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.

View all 32 updates ›

Darling warns 'there is no going back' with a Yes vote

Alastair Darling arriving for tonight's debates.

In his opening address, Better Together leader Alistair Darling has said the independence debate is not about "patriotism" but the future of the country.

He described the vote as the "biggest decision we've ever made" but warned "there is no going back" if the Yes campaign wins.

Mr Darling said Scotland must "use the strength of the UK to make Scotland stronger" and said: "We can have the best of both worlds" by staying in the union.

He vowed to ask Alex Salmond questions that "he hasn't answered yet" in the campaign.

More on this story