Change has been one of the key promises of the general election campaign so far. Labour, Lib Dems, the SNP and even the Scottish Tories have all been promising some form of change.

Unfortunately for STV’s prime-time audience, the only change on offer on Monday night was to the scheduled programming.

Poor viewers tuning in hoping to see the new series of Love Island were instead left watching four men wearing dark suits - none of them up for election - knocking the stuffing out of each other.

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It was the first leaders’ debate of the campaign. There are many, many more to follow.

On Tuesday night we get Rishi Sunak v Sir Keir Starmer.

On Friday, the BBC has a seven-way debate for all those unlucky enough to miss out on tickets for Taylor Swift at Murrayfield.

And in another change to the schedule that now comes with added Nigel Farage.

At the start of the STV debate host Colin Mackay explained that the Holyrood leaders were there because their parties had won seats at the last Westminster election.

There was some early consensus between the four. 

“I think we all know there’s a Labour government coming in,” John Swinney said. Nobody disputed him.

In his opening statement, the First Minister, once again, admitted that it had all been bit rubbish for him and his party. He told viewers he was taking part “because the SNP has faced tough times.”

He said he was attempting to “rebuild the trust of the people of Scotland in the SNP”.

Mr Swinney added: “Rebuilding trust begins by recognising you have got challenges to overcome, and I recognise those.”

He was only outdone on the contrition by Douglas Ross, who expressed regret over Partygate, the PPE VIP fast lane, Suella Braverman inciting a riot at the cenotaph, and the Liz Truss mini-budget.

“I looked at that budget,” he told his fellow MSPs. “And I assumed like every budget… in the Scottish Parliament and every budget I've sat through at Westminster, that they had gone through the normal process with the Treasury, with the civil servants to make sure that they were enforceable, that the work had been done behind the scenes to make sure what had been announced was deliverable.

“And that hadn't been done.

“And I hold my hands up. I assumed that had been done.”

It’s not entirely clear why he thought that had been done, given that at the time we knew the Office for Budget Responsibility had not published independent forecasts.

Mr Sarwar said the Tory chief “shouldn’t be pleading for votes” but “begging for forgiveness from the Scottish people.”

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One of the best things in the STV debate is the cross-examination when the politicians ask each other questions.

Normally it’s brutal. Nobody told Anas Sarwar and Alex Cole-Hamilton who seemed to be conducting early post-2026 Holyrood election negotiations.

There was a difficult few minutes for Mr Cole-Hamilton when Douglas Ross - in one of the few moments where he talked about something reserved - raised the newly announced Lib Dem plan for highly protected marine areas.

Mr Cole-Hamilton stumbled but promised his party had learned from the Scottish Government’s doomed attempt to bring in similar legislation.

He insisted there had been consultation with fishing communities, but given the inroads his party hopes to make in the Highlands on July 4, this could prove disastrous.

The main event, of course, was Sarwar v Swinney.

There was some consensus there too.

“This election is about getting rid of this Tory Government and it can only be replaced by a Labour government with Scottish Labour MPs at its heart delivering for the Scottish people,” Mr Sarwar said.

“So surely you agree getting rid of this Tory Government is an opportunity Scotland can’t afford to miss?”

Mr Swinney said: “I absolutely agree that we should get rid of this Tory Government.”

But he added that the SNP was the nearest rival in every Tory seat in Scotland.

Mr Sarwar said that while the SNP can replace six Scottish Tory MPs, “Labour can get rid of an entire Tory Government”.

“This is very unlike you to demonstrate such a lack of self-confidence,” Mr Swinney replied. “Normally you're very self-confident about the Labour Party.

“The Labour Party is going to walk it in England. The Tories are finished.”

But, he added, only SNP MPs would protect Scotland’s interests at Westminster.

Alba and the Greens were livid at not being invited to take part, but over on Newsnight after the debate, Professor Sir John Curtice was asked if these sorts of things made any difference to the result. 

Not really, he said.