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. New Rangers v Hibs is on BBC Alba!

  2. Hasn’t yet caught fire, I think.

    Darling landed a hit with ” I didn’t vote for him [pointing at Salmond] – but I’m stuck with him. That’s democracy.”

    Prompting Salmond to claim that most people in Scotland had voted for the SNP. Demonstrably untrue but I wonder if he actually does believe it?

  3. STV Player is losing this debate.

  4. Pretty much missed the first part, barring something about Pandas vs Tories, two yes voters giving their views, one lady making a point about Scottish banknotes, and a no voter giving his views. Oh, and a freeze frame of some woman’s legs.

    And now it’s failed again. As I said on the previous thread, I blame Salmond personally for not being able to watch this on BBC iPlayer, without regard for whether or not that is an appropriate comment for this site.

  5. Is anyone managing to watch this online? What if anything is going on….

  6. Balbs – is apparently the best place to watch it online, seen several people saying they’ve got that to work (haven’t tried myself)

  7. balbs

    Not a lot.

  8. Salmond now asking Darling to deny claims that Scotland would be more vulnerable to attack for outer space. I suspect that this is an error.

  9. Hibs have just equalised against New Rangers.

  10. Thanks Anthony watching a good spat now. Seems pretty poor of STV though.

  11. A Salmond not behaving as was predicted. Being himself

  12. Has anyone drawn up a Salmond Quote Bingo card?

  13. pleased to see kezia

  14. Is that ‘Yes +2’ the big post-Games swing certain nationalists were predicting?

  15. Oldnat,

    It’s turning out to be better than I predicted. I mainly wanted to see a good contest between the two.

    Also, somewhat more entertaining than Dunfermline vs. Raith Rovers.

  16. Hello Everyone, unable to watch the debate due to late night at work, any idea who’s doing better yet?

  17. I got caught out by the thread change but if any old lags would like to catch my last on the previous thread about Eoin Clarke, I would be grateful.

    On with the show (sorry).

  18. “Also, somewhat more entertaining than Dunfermline vs. Raith Rovers.”

    All that tells me is that the debate is at least as exciting as opening a window…

    I am however thoroughly enjoying Andrew Neil’s Twitter feed.

  19. In the warm-up to the debate, the nationalist commentator said “Scotland would not attack another innocent country“.

    …..Is he talking about Iraq, which conducted a genocidal campaign against other ethnic groups? That “innocent country”?

  20. Oh, and invaded and looted Kuwait?

  21. @terryp I would put Darling ahead on points. He has taken the currency issue and beat Salmond about the head with it, relentlessly. Salmond has looked evasive and resorted to personal attacks. Doesn’t look First Ministerial.

  22. Steve2

    I’m impressed by your knowledge of the participants in the audience! You know that he is a “nationalist commentator”! Wow!

    I just thought he was on the Yes side – could have been a Green, SSP, or even an SNP voter, for all I know.

    I’d prefer to have this thread somewhat free of the partisan inanities from both sides I see on my Twitter time line.

  23. Oldnat, I didn’t realise only SNP supporters could be nationalists. My apologies.

  24. @landocakes

    Interesting I expected Salmond would ease through because he is usually pretty good from what I have seen of first Ministers questions.

  25. Chris Hornet,


    I’m not debating Rangers vs. Hibs with anyone.

  26. You’ll get no argument from me Oldnat.

    My view on how I would LIKE the referendum to go has not changed because I have not had the opportunity to be influenced.

    My view on how the referendum MIGHT be influenced by this debate will probably not be formed until this thread is dead, because it will probably be that long before I get to see the debate, and the only other relevant info we’ll have in that timeframe will be The Guardian poll which (unless I have missed something) appears to be more of a global clickathon than a poll among those eligible to vote.

  27. @terryp I confess to being surprised – I thought Salmond would have been playing his joker on this one.

    I suspect the key moment – alien invasions from outer space aside – will turn out to be the audience member who tried to imply that Darling wasn’t Scottish. I’ve no idea whether she is actually a nationalist, however that will tap into many people’s misgivings about the nationalist agenda.

  28. Steve2

    Glad you accept that you are ridiculously ill-informed. None of those arguing for the UK are nationalists, while everyone voting Yes is (even if they celebrate different nationalisms in their heritage.

    Prof Adam Tomkins describes himself as a “Scottish Nationalist” because he believes there is such a thing as a “Scottish Nation”.

    On that basis, i suspect that virtually everyone here is a “Russian Nationalist” because they believe there is such a thing as a “Russian Nation”.

    In the real world, however, where language isn’t so ridiculously misused, people can have views on the best arrangements for governance in their part of the world which aren’t so easily labelled.

    On more exciting matters than you, Hibs & Rangers are playing extra time!

  29. You can tell how Salmond is doing in the debate solely from oldnat’s comments….

  30. steve2

  31. Is the debate still on?

    Do we have some sort of post debate poll.

  32. Steve2

    Except that oldnat is watching Rangers v Hibs. Do you really have to demonstrate to the world how little you know?

  33. Not a poll but the Guardian worms put Darling ahead. Hopefully a snap poll soon.

  34. Oldnat – we can do without the ad hominem.

    Skippy – it’s finished, and ICM are busy interviewing now… results should hopefully be before 10pm…

  35. Anthony

    I totally agree. Better that people don’t use it.

  36. The guardian tracker worm makes it look a trouncing, I doubt that is accurate at all.

  37. All the Scottish nationalists I’ve found online are already harping that any poll will be wrong and “london media influenced”.

  38. ‘Yes’ tweeters calling it a tie….

  39. pro-nat commentator mcwhirter very hard on salmond

  40. Then again, I’ve been avoiding the Guardian since 2011 since the Scottish thing began. Will be nice next month when I can use it again without seeing all that noise about Scottish independence.

  41. Skippy, and probably manipulated by GCHQ too.

  42. People, whose opinion I value, on social media suggesting that Salmond didn’t do well on tonight’s debate. more or less what I thought when I switched to the fitba!

    Will it have an effect? No doubt polling will inform.

  43. @Oldnat

    I think it’s too late now.

    The polls have barely moved in the past 2-3 months.

    60/40, like a lot of people said, will be the result.

    There isn’t enough time. Perhaps – the SNP should have left the referendum to the end of a second term.

  44. Me in my terribly innocent way thought this was maybe a chance for the Yes campaign, but it’s looking maybe like a chance missed.

  45. While we’re concentrating on more immediate issues tonight, there’s a GB YouGov showing a five point Labour lead:

    CON 33%
    LAB 38%
    LD 8%
    UKIP 12%

  46. “‘Yes’ tweeters calling it a tie….”

    Am I being naive in my pre-debate assumption that both sides would claim a clear victory unless it was obvious that one of the two had trounced the other?

  47. Darling 56%
    Salmond 44%

    Not sure on referendum VI to go with that though.

  48. @ Old Nat

    See an old Bantams boy scored for Rangers in extra time, is that good or bad from your point of view or are neither your preference?

  49. I genuinely expected a romping Salmond victory in this debate (as I suspect did all nationalists).

    When does this come out on DVD?

  50. ICM Poll says Darling 56% to Salmond’s 44%.

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