Scottish independence: Salmond and Darling gear up for round two of referendum TV debate

Second Scottish referendum debate to air on BBC on Monday evening

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The Independent Online

First Minister Alex Salmond and Better Together leader Alistair Darling will return to screens on Monday evening in the second televised debate on Scottish independence.

The debate will be aired on BBC One Scotland and on BBC Two for the rest of the UK at 8:30pm, lasting for 90 minutes.

Held in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the performance of Scottish National Party leader Mr Salmond will be closely watched, after he was judged to have lost the first debate on 5 August, despite both sides declaring victory.  

A snap poll at the time saw Mr Darling come out as the favourite by 56 to 44 per cent, after Salmond failed to provide answers on key areas for Scotland’s economy should it gain independence, and markedly refused to state what his “plan B” would be if Westminster failed to let Scotland continue to use the pound.

English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK, a new survey from The Future of England found last week, with 59 per cent of people south of the Scottish border stating they want the union to stay intact, with only 19 per cent favouring separation.

But the Yes Scotland campaign claims that it now has more than a million signatures in favour of Scottish independence, a feat which, when the campaign was launched in May 2012, Mr Salmond declared would seal Scotland’s independence, should it happen before the actual referendum.

Video: The first Scottish independence debate earlier this month

Scots will take to the polls on 18 September to determine whether they will gain independence or not, but not before a plethora of celebrities and public figures have given their two penneth on the subject first.

Frankie Boyle, David Bowie, Morrisey and Eddie Izzard are just a few to have publicly said ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Scottish independence, while former Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned voters to “think twice” before casting their vote, arguing that Mr Salmond’s plans would leave Scotland in a “neo-colonial” state.