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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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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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