EDINBURGH, August 5 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – The first major live television debate of the Scottish independence campaign will only “frighten undecided” voters, a senior Scottish broadcast journalist has told RIA Novosti.
“I don’t think this debate will change anyone’s vote unless there’s a real mistake or admission. People watch to confirm what they were going to do anyway in the polling booth,” Derek Bateman said.
The debate, to be broadcast live over two hours on Scottish Television, Tuesday, will be a head-to-head between Alex Salmond, the leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, and former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling.
“I’m not sure it will do either any favors as Darling is death on screen and two hours could be too much for Salmond especially if he thinks he’s doing well,” Bateman added. “It will reinforce the economic messages of doom to frighten the undecided.”
Earlier Bateman had urged Salmond to be “bold and echo the feelings of Scots” during the TV debate and to take a stronger line on Gaza.
“I don’t agree with [the Scottish Government approach] on Israel. I think it really could be changing this time and there are times to be bold,” Bateman told RIA Novosti. “Salmond would win some hearts if he made a strong statement but they are afraid of world opinion and I suppose need to get recognition for independence first.”