TV debates won't swing vote either way, pledges Darling

TELEVISION debates will not decide the referendum, Alistair Darling has said, following the second clash where he was widely considered to have lost out to Alex Salmond.

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Better Together leader Alistair Darling visits hydrogen and nitrogen generator supplier Peak Scientific UK in Inchinnan

The Better Together leader was still confident of a No vote and said even after two debates people don't have the answers they are looking for from the Yes campaign.

Meanwhile, Mr Salmond said the debate is moving on from currency and he again challenged the Prime Minister, David Cameron to come and debate in Scotland.

Both men were back on the campaign trail the day after the debate at Kelvingrove art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

Mr Darling visited a scientific firm in Inchinan in Renfrewshire where he said the Better Together campaign would be sticking to its tactics.

He said: "If you look at these television debates, they add to the debate, in many ways people will look at that.

"But I think people's minds are being made up by what they've been reading in newspapers, what they've been seeing on television for the last two-and-a-half years.

"I've always taken the view these debates are part of the democratic process, but the decision is actually going to be made in people's houses rather than on the television sets.

"There is a far bigger debate going on. It's not taking place on the television channels, it's taking place in people's houses."

Mr Salmond meanwhile conducted media interviews where he said he had answered the currency question and said people were concerned about protecting the NHS and jobs and on that he said the Yes campaign was winning the argument.

He said Alistair Darling was not the real leader of the No campaign and issued his debate challenge again to David Cameron.

He said: "The No campaign had their chance, their bluff has been called. People have, I think, overwhelmingly in Scotland now, in poll after poll, shown we want to keep the pound.

"That is the sovereign will of the Scottish people. I have explained in enormous detail why it's good sense for Scotland, it's good sense for the rest of the UK. I've explained what the other currency options are for Scotland. But we're fighting a campaign to get a mandate from the Scottish people on common sense for a common currency.

"Have a look at what the people thought about it, the audience thought about it.

"This debate is moving on, with people realising that to protect our NHS we have to have financial control, to have job-creating powers for Scotland, that's what won the debate."

The Prime Minister has repeatedly refused to take part in a debate with Mr Salmond, stating it is a matter for Scots to decide and as leader of better Together, Alistair Darling is the man to present to No case in debates.

Mr Salmond, however, said: "Let's see if Mr Cameron is prepared to come to Scotland and have the debate."

"Alistair Darling is in alliance with the Conservative Party in this campaign. That is what the No campaign is.

"Let's have the real leader of the No campaign, David Cameron. Let's have him in Scotland now, let's see if he can do any better that Alistair Darling did. I don't think he will."

Despite the strong performance of the First Minister in the debate, Mr Darling said the indications were still pointing towards a majority No vote but said he will continue to campaign until polling day and with the message that the SNP have not provided answers.

He said after three hours of live television the Yes campaign had still not answered what currency an independent Scotland would use

He said: "I'm increasingly confident we will win, but it is our job to win well, and to win well we've got to carry on campaigning up until 10pm on September 18.

"If you look at all the evidence, all the polls that have been published for the last few months, they consistently show us with a lead, most of them a double-digit lead.

"I've always said I thought this would be a fight right down to the wire, but I am increasingly confident."

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