The first official television debate in the lead up to the Scottish independence referendum between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling is being broadcast tonight, 5 August, on STV from 20:00.

The two-hour long debate is being held at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, and will be broadcast live to those in Scotland on STV. However, those south of the border can also livestream the action with STV Player (free registration required).

Alex Salmond will be the first to make his opening statement and last to make his closing remarks in the debate, which will be split into three sections:
1) Opening statements and initial questioning from STV political editor Bernard Ponsonby alongside the revelation of results from the latest Ipsos-MORI poll on voting intentions.
2) Cross examination, where each candidates will be allowed to question the other on their views and policies about Scottish independence.
3) Questions from the audience, where carefully selected members of the 350-strong audience will be able to pose questions to the candidates. Followed by closing statements.

Viewers are encouraged to join the debate with the hashtag #ScotDecides and #IndyRef on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

The first debate comes in the wake of the leaders of all three main political parties in Westminster committing to offering the Scottish parliament greater powers of taxation and social security if the voters choose to remain in the Union on 18 September.



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