Well done, Darling: Highlights from the Scottish independence debate

The resounding consensus is that Alistair Darling won last night's independence debate hands down. Here are the best bits.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 27 Aug 2014

Well, that was surprising. Who'd have thought Alistair Darling - the boy with the caterpillar eyebrows from Number 11 - would have a resounding victory when pitched against Alex 'Charisma' Salmond?

By all accounts, Darling started off shaky - but by the end of the debate, polls showed Darling won, with 56% of the vote to Salmond's 44%.

But for viewers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, watching the debate was easier said than done - particularly when the online feed dropped out. If you missed it, here's a recap:

Tensions were running high yesterday evening as the audience arrived at Glasgow's Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

— James Cook (@BBCJamesCook) August 5, 2014

An Ipsos poll showed the Yes campaign had made gains over the past few days.

As people everywhere settled down to watch, the STV online feed dropped out, leaving English, Welsh and Northern Irish viewers twiddling their thumbs

But a couple of minutes later, it was back - just as Salmond was making his opening statement

For more than half his life, Scotland has been governed by parties that gave it everything 'from the Poll Tax to the Bedroom tax'. No one can do a better job of running Scotland than the people who live there, he said

Next, it was Darling's turn

The polls haven't really moved over the last two and a half years, he said - despite efforts from both sides of the political divide. 'There's no going back if we decide to go.'

The audience wasn't completely on Darling's side...

The audience appeared to turn against Darling more...

Some viewers got frustrated

Some got bored...

But then currency came up - and things started to get interesting. Salmond started to flounder....

At one point, Alex Salmond said the evil English had threatened an independent Scotland with having to 'drive on the other side of the road'

Oh, come on, said Darling. That was a joke

Then Darling's record as Chancellor came up

'You were in charge of financial regulation when the banks went bust,' said Salmond.

Darling reminded the audience about Salmond's letters in support of Fred Goodwin.

Two hours and 45 minutes into the debate, the pair began their closing statements

'I am optimistic about Scotland's future within the UK,' said Darling. 'This is our moment,' said Salmond.

In post-match analysis, Darling came out on top

Although everyone agreed that, whoever the winner, STV had come out bottom

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