UK & World News

  • 26 August 2014, 4:52

'Dreadful' Referendum Clash Turns Off Voters

The verdict was fairly unanimous in the Glasgow tenement where I watched the Salmond v Darling debate - this politicians' shouting match didn't speak to real people.

The residents of Lauderdale Gardens in Glasgow's West End thought both men lost through a failure to deliver clarity on the important issues.

In an unedifying spectacle, both seemed on a mission to destroy, not inform.

David Mullane, a retailer, sat down to watch the TV debate with an open mind.

He is contemplating a Yes vote in the referendum but was unconvinced by anything he saw on television.

He told Sky News: "I didn't learn anything at all and I got so annoyed during the cross-examination that I very nearly pressed the off button. Dreadful."

Writer Carmen Reid, a No voter, was similarly unimpressed.

She said: "I didn't enjoy that debate at all, I thought it was really old-school 'which politician can shout the loudest'.

"I thought Alex Salmond in particular was very hectoring, very bullying. I don't really feel that's what we wanted.

"If anything I liked him less by the end of the debate than I did before."

Tom Quinn, a businessman, is intending to vote No.

He told Sky News: "I thought Darling's arguments were stronger, Salmond is obviously a very strident, bar room debater; you get what you get from him.

"He probably did better than he did the last time because he was probably better prepared and he knew what he was going to get.

"But he played to the crowd and what he said didn't really add up."

As an exercise in political point-scoring, the event might have served its purpose.

As a viewing spectacle, it seems clear it was a switch-off.

For both men, the late opportunity to sell the message to the voters sold them short.

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