Scottish independence: What were you saying during TV debate?

Twitter icons Image copyright PA

BBC Scotland is hosting a series of TV programmes in which voters are given the chance to quiz the politicians and commentators at the heart of the Scottish independence referendum debate.

But the debate is not just for the audience facing the panel. There are a number of ways you have been giving your views - including tweets, emails and text messages.

Here are highlights from the latest on-air discussion and a selection of what you've been saying.

Go figure....

The second BBC Scotland referendum debate came from Kelso in the Borders and some of the key statistics included,

  • One host, James Cook, four panellists - SNP Treasury spokesman, Stewart Hosie; Labour's Jenny Marra; Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, and Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie.
  • Sixty minute discussion involving an audience of 146 members of the public.
  • The politicians were asked five questions - 1. Elizabeth Cleghorn asked: "Is Alex Salmond a man with no plan?"; 2. Alison McWilliam asked: "Gordon Brown is worried about my pension under independence - should I be?"; 3. Stephen Smith asked: "If Scotland has a separate immigration policy from the UK will border controls be necessary?"; 4. Katharine Cotter asked: "Much has been said about an independent Scotland emulating the Scandinavian welfare model. Will our taxes need to be increased to pay for it?"; 5. Charlie Robertson asked: "Is bullying the best tactic to keep Scotland in the UK?"
  • 1,228 tweets using #bbcindyref

Social media spotlight....

Image caption Higher taxes, currency union and welfare issues got you tweeting during the TV referendum debate

BBC data journalist, Marc Ellison, developed an online tool to follow more closely what was being said on social media using #bbcindyref.

He explains: "We wanted to gauge which of the issues discussed in these debates draw the biggest reactions on Twitter - arguably the pulse of public opinion.

"Predictably the volume of tweets increased exponentially as the 60 minute debate progressed - no doubt bolstered by viewers switching channels following the final whistle of the Manchester City and Barcelona game.

"BBC Scotland's Twitter timeline shows there were three distinct surges on the night of the second debate in Kelso.

"The largest of these was at 21:52 with a peak of 49 tweets as the discussion on whether higher taxes were needed for improvements in welfare came to a head.

"There were two smaller surges at 21:20 (19 tweets) and 21:42 (27 tweets) surrounding the issues of Scotland's future currency and welfare system."

He adds: "Why not have a play with the tool?"

Tweets selection....

  • @SaorAlbannach: "Ahh the pooling and sharing argument. Tell me, how do smaller countries afford better pensions? Ahh, they don't buy nukes. #bbcindyref"
  • @Albertobrave: "I'm still not being swayed to vote yes. In fact, all I see is people bashing you if you want to vote no. #bbcindyref"
  • @cammyk_67: "If you didnt get the subtitles you could not tell Labour and Tory apart. #bbcindyref #indyref"
  • @TJWatkin: "Very much enjoying the rowdy crowd in Kelso - showing real passion - rare in political apathy UK #bbcindyref"
  • @JimSlaven: "Trying to turn us into a nation of bullying victims is a nonsense. People disagree with me all the time I never feel bullied lol #bbcindyref

Sterling (debate) V Euro (football).....

Some of the audience appeared torn between BBC Scotland's referendum debate and a certain football match.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Referendum debate watchers confessed to being a little distracted by a certain Champions League match
  • @GHenderson93: "Watching #bbcindyref on laptop with #BarcaManCity on the tv #multitasking"
  • @cllrdmeikle: "Need to rely on twitter for #bbcindyref updates as can't switch over from #UCL footie. C'mon City! #mcfc"

And for those who kept with the politics and missed the football, the final score was Manchester City 0, Barcelona 2. The Sky Blues head out to Spain for their second leg on 12 March, which WON'T clash with the next referendum debate - taking place on Tuesday, 18 March. However, that's the night Chelsea meet Galatasaray at Stamford Bridge. Good moment for #multitasking by following both #bbcindyref and #CCFC on social media.

In pictures: Cherished moments.....

Image caption Serious and formal - Patrick Harvie, Ruth Davidson, Stewart Hosie and Jenny Marra with host James Cook
Image copyright other
Image caption Cosy corner - Stewart Hosie (SNP), Jenny Marra (Labour), Patrick Harvie (Scottish Greens) and Ruth Davidson (Scottish Tory leader) are all smiles
  • After the programme Green Party panellist @patrickharvie tweeted: "Not that we want to spoil the illusion, but your #bbcindyref panel are all now in a taxi back to Edinburgh!"

Who said what......?

Image copyright PA
Image caption Discussion was had on the future of the currency union

Stewart Hosie: "We want independence; we want Scotland to take its own political decisions. But we keep the trade, we keep the social union, we keep the common travel area, precisely because it is in everybody's best interests."

Ruth Davidson: "In the past week, we've seen his plans on the currency union be decried not just by the head of the Bank of England, but from the Institute of Directors, from the CBI."

Jenny Marra: "If Scotland votes 'Yes', how on earth are English and Welsh MPs meant to sell this to their constituents, that they should enter into a currency union with us who have just rejected them?

Patrick Harvie: "But certainly, if the UK government sees a 'Yes' vote take place in September, I think it would be absurd and outrageous, and not in their interests, for the UK government, for its first act, its first decision, to fold their arms and say 'we're not even going to sit at the table and discuss with the Scottish government what the best transition is'."

Video highlights....

If you missed the referendum debate from Kelso in the Borders, check it out on the BBC iPlayer - it will be there until Tuesday, 25 February. But here's a taster of what the politicians had to say and reaction from some of the audience after the debate.

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Media captionPoliticians in Kelso debated border controls in the event of a "yes" to independence
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Media captionWas Kelso audience swayed by debate?

Be there....

Image caption A series of BBC TV debates is taking place in the run up to the independence referendum in September

If you've enjoyed tweeting, texting and messaging on the Scottish independence referendum, you might now like to be in the TV audience, putting your questions directly to the politicians.

The next debate is in Kirkcaldy, Fife, on 18 March and after that in Kirkwall on Tuesday, 15 April.

Email your details to or fill in this form to apply....

1. Name and address

2. Which programme location are you applying for?

3. Which two issues would you most like to discuss?

4. How old are you?

5. What is your gender?

6. What is your occupation? If you are retired, what was your occupation before retiring?

7. Which ethnic group do you belong to?

Other (please specify)

8. Do you consider yourself to have any disabilities?

9. If disabled, do you require wheelchair access?

10. If there were a General Election tomorrow, which political party would you be most likely to vote for?

Other (please state)

11. If there was a Scottish Election tomorrow which political party would you be most likely to vote for?

Other (please state)

12. If there was an independence referendum tomorrow how would you vote?

13. How did you vote at the last General Election?

14. How did you vote at the last Scottish Election?

15. Are you a member of a political party?

16. If you are a member do you take an active role?

17. Are you active in any campaign groups?

18. Are you active in any referendum campaign groups?

Other (please specify)

19. We contact applicants individually - if any of your friends or family are applying with you please supply their names and telephone numbers so that we may contact them to discuss their applications.

* Required information

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