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Scottish Referendum - Is it all over bar the shouting?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

 

With most polls putting the 'No' Campaign ahead I thought Alistair Darling would have gone into last night's TV debate with an air of confidence. What we got was a different man from a few weeks ago. He looked harassed, spoke far too quickly and struggled to make his views heard. 

Alex Salmond on the other hand, who desperately needed killer blows after his lacklustre first performance, came out much stronger. But neither men resembled anything like a calm statesman and the moderation, especially during the 'cross-examination' was truly shocking. At some points I looked back fondly to being huddled around a laptop in Dorset not watching the debate but the constant buffering from STV. Where was Dimbleby when we needed him?

Although there was a longer section on the NHS and oil reserves this time, the debate largely covered the same areas as before. Attacking Salmond on the currency, which had been Darling's poll winner last time, received groans from the audience. It's something the Better Together campaign will need to watch in these closing weeks.

Salmond was the clear winner with 71%. But, to be honest the real winner would have been the person who took a few seconds quiet and had the bottle to say "you know what this debate has got far too shouty from both sides. It's not what I signed up for. We need to start again and let each other speak so voters can hear the arguments."

As the postal votes go out and people in Scotland start casting their vote today I'm not convinced last night's debate will sway many.

All it did was show that after a long campaign it's time to stop the shouting and let Scotland decide.

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