General election 2024: How to watch tonight’s Scottish leaders' debate

John Swinney, Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar, and Alex Cole-Hamilton will take part in the debateJohn Swinney, Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar, and Alex Cole-Hamilton will take part in the debate
John Swinney, Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar, and Alex Cole-Hamilton will take part in the debate

The first televised debate of the 2024 general election takes place tonight, Monday June 3, when the Scottish party leaders appear together in a 90-minute session.

First Minister John Swinney has called for a “respectful contest based on ideas to improve the lives of the people of Scotland”. 

John Swinney, Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar, and Alex Cole-Hamilton will take part in the debateJohn Swinney, Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar, and Alex Cole-Hamilton will take part in the debate
John Swinney, Douglas Ross, Anas Sarwar, and Alex Cole-Hamilton will take part in the debate

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Screened on STV from 9pm to 10:30pm, the debate will see the leaders of four Scottish political parties advocate why their party is the one to vote for at the upcoming election on Thursday, July 4.

Taking part will be the SNP leader John Swinney (Perthshire North), Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross (Highlands and Islands Region), Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar (Glasgow region) and Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western) of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

The debate will be hosted by STV political editor Colin Mackay from the STV’s Pacific Quay studios in Glasgow. He will question each of the leaders before they get the chance to cross-examine each other.

The Scottish Greens will not be included in this debate despite its large presence in Holyrood, as the UK Green Party only holds one seat in Westminster, neither will the Alba Party.

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Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer called the move “outrageous” and Alba leader Alex Salmond said STV should “hang their heads in shame”.

The debate will air on STV at 9pm tonight and can also be accessed on the STV Player.

Afterwards, Rona Dougall of Scotland Tonight will host a panel of guests to provide analysis of the debate as well as immediate reaction. This too will be aired on STV and can also be accessed on the STV Player.

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