Ladbrokes make Alex Salmond the odds-on favourite to win the first TV #indyref debate against Alistair Darling.
We don’t know what the format will be yet, but I’d be very surprised if the First Minister doesn’t put up a very good performance. I imagine Darling will also do well, but I’m not sure his slightly earnest style will match up well against the more confident and charismatic Salmond.
These sorts of debates don’t often change people’s minds in the end and people usually think that whoever represents their side did “best” irrespective of the performances. That gives Darling an immediate head start given that NO still has a handy lead in the polls. Having said that, Farage wiped the floor with Clegg in both of their European debates, despite the fact that those polled had been more inclined to stay in the EU than leave beforehand (and indeed after).
The betting on the overall result of the referendum has continued to move in favour of NO over the last week. I still think there is the potential for the Commonwealth Games and the debates to move the polls in the direction of YES in the run up to the closing stages of the campaign.