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by Kirsteen Paterson
24 February 2023
SNP leadership race: TV debate confirmed

SNP leadership race: TV debate confirmed

All three SNP leadership contenders will go head-to-head in a live TV debate, it has been confirmed.

Ash Regan, Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf will take part in the 70-minute programme on STV.

Hosted by the broadcaster's political editor, Colin Mackay, it will be filmed live at STV's headquarters at Pacific Quay, Glasgow.

Scotland's Next First Minister: The STV Debate will see Mackay ask questions before the candidates cross-examine each other. Members of the public will also have their questions put to the candidates.

The programme will air on STV and on the online STV Player at 9pm on 7 March.

Afterwards, Scotland Tonight presenter will be joined in the studio by veteran broadcaster Bernard Ponsonby and other guests for reaction and analysis.

Linda Grimes, STV's head of news and current affairs, commented: "Scotland's next leader will be declared in just over a month, but before the voting begins it's crucial that the people of Scotland are given the opportunity to cut through the noise and hear directly from the three prospective candidates about the direction in which they intend to steer the country.

"With Colin Mackay at the helm, this in-depth and robust debate will explore the most important issues facing the country today, to help inform SNP members and the wider public ahead of what's set to be a significant moment in Scotland's history."

The announcement follows polling which shows that around one third of SNP voters are currently undecided on who the next party leader should be. Voting is open only to party members and nominations closed today.

Opening on 13 March, voting will stay open for two weeks. The winner is expected to be announced shortly after midday on Monday 27 March.

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