Alex Salmond’s comeback disaster

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

Alex Salmond is a gift to the Unionist cause

If Alex Salmond and his new Alba party did not exist, pro-Union parties would find it necessary to invent them. Perhaps, of course, that is what has happened. Be that as it may, Salmond’s emergence from the swampy waters of his own disgrace is the best thing to have happened for Unionism in a long, long time. Salmond may be an innocent man in the eyes of the law, but he is not a good one in the eyes of the public. Remarkably, he is less popular in Scotland than Boris Johnson. That reflects, doubtless, the manner in which Nicola Sturgeon’s friends and agents have turned against him and the

Salmond will help the Nationalists, but Galloway’s party is bad news for Unionists

Two decades after devolution, the Scottish Parliament’s election system still confuses ordinary voters and seasoned political observers alike. Politicians on both the Unionist and Nationalist sides have capitalised on this complexity, putting forward new parties – most prominently George Galloway’s Alliance for Unity (A4U) and Alex Salmond’s Alba – that aim to game the system and maximise their side’s (on the matter of the constitution) number of MSPs by pulling regional list votes away from the major parties. But in fact, beneath its byzantine name and workings, Scotland’s modified d’Hondt Additional Member Electoral System translates to straightforward arithmetic, with a clear and inescapable conclusion: Galloway’s A4U gambit is likely to

Salmond’s comeback is a pitiful sight

When Alex Salmond lost his seat at the 2017 general election, he finished his concession speech with a quotation from Sir Walter Scott’s poem, ‘Bonnie Dundee’:  ‘And tremble false Whigs, in the midst of your glee/You have not seen the last of my bonnet and me.’  Well, it is true that we have heard far too much from Alex Salmond in the years since but all roads, I suppose, led to the wholly unsurprising announcement this afternoon that Salmond is getting back into the game. Hell hath no fury like an ego ignored. The Alba party – Salmond’s new venture – will contest seats on the list portion of May’s