5 reasons why the SNP must be included in TV debates
1. A two-party debate doesn’t reflect modern politics
The days of two-party politics are long gone. A debate between Labour and the Conservatives is old-fashioned and outdated – and it doesn’t live up to the diversity of opinion in either Scotland or the rest of the UK.
The Tories got just 11.6% of the Scottish vote at the most recent EU Elections and Labour only got 9.3% – a debate between the two parties doesn’t reflect Scottish public opinion and is letting voters down.
2. The SNP is the UK’s 3rd party and Scotland’s party of government
The SNP is now a major player in UK politics and has risen to become the UK’s third party, replacing the Liberal Democrats.
As Scotland’s party of government since 2007, the SNP has the right to be heard. And Scottish voters should have the right to hear what the party they have elected for over a decade has to say.
What’s more, the argument that Labour and the Tories are UK-wide parties is questionable. Labour doesn’t stand in all 4 nations of the UK and the Tories have no elected representatives in Northern Ireland.
3. UK party leaders will be discussing devolved issues
Devolved issues such as education, health, housing and transport are administered by the Scottish Government, not by Westminster. But all of these issues would likely come up in a televised debate.
A two-party debate between Labour and the Tories would therefore be less relevant to Scottish voters. 20 years on from the opening of the new Scottish Parliament, it’s time that broadcasters caught up with the realities of devolution.
4. The SNP could hold the balance of power
The outcome of this election is unpredictable, but if there’s a hung parliament with no Labour or Tory majority it could be the SNP that holds the balance of power in Westminster.
Voters in the rest of the UK should have the chance to hear what we stand for. A recent poll for YouGov found a majority of people across the UK, including 73% in Scotland, believe the SNP should be included in debates.
5. Scottish voters deserve to hear all their options
Both Labour and the Tories are committed to dragging Scotland out of Europe against our will – and both have adopted the same attitude toward Scottish self-determination, blocking the Scottish people’s right to decide their own future.
Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson both share one approach towards Scotland – one which is at odds with Scottish public opinion. Scottish voters deserve the chance to hear the alternatives.
The SNP have now instigated legal action over the exclusion of parties other than Labour and the Conservatives from ITV’s general election debate. To ensure that the SNP’s voice is heard and to tackle this fundamental unfairness, we have launched a fundraiser to support the costs of taking this case and securing fair representation.