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Salmond: Alba will make its mark in election

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Alex Salmond’s Alba Party will “make its mark” at the General Election, the former first minister of Scotland has said.

The Alba leader took aim at his former party the SNP, claiming it has a lack of strategy to achieve Scottish independence.

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show, he said Alba is “credible” with “excellent prospects”, adding: “I think we’re going to do great and we are going to have substantial results in a number seats.

“You’ll see Alba making its mark at this election.”

Mr Salmond confirmed earlier this week that he is not standing for election himself, instead setting his sights on the Scottish Parliament in 2026.

He has often urged other pro-independence parties including the SNP to work together to secure a “democratic mandate for independence” which, with the majority of Scottish seats, would see the parties “face down Westminster”, he said.

However, Mr Salmond, who formed the Alba Party in 2021 after a high-profile fallout with his former deputy Nicola Sturgeon, accused the SNP of “trying to avoid the constitutional issue”.

He said: “If the SNP wants to compete to win an election, they have to make sure that independence is the key issue of the election.

“They might do very well as they have done in a number of elections, or they might just do quite well, but unless you make independence and the constitution the defining issue of the campaign, you will lose.”

He added that a loss of the election for the SNP would see pro-independence voters make a “substantial and early transfer” to Alba.

Speaking on a campaign visit in Paisley, First Minister John Swinney said independence was at the “very heart” of the SNP campaign.

“I don’t think anybody who was observing the SNP election campaign could have failed to notice that those issues are right at the heart of the election campaign and they will be right up to polling day on July 4,” he said.

An SNP spokesperson said: “As the largest political party – and pro-independence party – in Scotland, the SNP will continue delivering for people across the country and making the case for a better Scotland with independence.

“In the face of a broken Brexit Britain, voting SNP at the General Election is a chance for people in Scotland to make their voice heard – which is why page one, line one of the SNP manifesto will read ‘vote SNP for Scotland to become an independent country’.”

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