ALEX Salmond has said Alba will “bloom” in the coming years despite predictions that they won’t win any Holyrood seats.

The former First Minister appeared on the Through A Scottish Prism Holyrood '21 Election Special this afternoon alongside Roddy MacLeod (Barrhead Boy), Iain Lawson and Denise Findlay. 

Asked how he was feeling despite the low number of votes Alba are expected to get, Salmond was surprisingly upbeat.

He said: “I’m grand, I’ve won so many elections I get used to losing a few. I’m on a bad run, I’ve lost two having won ten.

"Obviously candidates, particularly the inexperienced ones, will be really disappointed because as everyone does they get candidateitus, they were hoping for much more and of course we could have had a much more if things had gone a bit better for us.

“I think you can have a post mortem at any point, but there was a good result available for us and we didn’t quite get there. But it should be said in forming and publicising a party in six weeks, getting 32 candidates, a manifesto, lots of things to say, important statements made and 5000 members, two MPs, 20 councillors, I think probably 50,000 votes incidentally which sounds a lot better than 2%. 

The National:

“I suppose looking back, that will be seen as no mean feat and something that hasn’t been done before. I comfort myself in the resolve of the Alba candidates and the activists seem to be pretty strong. I think the position is right for Alba to grow and flower and bloom in coming years, and it’s now a viable political party, it’s a political party that’s been necessary one sitting on the independence flank of the SNP.

“Actually Alba has been a great help to the SNP during this campaign, I know some of you who dislike the SNP enormously, I just dislike some of the personalities in the SNP, I like the SNP but I have to confess to a dislike of certain members of it.”

Salmond later added that he thinks Alba will be a “force to be reckoned with” during the next five years, and that he will stay with the party. 

READ MORE: Alex Salmond doesn’t think Alba Party will win seats at Holyrood

He also said that he believes Alba have helped the SNP to win some crucial seats. 

Salmond said: “The SNP were actually helped in two ways by Alba, firstly there’s a fairly obvious point if you look at Ayr and Banff and Buchan coastal, it’s quite clear that they would have lost these seats if without the Alba intervention.

"In Banff and Buchan I think there were about 1200 votes for Alba in the list, and the majority for the SNP was 700, I think it’s a reasonable assumption that the SNP wouldn’t have got that 700 votes unless Alba had been there encouraging people to vote and encouraging people to vote SNP. 

“I think the Alba intervention has been helpful practically but it’s also been helpful for another reason that most of the venom of the mainstream media has been turned on Alba. It shows the importance I think of having a flank party who are genuinely and forthrightly and immediately pro-independence because it makes the SNP look that bit more moderate. 

The National:

“Whereas the SNP despite their prevaraction, despite their hesitation, delays, Grand old Duchess of York behaviour going up and down the same hill innumerable times, without Alba are seen as the radicals of the independence movement. I think Alba is needed because it’s filling a vacuum and I think it will grow, I think you’re right Nicola will provaracate, she lost her nerve back in 2017 and has never recovered it, it’s as simple as that.”

The electoral system was also a heated topic of discussion on the live stream, as Salmond said it allows Unionists “in the back door”. 

LIVE: All the news from the Scottish Parliament election as seats are declared

He said: “There will be a million wasted votes on the SNP regional list, and while the Unionists vote cleverly and tactically like Dumbarton and Eastwood by stopping the SNP winning the constituency and the SNP sends their troops over the top like some first world war general to have their votes wasted, but not just wasted of course but let Unionists in by the back door. 

“SNP list votes pile up yesterday and pile up today, that will be very evident, that’s exactly what is happening, so everything Alba said about the electoral system and about what would happen has come true and the extent of the opportunity missed will be plain for all to see.”

Salmond added that Alba will elect their leader in June or when it is possible for them to have an in-person conference, and that the party will be more “vigourous” now the campaign is over and they can criticse the SNP for moving slowly on an independence referendum.