FORMER First Minister Alex Salmond said the Alba Party is the 2014 Yes movement “reborn” during a keynote speech to the group’s first policy conference this afternoon.

Salmond explained his plans for an independence “supermajority” further during the speech, branding SNP list votes “the ultimate wasted votes”.

In her column for The National today, SNP MP Mhairi Black rejected "wasted vote" claims. She wrote: "They are not wasted; they give your party a head start and will add to the overall result."

The former SNP leader, who officially announced he would lead Alba into the Scottish Parliament elections last week, argued independence is beyond any party. He said the SNP hold “no arbitrary authority” over the cause.

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

The speech came after a poll for DC Thomson, published in the Press and Journal and The Courier, put list support for Alba at 3%. The poll was carried out just three days after the party launched.

While Professor John Curtice argued the results were very negative for the party, he said Salmond may succeed in getting a seat for himself.

READ MORE: Alba party membership surpasses Scottish LibDems in just one week, founder says

Alba insisted they could grow as polling day approaches – and announced yesterday that they have surpassed the membership of the Scottish LibDems.

Watch Salmond deliver the speech below, followed by the transcription.


To sum up the week, I rather liked our founder Laurie Flynn’s statement of yesterday that in one single week we had surpassed the membership total of the Liberal Democrats who had been working at it, in various disguises, for 150 years.

Our real achievement, however, has been to bring into place 32 candidates of talent and diversity the length and breadth of the country.

Today we start to provide the policy framework to define our message. Arithmetically our argument for the independence #Supermajority is unassailable. More MSPs supporting independence - What’s not to like?

Of course some people say they don’t but why should colleagues not want there to be a #Supermajority- why would they rather that the indy numbers be lighter so that the Unionists numbers can be heavier. That is a ridiculous posturing for any independence supporter caused by the realisation that SNP votes on the regional list are the ultimate wasted votes.

The reality is as follows The cause of Scottish independence is beyond party. It is proper to recognise that, for most of the century where Scottish self-government has been pursued on a political canvas, the heavy lifting has been done by the Scottish National Party.

However the cause of independence has never been the SNP’s sole preserve - they hold no arbitrary authority over it. One thinks of the Scottish Covenant movement in the post war period

And then there is the cross party, Claim of Right which the SOB participated in and the Scottish Constitutional Convention which the SNP did not.

Most importantly and most recently there was the broadbased Yes campaign of the summer of 2014 which propelled the independence case forward in a fashion never been achieved before. That was not the preserve of the SNP and if I would suggest one recent political movement which most resembles our new party I would say it was the Yes campaign of summer of 2014 now reborn in political form in the ranks of Alba.

At today’s conference we engage in the policy debate to indicate the “Scotland We Seek”. The debates today on economic recovery from Covid, on education, on women and equality are the very life blood of a quality election campaign. As our thinking comes forward on these matters and on the constitution of an independent Scotland, on Scotland’s place in Europe and the world, and on the practical answers to hard questions on the currency, on borders and on the transition to freedom then Alba will make our mark on this election.

The mainstream media tell us that the people don’t want to talk about independence. They are wrong.

Not only another people want to talk about it they want the assurance that the thinking has been done to provide the framework from which we can build an independent country. That is what Alba will inject into this election and as we articulate these views with positivity, with clarity and with substance then we will make a substantial contribution to the noblest cause of all, the cause of the independence of our country.