Alex Salmond v Alistair Darling: TV face-off over Scottish independence

Alistair Darling

The debate between Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond will be at 8pm on STV on Tuesday 5 August; viewers outside Scotland will be able to watch it live on STV Player (registration required).

The bank manager Alistair Darling, chairman of the Better Together campaign.

Weaknesses The UK chancellor who was at the helm at the start of Britain's worst ever recession, Darling is also a Labour politician who has to lead a campaign which includes a deeply unpopular Tory-led government.

Line of attack Fundamental questions about Scotland's currency, public spending and position in Europe after independence remain unanswered, while Salmond wants to risk the stability and protection of UK membership by gambling with the country's prosperity.

The salesman Alex Salmond, 59, first minister of Scotland.

Weakness Despite three years of Scottish-government funded campaigning for independence, most voters don't trust Salmond's promises on the benefits of leaving the UK and his reliance on volatile North Sea oil reserves.

Line of attack Scotland has the second strongest regional economy in the UK and highest employment rate, but is enduring cuts because of a Tory-led government that Scottish voters rejected and the mismanagement of a Labour government that Darling helped lead. Scotland is one of Europe's wealthiest countries and only Scotland's citizens can make the best decisions about its future.

Powered by article was written by Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent, for The Guardian on Sunday 3rd August 2014 21.02 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010