Alex Salmond made it clear that his relatively new political party, Alba, will put forward as many candidates in the impending general election as their resources allow. This announcement comes after his request for a unified front among pro-independence parties has been flatly turned down.
The former First Minister of Scotland stated quite emphatically that his party is now the only one providing the Scottish populace with a no-nonsense opportunity for independence.
Alba, which was established in 2021 by Salmond himself, has yet to secure any real political success. The party has not witnessed victory at the polls, failing to secure any MSPs or councillors in any local elections. Instead, Alba has gained a number of its members from noteworthy defectors from the SNP.
In light of this, Alba has proposed a ‘Scotland United’ strategy for the forthcoming general election. This would see one pro-independence candidate representing each Scottish constituency, a move intended to boost the number of pro-independence representatives.
However, this proposal has been declined by both the SNP and the Scottish Greens, who remain ardent in their efforts towards Scottish independence but question the divisive impact of Alba’s approach.
When quizzed on how many candidates Alba planned to put forward this year, Salmond noted his disappointment in not being able to unite with fellow pro-independence parties and said that due to this, Alba would put an even greater number of candidates forward.
The former First Minister made clear, “With Alba being the sole political vehicle highlighting a clear-cut push for independence, we are obligated to contest as many constituencies as feasible.”
In response to Salmond’s refusal to collaborate, staunch SNP member Pete Wishart expressed his fears that Alba, which he labelled as ‘unelectable’, is merely serving to divide the pro-independence vote.
In a pointed rebuttal on social media, Wishart criticised Alba’s strategy, noting: “With Salmond’s unyielding declaration that his electorally unsuccessful Alba Party will field candidates in the forthcoming general election, any votes they scrape are likely to be detrimental to the cause of independence by dividing the vote and thus aiding unionist parties aiming to overthrow current SNP MPs. They must be held accountable for this counterproductive approach to achieving Scottish independence.”
In the face of such criticism, it is thus clear that a unified front for Scottish independence may not be foreseeable soon.