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Who won the STV debate between Nicola Sturgeon and Johann Lamont?

STV's political editor Bernard Ponsonby and Radio Clyde and Radio Forth political editor Colin Mackay weigh in.

Scotland Tonight debate wide shot John MacKay, Colin Mackay, Bernard Ponsonby,
STV

Prior to the debate between Nicola Sturgeon and Johann Lamont, STV's political editor Bernard Ponsonby had queried whether an all-female debate would alter the tone of the discussion.

Speaking after the Deputy First Minister and Scottish Labour leader went toe-to-toe on Scotland Tonight's referendum special, Mr Ponsonby said the gender recalibration had made no difference to the terse and belligerent tone of some of the discussion.

He said: "Right at the head we posed the question: You've got the two most senior women politicians, would that make a change to the tone of the debate? The answer to that is emphatically and comprehensively no."

Mr Ponsonby also said political activists would perhaps enjoy the fiery rhetoric and theatre of outrage but that such point-scoring would only leave undecided voters bemused.

He explained: "If you're a political activist and you're out pushing leaflets through a door, and you regard this debate almost as a civil war without the guns, that's the kind of stuff that you want to see. No doubt the Yes campaigners will be very pleased that, in terms of screen time, it appeared to be dominated and was dominated by Nicola Sturgeon.

"If, on the other hand, you're not a political activist and you're tuning into a programme like this to try and glean new information to make an informed choice, you will be disappointed by that kind of debate. What we got was a lot of words and a lot of noise and frankly not a lot of new information. I actually learned nothing from that."

Colin Mackay, political editor of Radio Clyde and Radio Forth, joined Mr Ponsonby in analysing the debate, in a segment presented by John MacKay.

Colin Mackay said the result was mixed, adding: "I think actually Johann did better tonight than either of the Scottish Secretaries have done in the past in these debates. I just don't think anybody's quite got the better of Nicola in terms of the style of handling this debate."

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