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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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Osborne: Devolution plan offers 'best of both worlds'

Chancellor George Osborne has said plans for enhanced powers for the Scottish Parliament offers Scots "the best of both worlds".

The leaders of the three main Westminster parties have signed a joint declaration in favour of "further strengthening" of Holyrood's powers if there is a 'No' vote in September's independence referendum.

George Osborne said more devolution offered Scots 'the best of both worlds'. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Osborne told Radio 4's Today programme: "That is the best of both worlds - that is, Scotland part of the UK with all the economic benefits and broader benefits that brings. But also Scotland in charge of the things that matter to Scots."

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