Darling and Salmond clash in Scottish independence head-to-head; Salmond wins, says poll



The two leaders in Scotland’s independence debate have clashed over the issues of currency, energy and the health service in a TV debate.
Scots go to the polls on September 18 to say whether or not they want to become independent from the rest of the United Kingdom.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond and the leader of the Better Together Campaign Alistair Darling were using the head-to-head debate to win over undecided voters ahead of the referendum.
Alistair Darling said it was in the best interests of future generations if Scotland stayed within the UK.
Mr Salmond won the key television debate, a snap poll found afterwards.

Research by ICM for the Guardian newspaper showed 71% of people questioned thought the Scottish First Minister had been the better performer in the BBC clash, compared to 29% for Alistair Darling.
A similar survey after the first head-to-head debate between the two men last month suggested the former chancellor had scored a narrow victory over the SNP leader.

In both televised debates, the issue of which currency an independent Scotland would use was at the heart of the arguments.
Mr Darling again repeatedly pressed the First Minister to set out his plan B for a currency if a formal deal could not be agreed with the rest of the UK to allow an independent Scotland to retain the pound.

But the former chancellor appeared to accept that Scotland could use the pound regardless of whether Westminster signed up to such an arrangement.
He said: “Of course we can use the pound…we could use the ruble, we could use the dollar, we could use the yen. We could use anything we want.”

Mr Salmond said: “The key point we have heard tonight is that Alistair admitted a few seconds ago we could use the pound anyway. We didn’t need permission.
“Totally different from what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said a few months ago, when he said, if you walk out of the UK, you walk out of the pound.
“Remember that, we have heard it tonight. They cannot stop us using the pound, the most important revelation of this debate.”

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