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Scottish independence leader seen as victor in final debate

Leader of the 'Better Together' campaign and former British minister Alistair Darling (L) listens to Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond during the second live television debate on Scottish independence in Glasgow, Scotland on August 25, 2014Campaign leaders clashed over Scotland’s future in a fiery final TV showdown, with the pro-independence side hoping a strong showing will give them momentum as postal voting begins on Tuesday. Pro-independence Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond emerged the clear winner in a snap Guardian/ICM poll in which 71 percent said the Scottish first minister had bested his opponent, “No” campaign leader Alistair Darling, excluding “undecideds”. The debate was heated, with the two rivals interrupting, challenging and talking over each other on topics that ranged from what currency an independent Scotland would use, oil reserves, defence, to the fate of the National Health Service (NHS). In his opening statement, Salmond underlined the historic nature of the decision, saying that independence would free Scotland from austerity policies and military spending.

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