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 ›

Farage tweet mocks 'sleep-inducing' Alistair Darling

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has poured scorn on the head of the Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling, ahead of tonight's first TV debate on Scottish independence.

The former Chancellor will face off against First Minister Alex Salmond in a two-hour debate, but Mr Farage joked that his presence was a deliberate ploy to lower viewing figures.

He described Mr Darling as "somnifacient", a little-used word that means "inducing sleep" according to dictionary publisher Merriam Webster.

More on this story