A PROLIFIC Alba blogger has criticised senior members for turning the focus of the party on to "destroying Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP" in a scathing blog post. 

James Kelly – known as ScotGoesPop – questioned why certain Alba members have been “seemingly gloating” about a Lord Ashcroft poll which showed 56% do not support Scottish independence, adding he does not know “what the hell is going on” with the party’s stance.

He added that although "Alba-bashers" may believe it has “consistently” talked down positive independence polls since it was established, he felt this approach was “something completely new” and “not the prospectus when I became a member”.

Kelly – who supports the idea of an early Scottish Parliament election in October as a de facto referendum - said the attitude of some members had left him pessimistic about Alba’s electoral chances and said there was “much-needed reflecting” to be done about a “near-homicidal rage” against the First Minister.

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In his blog, he said: “When I went on Twitter this morning, every second tweet I saw was from Alba members, often very, very senior Alba members, seemingly gloating about the Ashcroft poll and claiming it showed Nicola Sturgeon had destroyed the cause of independence or set it back decades. 

“It should be a statement of the obvious that this is not generally the way pro-independence parties behave - for very obvious reasons we normally talk independence up, not down. In this case, independence is not just being talked down, it's being absolutely pulverised with words, in a way that is manna from heaven for the anti-indy media.

“There have been four independence polls in this calendar year to date - three have shown No leads and one has shown a Yes lead.  So it's not even entirely clear at this point that No is necessarily in the lead. 

“I know some Alba-bashers will say this is simply what Alba has consistently done right from the start in spring 2021, but that is categorically not the case - this relentless talking down of independence support is something completely new. 

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“The party seems to have undergone a radical change of direction in recent months and become a Totally Destroy Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP At Any Price Party, which was certainly not the prospectus when I became a member two years ago.

“I'm not really sure what the hell is going on. I've been saying for a very long time that it is absolutely possible for Alba to win list seats in 2026, but ONLY if we tone down the near-homicidal rage against Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.”

Kelly dismissed the Lord Ashcroft poll as proof No is in the lead, with these polls often showing large swings in “surprising directions”.

He added he couldn’t understand why Alba wanted Sturgeon to lead an independence campaign later this year but at the same time appear to think independence is only possible “once they're [Sturgeon’s team] totally destroyed”.

Alba’s general secretary Chris McEleny has said Kelly is mistakenly “conflating criticism of Nicola Sturgeon’s government with lack of support for independence”.

McEleny said: “The Alba Party lives and breathes independence and every statement we issue and political move that we make is designed to enhance its appeal to as wide a section of the population as possible.

“James has made a valued contribution to the party but on this matter he conflates criticism of Nicola Sturgeon’s government with lack of support for independence.

“Indeed, the reason for the Alba criticism is that recent SNP policies like self-identification, the failure to honour vital commitments on the A9 and the looming problems of the bottle return scheme are jeopardising support for independence. These are views we hold in common with many people still in the SNP and the vast majority of the Scottish public.

“Alba wants to see a return to the days when the record of the Scottish Government was an asset to the independence cause and when every elected representative saw independence as the overwhelming and immediate priority for Scotland.”