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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.

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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Leaders promise Scots new powers after 'No' vote

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have jointly promised to give the Scottish Parliament enhanced powers if voters reject independence in September's referendum.

The Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour leaders have signed a joint declaration saying they all support "the further strengthening of the Parliament's powers".

David Cameron has promised 'further strengthening' of the Scottish Parliament. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

They say future measures will look particularly at "areas of fiscal responsibility and social security", suggesting Scotland would get more powers over raising tax and distributing benefits.

But the Scottish National Party dismissed the move, alling it a "rehash of vague promises".

A spokeswoman for First Minister Alex Salmond said: "The reality is that only a Yes vote on September 18 will give Scotland the powers we need to create a more prosperous and fairer society."

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