Alex Salmond: Optimist-in-chief

Despite the polls the First Minister and the 'Yes' side are convinced they can win on 18 September

Live updates

Salmond questioned over Plan B

"It's our pound and we're keeping it," said Alex Salmond to MSP's earlier today, Thursday 7 August.

The First Minister came under fire in the chamber for refusing to come up with a plan B on currency during his live debate with Alistair Darling.

And with just six weeks to go until the independence vote, opponents are piling on the pressure.

Kathryn Samson reports:


Full report: Independence debate review

The leader of the "Yes" campaign, Alex Salmond, and the frontman for the "Better Together" campaign Alistair Darling clashed in their first televised head-to-head.

The two hour debate, staged by STV, was held in front of an audience of 350 people in the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow on Tuesday, 5 August. And it proved to be much more feisty than some commentators had predicted.

Our political editor Peter MacMahon reports:

'A blow for the Yes campaign but not a knock-out punch'

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, and Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign, clashed in the first of their televised debates, ahead of the Scottish Independence Referendum.

The two hour debate was held last night, Tuesday 5 July, in front of an audience of 350 people in the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow.

Our political editor, Peter MacMahon, looks at what conclusions can be drawn from the event:



Alex Salmond denies defeat in independence debate

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has refused to concede he lost last night's independence debate despite most most of this morning's newspaper headlines handing victory to the leader of the No campaign Alistair Darling.

I was much more interested in the ICM poll which was conducted through the debate last night. Yes support started at 45% and at end of the debate polled at 47%. Which is one of the highest poll ratings we have ever had and is within touching distance of a majority. What was particularly significant was a 9% rise in support among women, which most polls have indicated has been one of the weaknesses of the Yes campaign.

– Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond

Read: Darling 'edges first Scottish independence debate'

Darling's currency questioning sparks most tweets

Alistair Darling's questioning of Alex Salmond's currency plans for an independent Scotland sparked the most tweets during last night's debate.

More than 2,000 tweets were sent during that moment, with a total of 186,267 sent throughout the entire event.

The Yes campaign gained more than double the number of tweets over the course of the day, despite a Guardian/ICM poll suggesting Better Together leader Alistair Darling came out on top during the debate.

Watch: Darling attacks Salmond over currency plans

Darling 'edges first Scottish independence debate'

The debate over Scottish independence has taken place with the first live television clash between the First Minister Alex Salmond and the man leading the campaign to keep the UK together Alistair Darling being shown on STV.

PA Wire
Better Together leader, Alistair Darling Credit: PA Wire

A poll conducted by ICM for the Guardian has found that Alistair Darling won the first Scottish independence debate by 56% to Alex Salmond's 44%.

There are now just over six weeks to go until voters in Scotland decide whether to remain in the UK or become an independent nation in the September 18 referendum.

Load more updates