Tonight is the long awaited Scottish debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling. STV released their latest Ipsos MORI at the start of the debate – topline figures there are YES 40%(+4), NO 54%(nc), don’t knows just 6%. Excluding don’t knows that works out at YES 42%(+2), NO 58%(-2).

MORI tend to be one of those pollsters who show more favourable figures for the NO campaign, so by their standards its a favourable poll for YES. Then again, if MORI are right, then a sixteen point lead for NO is still a a big gap to close with only six weeks to go.

Following the debate the only instant poll I’m aware of is ICM for the Guardian, due to go out about 9.40 (results will hopefully be before ten, but it obviously depends on how quickly people respond!)

UPDATE: ICM’s instant poll crowns Darling the winner – 56% for Darling, 44% for Alex Salmond. The figures are, incidentally, very close to the sort of NO/YES figures ICM report in referendum voting intentions. We’ll know properly when we see ICM’s tables, but I suspect we may find that people who were voting YES anyway thought Salmond won, people who were voting NO anyway thought Darling won.

UPDATE2: Full figures including don’t knows were Darling 47%, Salmond 37%, Don’t Know 15%. Sample size was 512.

UPDATE3: Tabs are here. People’s perceptions of who won were, as suspected, largely in line with their pre-existing dispositions towards independence, though not entirely. Amongst people who were voting NO before the debate people thought Darling won by 83% to 6%. Amongst pre-debate YES voters people thought Salmond won by 72% to 16%. Amongst people who said they were don’t knows, Salmond was slightly ahead – 44% to 36% (albeit, there were only 63 don’t knows, so we’re talking about the difference of 4 or 5 people). Bottom line is that there was no big knockout blow here – the large majority of both sides thought their own “champion” won, don’t knows were pretty evenly split.

417 Responses to “Salmond v Darling debate”

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  1. @CH

    Yours of 9.34. Absolutely!

    Did nuclear weapons achieve anything, other than to make all powers having them quite literally ‘terrorists’?

  2. Anyone any idea if we’re waiting for some important event or new poll tonight? If not, I’ll toddle off to bed (I was up very early this morning, due to travel commitments).

  3. @ John B,

    Did nuclear weapons achieve anything, other than to make all powers having them quite literally ‘terrorists’?

    They stopped the US having to mount a land invasion of the Japanese mainland.

    Re. momentous polling events, there’s a post up from Anthony on the marginal polls. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to miss that. And you only have to wait six more minutes for tonight’s YouGov. ;)

  4. @Hireton “You place too much emphasis on attainders etc”

    Attainders are acts of parliament and have the same emphasis on other acts of parliament – i.e. they are laws by which everything in Britain are decided!

  5. @Hal – yours of 9.49

    Aye, that’s the sensible way of going about it – except that it would, in theory, be possible to have a referendum on the principal of Devo-Max (for example) and then work out the details later should the idea in principal receive the necessary backing. Presumably that would require yet another referendum – and probably result in a major spike in suicide rates!

  6. @Candy

    Except that the attainder to which you refer only applies to the southern parts of Britian – and probably to Ireland as well, of course…… and, according to claims on the royal standard of the time, to France.
    Please don’t drag us Scots into the family feud which produced the English Civil Wars of the fifteenth century!

  7. @Spearmint

    The received wisdom on the Japanese war is as you say. However, are we quite sure that there was no alternative to nuclear weapons? That’s another of history’s ‘what if?’s

  8. CANDY
    @”you’re upset that someone has pointed out that Cameron’s party no longer conserves and preserves?”

    Er -no.

    I’m just amused at your idea of what it is to be a Conservative.

    And I think you are wrong about the key motivation of Con to UKIP defectors.

    Enjoyed it all though-partic your list of “heritage” organisations. :-)

  9. John B,

    I can’t agree to your 9.58. Suppose the Scots agreed to more devolution “in principle” via a referendum and then Westminster voted against passing a proposed bill with the detail to implement it. Then we would all be in a very sticky mess. That’s why it can’t be done that way.

  10. John b – Not sure why you think I’m dragging Scots into anything. Henry VII was trying to become King of England, and Parliament at the time was the English Parliament, and the attainder had been issued by them. Not sure why a Scot would conclude it had anything to do with them!

    You asked a question a while back about Henry Tudor’s father and was he Welsh – Edmund Tudor was Henry VI’s half brother, so he was Lancastrian too. And Catherine of Aragon who married Henry VIII was also from the Lancastrian line that had married into the Spanish lines. All that in-breeding is the reason the Tudors were struggling to reproduce.

    As for Richard III’s family, Henry VII pretty much exterminated most of them on one pretext or another.

  11. @john b To be fair to Tam, it was actually Enoch Powell who thought the point was so good that it deserved a name…

  12. @Colin – what it is to be a Conservative changed under Thatcher, which is why people say Tory rather than Conservative because precious little conserving is going on.

    Radicalism (which is what Thatcherism is about) is an antithesis to conservatism- it’s the destructive principle rather than the preserving principle. There are a lot of small c conservatives in Britain, but not many radicals or Thatcherites.

  13. @Candy

    It’s just that you said that attainders had the status of laws in the British parliament, that’s all. I thought it only became the British parliament in 1707. Just a minor quibble, which you yourself picked up by reverting to the name ‘English’.
    I hadn’t picked up the fact that Katherine of Aragon was also a Plantagenet, though come to think of it, most European royalty seems to have become so inbred down the years that it’s a wonder any of them are still recognisably human!


    Ah, that explains it then….. (!)

  14. Con 33, Lab 38, LibDem 7, UKIP 12. Are we heading back to 2 party politics? (I know, it’s just one poll etc etc… But if the LibDems are spent, UKIP fail to get much above 14% , will we not end up with a battle between Tory and Lab and a cluster of small parties not winning much?)

  15. All this talk of attainders is way over my head but thanks for the link to the picture, Candy.

    Mind you, he looks to me more like Mike Gatting than Cameron.

    Perhaps MG has royal blood?

  16. Candy

    I think that is simplistic nonsense.

    Any Conservative will think so.

    Thatcher was a reformer. So is Cameron. Their reform agendas were different.-you can’t tackle everything in one go. The forces of resistance are considerable.
    Both were Conservatives.

    You seem to have a strange notion about pickling things in aspic-thats not what its about at all.

    But if you aren’t a Conservative yourself, I can understand your confusion.

  17. “The forces of resistance are considerable.”


    Well, that wouldn’t be a surprise if one looks at the polling. How many are in favour of all these privatisations? That’s a big part of the “reform agenda”, and you’re right, it’s not to conserve things as they are, but to wind the clock back, bit by bit.

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