VOTING for the Alba Party in the regional list is in Scotland’s “national interest”, Alex Salmond has said.

In an address yesterday, the former First Minister launched his new party’s election campaign where he repeatedly pushed for a “super-majority” of MSPs to be elected in support of independence.

He also outlined his party’s view on how independence could be achieved if most MSPs backed the goal.

Within the first week of the new parliament, Salmond said, the Scottish Parliament should instruct the Scottish Government to start negotiations with the UK, creating a “standing independence convention” formed of elected representatives.

Their purpose would be to “give support and substance to the Scottish Government’s independence negotiating position”.

As a result of the negotiations, a referendum could be called, while another style of plebiscite, legal action, “international and diplomatic initiatives” and “peaceful and popular demonstration” were also options that could be explored, he said.

The former First Minister urged his supporters to vote for his party on the regional list, while supporting the SNP in constituencies.

He confirmed he would be voting SNP in his first constituency vote and that tens of thousands of SNP supporters would also. “Because it is in the Scottish national interest to do so,” he said.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon's former adviser backs voting for Alex Salmond's Alba Party

“In that unity and common purpose lies our strength and our greatest opportunity to deliver independence. That approach can deliver a shared parliamentary purpose in Holyrood which changes the context of the debate and which tilts the balance of power in Scotland’s favour.

Salmond’s party’s success depends on electing what he calls a super-majority of independence-supporting MSPs who would ensure that the UK Government has to come to the table – but the Alba leader did not say how many elected members would constitute such a majority.

In the Scotland Act 2016, a super-majority is described as two-thirds of all 129 MSPs, meaning more than 86 would be needed for the Alba Party to reach its goal.

A Panelbase poll done for The Sunday Times this weekend suggested there could be up to 79 independence-supporting MSPs elected in May.

However, Salmond said: “That is not the definition of super-majority that we are using.

“If there were 70 MSPs supporting independence that would be a majority and I would expect to see that majority moving forward with an independence platform. If there were 80 MSPs supporting independence, as the polls at the weekend indicated, then we’d be well on our way to a super-majority.

“If there were 90 MSPs, which I think is well within our reach for the independence supporting parties, then that would be a bigger super-majority.

“The point we’re making in the campaign is the stronger the super-majority of MSPs are supporting independence in the Scottish Parliament, the more the balance of power will be tilted in Scotland’s favour.”

During questions Salmond referred to the SNP’s 11-point plan to achieve independence, drawn up by Constitution Affairs Secretary Michael Russell in January. He had said in an earlier interview there were 10 points too many.

At the press conference yesterday Salmond said point five of the plan included building an independence majority in Holyrood and called for the Yes parties to work together.

Russell later commented: “In a constructive spirit I am sorry that Alex thinks there are ‘10 points too many’ in my plan for achieving an independence referendum. However I now think there is one point too few – it should also say BothVotesSNP as a secure SNP Scottish Government is needed to lead Scotland to independence.”

Scottish Labour’s Jackie Baillie described Salmond’s push to launch negotiations within the first week of the new parliament as “extreme”. “For Alex Salmond to plan independence negotiations in the first week is an insult to all those jobs and livelihoods that are still at risk,” she said.

Meanwhile, one of Nicola Sturgeon’s closest former advisers has backed voting for the Alba Party. Noel Dolan was a senior special adviser and policy guru while Sturgeon was deputy First Minister.