THE fledgling Alba party now has more members than the Scottish Liberal Democrats, its founder has said.

Laurie Flynn, who registered Alba with the Electoral Commission in January, said that around 4100 Scots have joined the party since Alex Salmond announced its Holyrood campaign on March 26.

Flynn said this put his party above the LibDems in terms of membership. According to figures from the end of 2018, there are 4085 people in Willie Rennie’s party.

Yesterday, Salmond said he would be writing to Ofcom and television broadcasters to demand Alba’s inclusion in leaders’ debates, a demand which is sure to have more weight given the party’s membership numbers.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond to write to BBC and other stations to ensure Alba takes part in TV debates

The former First Minister previously said: “Our reasoning is this: under a week ago we launched this party. The reason we will be writing to the electoral authorities and to the broadcasters tomorrow is that I’m confident that at some point tomorrow the membership of the Alba party will overtake that of the Liberal Democrats, one of those who are regarded as a mainstream political party.

“That is an important criteria on which the broadcasters judge the participation in debates and also the campaign coverage.”

Salmond also said that Alba’s inclusion would balance the debates by including three Yes and three No parties, and stressed that they now have “double the Westminster parliamentary representation of the Labour Party in Scotland”.

However, a poll released yesterday predicted that Alba would struggle to return even a single MSP to Holyrood and would win 3% on the list vote.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond's Alba Party on three per cent in first election poll

The LibDems in contrast were predicted to win 7 seats, with 8% of the list vote.

Nicola Sturgeon today said that she “can’t see” that Alba meets the necessary conditions to be included in televised debates.

She said: “Looking at it objectively, in terms of the conditions I understand that have to be met, I can’t see that [Salmond’s] party meets those conditions, but that’s a matter for the broadcasters and for Ofcom.”

Flynn said that Alba was "Scotland's new political force".

He went on: "Little did I think when I founded the party the impact that it would have.

"After exactly one week since our public launch, our membership has surged past that of the Liberal Democrats, a party which has been in existence for 150 years."

The Scottish Liberal Party, which was founded in 1859, merged into the Scottish LibDems in 1988.