ALEX Salmond has denied Alba is trying to "game" the Holyrood voting system, insisting he knows from personal experience the difference a supermajority would make.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland today, the former first minister and current Alba party leader said the Scottish Parliament’s D’Hondt system was “vastly superior” to Westminster’s First Past The Post.

He highlighted how Westminster has a share of MPs that does not reflect how the public voted, and said it showed the UK was “out of step”.

Asked if he agreed that Alba’s list-only policy was “gaming the system”, Salmond told the BBC: “I tend to agree with Andy McIver, the former publicity director of the Scottish Tories, [who pointed out] that the electoral system, the D’Hondt system is used across Europe.

“It’s not the D’Hondt and the Scottish system who are out of step, it’s the Westminster system who are out of step with the rest of Europe.

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“One of the phenomenons you get under a proportional system is that you get a number of new parties coming forward, and Alba is a new party coming forward saying to people if you vote Alba on the list vote, on the regional list vote, then that’s the opportunity to have a supermajority of MSPs supporting independence.”

The former first minister’s argument echoes that made by Kathrin Strauss on the UK Constitutional Law Association blog.

Strauss argues that the Scottish electoral system was not meant to reflect the vote share proportionately, but was instead designed to allow smaller parties a voice in parliament. “Not representation, but participation was at the centre,” she writes.

Pushed on this point, that his party was aiming to create a parliament that does not reflect the reality of Scottish politics, Salmond answered: “The D’Hondt system has critics no doubt, but it’s a vastly superior system to First Past The Post (FPTP), and we must remember the person we’ll be opening negotiations with has a parliamentary majority of 90 on a vote of just over 40% of the popular vote.

“If you compare the Johnson administration with its 90-seat majority in the House of Commons, with Theresa May’s administration with a very fragile majority, you can see how much numbers matter in a parliament.

“I can tell you from personal experience as a first minister ... numbers matter in a parliament, and a supermajority matters.”

Alex Salmond faced questions about Alba and Russia in a BBC interview today

Johnson’s Government has a majority of 80 in the House of Commons, which functions as an effective working majority of 87. His Tory party received 43.6% of the popular vote at the 2019 General Election, which saw a turnout of 67.3%.

May led a minority government at Westminster. Following the 2017 General Election she had 317 Tory MPs, nine short of the 326 needed for a majority in the house of 650 members. The Tories made a deal with Arlene Foster’s DUP, which had 10 MPs, in order to continue to govern.

Salmond further told the BBC that MSPs from Alba would be talking about independence “all the time” and so inject “urgency” into the ongoing constitutional debate.

The former first minister also faced questions about his suitability for a parliamentary role “after what’s happened in the last few years”.

Salmond said that “most fair minded people in Scotland” would accept the verdict of the jury and would not appreciate the “BBC trying to retry the case”.

Pushed on whether his own admissions in court of the inappropriate nature of his behaviour and the fact that the inquiry into his actions as a parliamentarian did not come to a formal end meant the process should be rerun, Salmond said “things should now carry forward and people should accept the results”, with the exceptions being the civil case he is launching against the permanent secretary, and the criminal complaints in the hands of the police.

He also pointed to other Alba hopefuls, saying that of the 32 candidates from the party some 18 were women and they included some of the strongest feminist voices in Scotland.

The Alba leader was then quizzed on his links to the Russian Government through the programme he broadcasts on the Kremlin-controlled Russia Today (RT).

Salmond said that there had not been a “single word of editorial suggestion” made to him by executives at RT during his time broadcasting with them.

Responding to the same line of questioning, Salmond said suggestions of Russian interference in the 2014 referendum were “laughable” and evidence of the country meddling in US elections was also “very slight”.

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He also used the questioning to hit out at interference from other heads of state in Scottish elections, including David Cameron’s asking of Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, and Vladimir Putin to do so in the 2014 indyref.

Salmond was also quizzed on the poisoning of former Russian-British double agent Sergei Skripal, which happened in Salisbury in March 2018.

The poison used was identified as a Novichok nerve agent, developed by the Russian Government. Three others, including Skripal’s daughter, were poisoned. One of those people died.

The former first minister was asked if he believed the Kremlin had been behind the attack.

Salmond questioned “what on earth” the question had to do with the election and three times refused to answer, saying instead that the “evidence came forward and people can see it for what it is” and that the case should go to an international tribunal.

He said the line of questioning from the BBC was “extraordinary” and that, as a broadcaster they should be promoting people’s right to freedom of expression, regardless of whether that is on RT or some other network.