Televised Debates: Poll Shows People Want Scotland to Have a Voice in Upcoming Leaders’ Debates

A YouGov poll commissioned by the Scottish National Party shows that the vast majority of Scots disagree with the London-based broadcasters excluding the SNP from televised leaders’ debates.

The exclusion of the SNP from three proposed leaders’ debates by the BBC, ITN and Sky will leave Scotland and Scottish issues unrepresented – while opposition parties debate issues that will have no impact on Scots voters.

The poll of 1,013 Scottish adults on the 12th and 13th January asked voters if they agreed or disagreed with the following statement:  “The televised leaders’ debates due to take place in advance of the election should NOT include the leader of the Scottish National Party.”

* 59% of respondents disagreed with excluding the leader of the SNP, endorsing the argument that excluding the SNP from debates that are broadcast in Scotland is unfair to Scottish voters.  Only 31% agreed – a majority of some two-to-one.

* The poll also found that 62% of Scots believe that the SNP should get the same level of TV coverage as the London-based parties (another 9% think the SNP should get more coverage).

* Finally, the poll shows that the SNP have regained a lead over Labour for Scottish Parliament voting intentions – with higher support than when we won the election in 2007.  Only the constituency question was asked in this poll, showing a 3-point lead over Labour at 35% to 32%.  The last YouGovpoll – for the Daily Telegraph in November 2009 – gave Labour a one-point lead over the SNP (Labour 33% to SNP 32%).

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Scotland First Minister signals leadership on Haiti disaster:

First Minister Alex Salmond has pledged to find “many ways” to respond to the “extraordinary” devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti.

The Scottish Government “stands ready to assist” and could send financial aid.

Mr Salmond spoke about the Haiti earthquake at the start of First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament and said the thoughts of all MSPs were “with the people of Haiti at this very difficult time”.

The SNP leader said: “The Scottish Government is considering how best to respond to the situation and stands ready to assist, including potential financial assistance.”

Culture and External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop will be meeting some of the organisations which work in Haiti to find out what the Government can do to help in the aftermath of the quake, which is thought to have killed tens of thousands of people.

Mr Salmond urged the Scottish public to support the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal and said the Scottish launch of the appeal will take place tomorrow in Glasgow.

“It is imperative that we all do everything we can to support these organisations and I would encourage all members of the public to support that appeal when it is launched tomorrow.

“The minister’s meeting will follow that launch of the appeal, and the Scottish Government will be contributing and finding many ways to help what is an extraordinary, devastating international situation.”

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The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Monday, 22nd February 7:00 PM at the Moreig Hotel, Dumfries 67 Annan Road DG1 3EG.  Officers for 2010 will be elected at this meeting.  All branch members are encouraged to attend.

Immediately following will be the regular monthly meeting at 7:30 PM.

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Figures released by pollsters IPSOS/MORI show the SNP back in pole position for both the upcoming Westminster and Holyrood elections.

The figures show Scottish voters are rejecting the phoney war between Labour and the Tories and opting for the only party that speaks up for Scotland.

The poll of 1009 Scots voters shows that in Westminster voting intentions

amongst those certain to vote the SNP is at 34%, while Labour are at 32%, Tories on 15% and the Liberal Democrats on 12%.

At Holyrood the poll puts the SNP on 36%, with Labour on 32% and the Tories and Lib Dems both on 12%.

Commenting on the poll figures, conducted between the 19th and 23rd November SNP MSP and Minister for Parliament Bruce Crawford said:

“These results show that the people of Scotland will not be fooled by the phoney war between Labour and the Tories.

“In both Westminster and Holyrood these results are tremendously encouraging for the SNP putting the party back in the lead as voters back a Scottish voice at home and in Westminster.

“The SNP is the only party which will always, in both London and Edinburgh, put the voters of Scotland first.

“Over the next few months the SNP will work hard to build the support of the Scottish people for Scottish representation in London and a vote on Scotland’s future here at home.

“As both Labour and the Tories compete to slash frontline services while spending over £100 billion on new nuclear weapons for the Clyde it is only the SNP that will stand alongside the people of Scotland in support of Scotland’s interests.”

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The SNP Government has set out in detail its arguments for Scottish independence, and published its plans to hold a referendum on our country’s future.

The White Paper ‘Your Scotland, Your Voice’ can be read here:

A summary is available at the end of the page.

First Minister Alex Salmond published the Scottish Government’s White Paper – Your Scotland,Your Voice – which paves the way for the people of Scotland to be given the right to choose their constitutional future in a referendum

The SNP believe that independence delivers a new 21st century partnership of equals between Scotland and England – including giving the Scottish Government Parliament the responsibilities needed to fight recession, support jobs, and maximise the opportunities that will come with recovery.

As well as setting out the case for independence in more depth and detail than ever before, the White Paper also examines the other constitutional options open to Scotland; the status quo, the proposals of the Calman Commission on Scottish Devolution, and maximum devolution including fiscal autonomy.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“Following a decade of devolution and the recovening of the Scottish Parliament, there is now a clear and consistent demand for futher constitutional progress for Scotland and extending the powers of the Parliament.

“The vast majority of people want to expand the responsibilities of the Parliament, so that we have more powers to do more for Scotland – the economic recovery, the right to speak up for Scotland in Europe, and the ability to remove Trident nuclear weapons from our soil.

“The National Conversation has spearheaded that process, and engaged all those who want to move Scotland forward – both in terms of more responsibilities, and a complete extension of powers with independence. It culminates in this White Paper, paving the way for a Referendum Bill early next year to give voice to the democratic demand of Scotland.

“The debate in Scottish politics is no longer between change or no change – it’s about teh right kind of change we seek, and the right of the people to choose their future in a free and fair referendum.

“The White Paper examines the options open to Scotland: nomore powers under the status quo, a few more powers with Calman, a lot more powers through maximum devolution, and the complete extension of the powers of the Scottish Parliament with independence – the policy of the Scottish Government. This historic document sets out the case for Scottish independence with unprecendented depth and clarity.

“Popular opinion in Scotland has moved far beyond the status quo. And Calman has alsob een shown to fall behind the needs of the people – with the UK Government refusing to make any progress on important issues such as air weapons this side of the election, and substantial doubt as to what if anything will happen afterwards.

“This White Paper charts the route to progress for Scotland – and we are calling on people of all parties and none who want real substantive additions to the powers of the Parliament to rally to the referendum campaign. That is why we are open to including the option of such powers on the referendum ballot paper, alongside independence.

“It’s time for the people to have their say on Scotland’s future.”

A summary is available below.


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Mike Russell, SNP MSP and Scottish Government Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution has questioned the UK Government’s commitment to implementing “proposals” in the Calman Commission after it was revealed the version of the Queen’s Speech published on the UK Government’s website omitted any reference to the Commission.

Delivering the speech, the Queen said: “In Scotland, my Government will take forward proposals in the final report of the Commission Scottish devolution. My Government will continue to devolve more powers to Wales.”

That did not initially appear on the Downing Street website version of the Queen’s Speech – appended below.

Mr Russell also pointed to Welsh Liberal Democrat support for a constitutional referendum in Wales, on the day that the All Wales Convention report is published.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams is quoted in the Press Association: “The report itself provides a devastating critique of the existing, half-baked settlement, confirming my belief that a referendum will allow Wales to choose a better, proper settlement, fit for the purpose of truly devolved Welsh Government.”

Mr Russell said:

“There is enormous confusion about where exactly the opposition parties in Scotland stand on the issue of constitutional progress for Scotland – which today’s events add to. The Queen’s Speech said that the UK Government will take forward some – not all – proposals of the Calman Commission, but even that meagre reference was initially missing from the version of the speech published on the Number 10 website.

“It begs the question of how committed the UK Labour Government really is to additional responsibilities for the Scottish Parliament. It looks very much as if Scotland was a last minute afterthought in the Queen’s Speech – and only included by Labour at a late stage to create the pretence of some kind of commitment. On an issue where there is consensus in Scotland and in the Scottish Parliament, it is a great pity that the UK Government can’t or won’t get its act together.

“And on the day the All Wales Convention report is published, it is extraordinary to hear the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Welsh Assembly wax lyrical about a constitutional referendum for Wales – while the Lib Dem leadership in Holyrood currently stand with the Tory/Labour alliance in refusing to let the people of Scotland speak.

“Instead of Calman confusion from the UK Labour Government, we need clarity and commitment to implementing the proposals that we should all agree on now. And instead of saying one thing in Wales and the precise opposite in Scotland, the Lib Dems should be consistently in favour of a free and fair referendum for both nations.”


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Opposition parties have pushed recommendations for more powers to be given to the Scottish parliament into the long grass.

The SNP have branded the move needless time wasting as Labour confirm in the Queen’s speech that they will  delay implementation of the Calman Commission recommendations until after the General Election. 

The transfer of powers in areas where all parties and the Scottish Government agree – power over firearms, speed limits, drink driving and running Scottish elections could go ahead immediately along with borrowing powers for the Scottish Parliament.  Instead Labour is postponing any changes until after the General Election.

In contrast the SNP has prepared the legislation required in the Scottish Parliament for the transfer of powers.

Read the whole story:

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Speaking at a press conference in Glasgow following the result of the Glasgow North East by-election SNP Depute Leader and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The SNP campaign did achieve our best Westminster result in Glasgow North East for 35 years, and David Kerr’s positive campaign made progress in Labour’s safest seat in Scotland. But we were clearly disappointed by the result, and one early lesson from this by-election is clear.

“We absolutely must now take Labour’s negative campaigning and misrepresentations head on.

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Monday, 23rd November at the Moreig Hotel, Dumfries at 7:30pm.  Hope to see you all there!

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