As we celebrate (mourn?) the last FMQs before the summer break, our Head of Monitoring, Eilidh Carmichael, has taken an anorak-y look at the most popular topics raised at FMQs this year.
Think Holyrood spends too much time on constitutional issues? The FMQs hours devoted to the health service suggest otherwise. It is also a handy reminder of the issues that kept us busy at different points over the year – with one off questions on BiFab, Cambridge Analytica, sexual harassment and weather to remind us.
Some interesting highlights:
Spot any interesting points we haven’t noted? Please let us know over on twitter! Without further ado, please enjoy the data…
FMQs Questions by Subject
Coloured by Subject
A few caveats. This info has been compiled using the titles/topics used by the Official Report team at Holyrood. They are extremely broad, usually something like ‘NHS (Waiting Times)’. If Richard Leonard pivoted half way through his exchange to a different topic it’s highly likely the OR team didn’t capture this is their short pithy title. Similarly, if the question was about the draft budget and the impact higher taxation might have on it and the Official Report have called it ‘Taxation’ then that’s what I’ve used. This means more stuff will have been discussed that this suggests, but it’s the most achievable way of collating and presenting this data. And it also involves me making less subjective judgements myself.
If you were already thinking that this sounds pretty unscientific, it’s about to get worse. The Official Report team doesn’t pick their headers with a mind to someone cross-referencing them. So I’ve attempted to bring a little bit more consistency. Mostly, this involved me adding a broader theme, so something on ‘Colleges’ now reads ‘Education (Colleges)’ so it’s easier to see at a glance all the questions on education and so on and so forth.
Lastly, it’s probably worth pointing out that Patrick Harvie and Willie Rennie don’t just take a break every two weeks for the good of their health, although FMQs arguably isn’t good for the blood pressure...They get fewer questions because they lead groups which are smaller than the Conservatives or Labour so only get to ask a question at two in every three FMQs sessions.
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