As the dust settles from Scotland’s elections and the war of words heats up over a future referendum, one thing is perfectly clear: Alex Salmond’s Alba party has been a monumental failure.
The former First Minister, whose disastrous party launch six weeks ago set the tone for what followed, failed to be elected as one of the seven North East MSPs, despite much talk of ‘gaming’ the list system. The 17 seats in that region were divided between the SNP (9) Conservatives (5) Labour (2) and Green (1).Salmond himself polled just 2.3 per cent of the vote in what was once his mighty heartland, with Alba failing to win a single seat across the country.
Salmond treated declaration day with the same class as any other – appearing on a podcast with supporters to take yet another pop at his successor turned nemesis Nicola Sturgeon, who he claims ‘lost her nerve’ on Scottish independence in 2017. His old party responded in similar style, with SNP sources briefing journalists that their rivals had ‘bombed’ and were ‘electoral asbestos’.
So what’s next for the once mighty master of Scotland? While offers of Strictly afforded to failed politicians might be thin on the ground, the former SNP leader can at last get round to writing his long-awaited account of the inquiry into his conduct in office.
After all, if that doesn’t get the voters back, what will?
Listen to Stephen Daisley, Katy Balls and James Forsyth discuss what comes next for Scottish independence: