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.

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.

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.

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Alex Salmond insists independence campaign is on track

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond insisted that he was not left bruised and battered by last night's televised debate on his country's future.

Most of this morning's newspapers handed victory to Alistair Darling, the leader of the "Better Together" campaign, after they clashed over the pound, EU membership and taxation.

But he told ITV News Scotland Correspondent Debi Edward that he believes his independence campaign is still on track.

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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

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.

Better Together leader Alistair Darling. Credit: PA Wire

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.

Papers' independence verdict: Darling draws first blood

Newspapers in Scotland widely declared pro-union leader Alistair Darling the victor in the first television debate on Scottish independence.

The Daily Telegraph claimed Salmond had failed to find an answer on the currency issue, while The Herald claimed Darling had drawn first blood ahead of the referendum on September 18.

A panel of undecided voters polled by ITV News favoured Darling's argument in the debate.

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Darling: Independence questions 'weren't answered'

Leader of the Better Together campaign Alistair Darling has said his questions were not answered by First Minister Alex Salmond in their first live television debate on Scottish independence.

The former chancellor tweeted:

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