Scottish Daily Mail


Leader expects to miss out on Holyrood seat 2021

- By Michael Blackley Scottish Political Editor

ALEX Salmond has admitted he expects to miss out on winning a seat at Holyrood.

The former SNP First Minister said he does not anticipate his Alba Party will gain any seats.

It would be a humiliatio­n after he claimed when he launched the party that it could help secure a ‘pro-independen­ce supermajor­ity’ of around 90 seats.

But early regional list results in some constituen­cies indicate that Alba has won just a tiny share of the vote.

If the trend is repeated across the country when the regional list ballot results are confirmed today, Alba would win no seats.

In Aberdeen Donside, where Mr Salmond tops his party’s North East Scotland regional list, Alba is estimated to have taken just 2 per cent of the vote – while sources said it was ‘barely registerin­g’ in other key areas, such as Glasgow.

Mr Salmond appeared to play down hopes of his party gaining seats when he attended his local count yesterday.

He told Bauer Radio: ‘I think our success is registerin­g as a political party and registerin­g on the political spectrum.

‘To form a political party in a sixweek period, to publicise it and get the activists, the members, the candidates and the programme, everything else – I don’t know if it has ever been done before, certainly not in a general election and this is the Scottish general election. Time will tell if our argument we’ve been putting forward in this campaign proves correct.’

He went further when interviewe­d on the BBC last night.

Asked about his prospects, he said: ‘Alba are registerin­g as a political party in terms of the vote share we are getting and that is all to the good.

‘But whether we make it tomorrow, I don’t think so on the results we’ve seen.’

He said the SNP looks like it will be ‘poised on an overall majority’ but there won’t be the ‘backing in terms of the enthusiasm of getting on with the independen­ce referendum’.

Asked about Alba’s prospects, former Nationalis­t MSP Andrew Wilson told BBC Scotland: ‘What we have heard is they are making very little progress.’

Mr Salmond dropped an election bombshell by revealing he was standing for parliament as leader of the Alba Party in the first week of the campaign in late March.

He pleaded with voters who support independen­ce to back the SNP on the constituen­cy vote and his party on the regional list in a bid to boost the number of proindepen­dence MSPs.

Opponents have claimed he was unfit for office after he admitted ‘inappropri­ate conduct’ during the criminal trial which ended with him being cleared of all sexual assault charges. He has repeatedly been asked about his past conduct during the election campaign but has refused to apologise.

Mr Salmond appeared to downplay the prospects for his party in his final pitch to voters, describing it as the ‘plucky underdog’ and omitting to mention the ‘supermajor­ity’ aim.

In an eve-of-poll video, Mr Salmond asked for support from the ‘independen­ce family’ to get Alba MSPs elected via the list system.

He said backing the SNP on the regional list was worse than a wasted vote as it helped elect Unionists ‘by the back door’.

He also took aim at the Scottish Greens as the other big pro-independen­ce party on the list, calling them ‘divided’ and ‘soft’ on the issue.

Miss Sturgeon’s central message of her campaign was telling supporters to give ‘both votes SNP’.

In his video, Mr Salmond said: ‘So for people who believe that independen­ce is a priority, something which has to be put forward with urgency then the only vote for Scottish independen­ce on that second ballot paper is for Alba, the “new kid on the block”, the plucky underdog of Scottish politics – the people who are trying to gain a bridgehead in the Scottish parliament to develop some urgency into the independen­ce case.’

‘Time will tell if argument correct’ ‘They are making little progress’

 ??  ?? Waning hopes: Alba leader Alex Salmond was at P&J Live venue in Aberdeen
Waning hopes: Alba leader Alex Salmond was at P&J Live venue in Aberdeen

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom