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Alex Salmond to have final say in Scottish independence TV debate

By Mark McLaughlin

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond will have the first and last word on Scottish independence in the landmark televised debate with Better Together leader Alistair Darling, broadcaster STV has announced.

The order of speaking in the August 5 debate has been decided with coin tosses, with the Scottish National Party leader speaking first in the opening statements and last in the closing statements.

Mr Darling will lead the cross-examination section, in which the two men will quiz each other on key referendum questions, following initial questioning by STV political editor Bernard Ponsonby.

This will be followed by questions from the 350-strong audience, which has been selected in conjunction with pollsters Ipsos-MORI Scotland to represent fairly Yes, No, and undecided voters.

Mr Salmond has repeatedly insisted he should debate with David Cameron over Scotland's future in the UK ahead of September's independence referendum.

Viewers from the rest of the UK can watch the debate online with a globally available livestream on the STV Player.

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