Launching party six weeks before election is massive gamble

Alex Salmond is about to put himself before the court of public opinion and they can be a much harsher judge than anything else.

Launching party six weeks before election is massive gamble Alba Party
Alex Salmond is standing as leader of a new pro-independence party at the Holyrood elections in May.

None of the parties are welcoming this.

Superficially, it looks particularly bad obviously bad for the SNP and the Greens because they’ll be targeting independence supporters but I think it’s bad for all of the parties that are already established in the Scottish Parliament because they are all after list seats.

And you only need between six to nine percent to guarantee a place on that list. In fact, in the west of Scotland in 2016 the Greens got a list MSP with just 5.3% of the vote, so there will be a lot of them scrambling around, particularly at the bottom of the list, for that list seat.

Salmond says that Alba’s target is to get a foothold in each of the list areas, to build that independence supermajority.

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Now arguably there is already an independence supermajority in the last parliament between the SNP and the Greens – none of them had a majority on their own but between them they had that majority and Boris Johnson – and Theresa May before him – didn’t find it difficult to say no there, so I don’t think there’s any guarantee even if Salmond did help deliver that supermajority it’s going to make that much difference.

But there are also big questions facing Alex Salmond’s own credibility. He says today he’ll accept the verdicts of those two court cases and the three inquiries but he’s now about to put himself before the court of public opinion and they can be a much harsher judge than anything else.

“We’ve already seen in a number of opinion polls that his ratings are actually quite low but launching a big party six weeks before the actual election – what a massive gamble that is.

But then Alex Salmond’s always been a gambling man.