UK

Scottish Referendum: Voters Demand TV Debates Between Alex Salmond, Alistair Darling

24/03/2013 08:20 GMT

Political leaders should go head to head in televised debates on the implications of independence, competing polls suggest.

The pro-union Better Together campaign released a survey showing 71% of people want First Minister Alex Salmond to face its leader Alistair Darling, the Labour MP and former Chancellor.

A separate poll, published by the SNP, showed 67% want Prime Minister David Cameron to meet Mr Salmond in a TV debate.

alistair darling

Alistair Darling, the former Chancellor, is leading the Better Together campaign

The surveys, both conducted by YouGov, come as the SNP holds its spring conference in Inverness, just days after

Salmond revealed the ballot will be held on September 18 next year.

Darling said people are desperate for facts.

His group's poll also showed 73% of people do not feel they have been given enough details about how independence could work.

Among SNP voters in the survey of 1,091 people, only 49% said they had enough information on which to base their decision.

The Scottish Government is expected to publish its detailed White Paper on independence later this year.

"People know that if the nationalists had the answers to their questions, we would have heard them by now," said Darling.

"The fact is that they cannot answer the most basic questions about independence.

"Setting the date is not enough. Salmond must set out the detail."

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Prime Minister should face her party leader on TV.

"David Cameron has a duty as the most senior politician in the anti-independence movement to come forward and stop hiding from this challenge," she said.

"It would offer an opportunity for him to tell the people of Scotland why Westminster insists on wasting billions of pounds on unwanted Trident weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde, whilst imposing unfair measures such as the bedroom tax."