their seats panicking them.

  • Elaine

    I think you seem to think that only 55% is a majority Clive Watkins….now if it were 70% v 30% I’d see why you were banging on about a majority and while 45%+( a lot of No voters are now Yes) of us live in Scotland we still have a big say….capiche!

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