Kate Devlin, UK Political Correspondent 

1. Ruth Davidson

2. Nicola Sturgeon

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3. Kezia Dugdale

4. Willie Rennie​

GANGING up was the theme of the debate, but while viewers could have been forgiven for anticipating the pro-Union parties would gang up against the SNP and everyone would attack the Conservatives, more unexpected was Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson’s tag team. But gang up they did – against Kezia Dugdale.

The showdown became explosive when the SNP leader PASSION all round. Ruth Davidson under severe pressure on rape clause as all the others ganged up on her.

Callous and heartless was the claim. Kezia Dugdale was particularly forceful on this.

The SNP leader under severe pressure on a second referendum as the others ganged up on her.

But the zinger moment came with the bombshell claim from claimed Ms Dugdale had indicated she did not want to oppose another independence referendum in a private conversation after Brexit.

In case viewers missed it, Ms Davidson made sure Ms Sturgeon repeated the claim.

But who will the Dugdale accusation ultimately help most in this election – the SNP or the Tories? Arguably, it is the Tories.

Michael Settle, UK Political Editor

1. Willie Rennie

2. Kezia Dugdale

3. Nicola Sturgeon

4. Ruth Davidson

PASSION all round. Ruth Davidson under severe pressure on rape clause as all the others ganged up on her.

Callous and heartless was the claim. Kezia Dugdale was particularly forceful on this.

The SNP leader under severe pressure on a second referendum as the others ganged up on her.

But the zinger moment came with the bombshell claim from Ms Sturgeon that Ms Dugdale said she was for independence following the Brexit vote; music to Tory ears. The Labour leader branded the claim “absolute nonsense” but the damage could have already been done.

Willie Rennie was forceful on attacking First Minister on education, saying Ms Sturgeon should be ashamed over Scotland’s fall in education league.

HeraldScotland:

Tom Gordon, Political Editor

1. Nicola Sturgeon

2. Ruth Davidson

3. Willie Rennie

4. Kezia Dugdale

NICOLA Sturgeon deserves it for the most Machiavellian moment of the election, when she ruthlessly shanked Kezia Dugdale by revealing a private conversation about independence.

She also came through some tough questions about the SNP’s record in government.

Willie Rennie was tigerish and aggressive, challenging Ms Sturgeon on her record on public services during the cross-examination and earning repeated applause.

Ruth Davidson held the party line on the rape clause, but did not come out the grilling well. However she was stronger on the constitution and extracted more information from Ms Sturgeon about her chat with Ms Dugdale, who ended up the big casualty of the night.

Stewart Paterson, Political Correspondent 

1. Nicola Sturgeon

2. Kezia Dugdale

3. Willie Rennie

4. Ruth Davidson

IT quickly became clear Nicola Sturgeon would be the target of the other three leaders over a second referendum.

The SNP leader did best on the cross-examination section scoring points on all the others, with the LibDems on pensions, Tories on the rape clause and casting doubt on Kezia Dugdale’s opposition to a referendum.

The Scottish Labour leader started well setting her sights on the SNP on independence and the Tories on austerity, and then was the strongest of the three attacking Ruth Davidson on the rape clause.

Willie Rennie was strong on his reasons for opposing both Brexit and independence.

The Scots Tory leader was put under pressure for UK Tory policies and didn’t hurt the others as much as they did her.