Scottish independence referendum: Yes campaign admits it needs to change tactics to win

 

Political Correspondent

Alex Salmond will change tactics in the next televised referendum debate and be “more expansive” on the currency options an independent Scottish treasury would face if Westminster rejected sharing the pound, according to advisers close to the First Minister.

Widely regarded as having lost Monday night’s head-to-head in Glasgow against Alistair Darling, the Yes campaign’s quiet admission that Mr Salmond now needs to offer detail about how a new Scottish currency or the euro could work, is an acknowledgement that the predicted triumph over the former chancellor didn’t happen.

Both the Yes and No camps have now agreed in principle to a second televised debate. It will take place on 25 August, and be organised and broadcast by BBC Scotland. Negotiations are continuing on what format the debate will have.

The morning-after mood in the Better Together headquarters in Glasgow was upbeat and confident that a significant hurdle had been successfully negotiated. However those close to Mr Salmond claimed that although the Scottish media headlines had been bad – ‘Alex takes a Pounding’, ‘A Bloody Nose for Salmond’ ‘Salmond Stumbles’ – an ICM poll taken before and during the televised debate showed a narrow increase in support for independence.

One senior adviser told The Independent: “On issues like social justice, Trident, the bedroom tax, getting the government that Scotland voted for – what Alex said resonated with undecided voters.”

However a close reading of the ICM poll pointed to a Salmond-Darling draw once the don’t-know voters of the small sample had been excluded: 47 percent supported Yes before the debate began, and 47 percent supported Yes after the debate ended.

During the often heated exchanges in the Athenaeum Theatre of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, many in the audience booed the First Minister when he failed to outline any fallback position that would be necessary if Westminster rejected sharing the pound with an independent Scotland.  

In angry and highly personalised attacks, Mr Darling said “Any eight-year-old can tell you the flag of a country and its capital. But you can’t tell us what currency we will have.”

Mr Salmond simply repeated that the pound “belonged” to Scotland as much as the UK and that it would be “logical” for Scotland and the rest of the UK to continue to jointly use it.

Mr Salmond’s refusal to expand on what a currency plan B would look like, and to stick to the pound as the only option, was described by one adviser as necessary “to get this clear message on currency across”.

However he explained that the next BBC debate will see the First Minister “be a bit more expansive” on other options such as the euro, the creation of new separate Scottish currency, and the possible that Scotland could trail Sterling in the way other countries follow the US dollar. But he added “Alex’s explanation will show that retaining the pound in a currency union is what will happen”.

John McTernan, the former Downing Street political adviser to Tony Blair, who had predicted that Mr Salmond would win the debate, said he lost "because ordinary voters don’t share his conviction that everything will be ‘alright on the night’. Next time round he must show humility and answer the questions of the undecided”.

The political satirist Armando Iannucci, who wrote The Thick of It described the whole debate as being too focused on current political questions. He said “I’m disappointed by the lack of ambition [in the whole debate]. Scotland is voting on what will happen in the next 100 years, and yet both men [Darling and Salmond] are looking ahead at the next two or three years.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
newsMinistry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links