The Lib Dem was a formidable opponent because his measured, moderate unionism was difficult for the nationalists to deal with.
The Labour leader has displayed a willingness to confront "vested interests" generally lacking in the Scottish First Minister.
"The politics I believe in, an affirming politics of solidarity and possibility, cannot be built on the act of walking away from our neighbours."
This time next year we’ll know which campaign Scots disliked the least.
My Glaswegian father won't be celebrating the Glorious Twelfth, but the Scottish economy depends on moneyed tourists shooting grouse in a stylised countryside idyll.
More than half of MSPs supported a motion calling for him to go.
After an SNP poll put the Yes campaign ahead, a new TNS BRMB survey puts backing for independence at just 25% with 47% opposed.
For the first time since August 2011, the nationalist side takes the lead by 44 to 43 per cent.
Scots are not engaged, as they were in the 1970s, in a debate about how best to utilise North Sea assets.
Unionists might be ahead in the polls, but they are losing the argument.