Polling guru John Curtice warns Alex Salmond party to be 'thorn in Nicola Sturgeon's side'

Professor John Curtice was invited to give his election predictions after the former First Minister Alex Salmond announced via Zoom on Friday he was launching the new pro-independence party ALBA. Several candidates for the newly-formed party announced their intention to run in the Scottish election this May, including several former SNP politicians. Professor Curtice warned that the new outfit could pose a problem for SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.

The polling expert told Channel 4 News: “If for example, the SNP were to end up in much the same position as they are at the moment let us say reasonably modestly Alex Salmond and a couple of his colleagues are elected.

“Then they might be an alternative source of support for the SNP other than the greens.

“The questions I guess for Ms Sturgeon might be asking herself is would they be a potential sauce of support.

“Or might they be a risk of being a thorn in the side?”

The Alba stated aim is to win a “super-majority” mandate for Scottish independence from voters in the upcoming elections.

Their hopes is an overwhelming result will pile pressure on Boris Johnson to call a second referendum.

Mr Salmond said: “I’m announcing the public launch of a new political force: the Alba Party.

“Alba will contest the upcoming Scottish elections as a list-only party under my leadership, seeking to build a supermajority for independence in the Scottish Parliament.”

Mr Salmond said the aim of the party was to work towards a “successful, socially just, environmentally responsible, independent country”.

He added: “The Alba Party is a list party, we are standing only in the list. We are not challenging the SNP in the constituencies.

“Indeed we are saying vote SNP or for an independence party on the constituency section. We are giving that support.

“Our campaign that we have launched is going to be entirely positive.”

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