04/08/2014 09:16 BST | Updated 04/08/2014 09:59 BST

You Can't Watch The Scottish Independence Debate On TV If You Live Outside Scotland


Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling will go head to head on Tuesday evening in a live televised debate on Scottish independence. However, the clash, a critical moment which could help lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom, will only be available to watch on TV for viewers in Scotland.

The debate between the Scottish first minister and the leader of the Better Together campaign, from 8pm to 10pm, will be hosted and screened by the Scottish STV channel. Anyone outside of Scotland who wants to watch it will have to tune in online on STV's website, as no UK-wide broadcaster will be carrying it.

STV is part of the ITV network but the debate is not being screened on the channel south of the border. The broadcaster told The Huffington Post UK the decision was based on the fact that only people in Scotland had a vote on the future of the union.

"ITV will screen the 8-10pm debate live, in the area where our viewers have a vote in the question under discussion. Viewers in Border Scotland will be able to watch the debate on Freeview. The debate will of course be covered as a news story in our news programmes broadcast to the whole of the UK," a spokesperson said.

As Salmond and Darling thrash it out over the future make-up of the United Kingdom, ITV1 will be screening 'Love Your Garden' with Alan Titchmarsh and a repeat of 'Kids Behind Bars', a documentary about American teenagers.

ITV2 will be showing the quiz show 'The Cube' and Gordon Ramsey's 'Hell's Kitchen USA'. ITV3 will be showing a repeat of 'Midsomer Murders'. And ITV4 will be showing 'The Cycle Show' and highlights of the World Rally Championships.

There could, however, still be a chance for the entire country to watch a debate between the two men ahead of the referendum. The campaigns are believed to be close to agreeing the final details of another Salmond v Darling clash, this time on the BBC, towards the end of August.

Tuesday evening's debate will be moderated by STV’s political editor Bernard Ponsonby and staged at the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow. After submitting to questions from Ponsonby, Darling and Salmond will be quizzed by members of the studio audience.

The programme will begin with the results from a new Ipsos-MORI poll detailing the voting intentions of Scots in the September 18 referendum.

A poll commissioned by the Mail on Sunday over the weekend found that Salmond and the 'Yes' campaign had not received a boost from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The Survation survey showed that 40% would vote Yes and 46% would vote No, with 14% undecided.

Salmond had originally wanted to take on David Cameron in a TV debate. But the prime minister repeatedly declined, insisting the argument should be between the leaders of the Yes and No campaigns. Cameron was also likely aware that his Tory Englishness would only have harmed, rather than helped, the pro-union campaign north of the border.