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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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Scots 'cannot be certain' of impact of independence

New analysis suggests considerable uncertainty over the financial impact on Scottish households of independence.

Both sides in the referendum debate have tried to claim Scots would either be significantly better or worse off depending on the outcome of September's vote.

But thinktank Fiscal Affairs Scotland says Scots could either end up over £1,000 better off or over £1,300 worse off, depending on factors such as North Sea oil revenues.

Summarising their findings, the thinktank said: "We cannot be certain of Scotland's future fiscal balance, even in the short term, due to uncertainties over elements like North Sea revenues and debt expenditure.

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