Election campaign plans revealed by STV and Grampian

Independent channels Scottish TV and Grampian have revealed details of special peaktime news and current affairs programmes that will focus on the run-up to the forthcoming Scottish elections.

A spokesman also said it was likely that the local news bulletins, which have relinquished half of their slot to the ITV network for war coverage, will reclaim their original half-hour periods from next week.

In the month before election day on 1 May, the channels will see the return of The Scottish 500, a polling programme that will follow 500 Scots from around the country, to assess their voting intentions.

The programme will also invite all the political parties in Scotland to respond to questions from the participants. It will be fronted by Scottish TV political editor Bernard Ponsonby.

Originally aired during the 1999 Scottish elections, The Scottish 500 was made in conjunction with MORI.

Sunday morning current affairs programme Seven Days is being extended to an hour-long show to provide analysis of the election campaigns. It will continue to be presented by Stephen Jardine and will have additional commentary from Fiona Ross, former Scottish TV political correspondent.

A Seven Days special edition will air on election day at 10.30pm.

Scottish TV and sister station Grampian announced recently they would not be covering the overnight election count, as the lack of viewers meant it wasn’t viable for a commercial broadcaster.

Instead, Results Scotland will run the following day at 1pm, bringing together filming from the previous night’s declarations.

By Wale Azeez

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