ALEX Salmond has written to SNP MPs urging them to back Alba’s bid for a single Yes candidate at the next General Election.

The Alba party leader had previously written to First Minister Humza Yousaf regarding the electoral plan, but has not yet had a reply.

Salmond has proposed that pro-independence parties enter into a “Scotland United for Independence” pact and stand a single Yes candidate in all constituencies.

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This would include non-party affiliated candidates in some constituencies, Salmond added, but noted that this would require “more detailed discussion”.

The former first minister also said that as the SNP have decided to engage in an “internal discussion”, through the upcoming independence convention in Dundee, there is “no opportunity” for Alba to present the plan at a wider Yes summit.

In a letter to SNP MPs, Salmond claimed that the proposal and the reasons for it are “imperfectly understood” and he was therefore writing to clarify it.

“The proposal is as follows: all existing seats held by independence-supporting MPs will be fought by that candidate or their party’s chosen representative," Salmond said.

The National: Alba leader Alex Salmond delivers a speech at the party's local government election manifesto launch at the Caird Hall, Dundee. Picture date: Tuesday April 19, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SCOTLAND Salmond. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA

“That will account for some 47 of the 57 Scottish seats. The remaining ten would be distributed among the participating parties with the SNP again receiving the lion’s share.

“Each party would agree to have as the first paragraph in their manifesto, that they are standing seeking a popular mandate to negotiate independence from Westminster and under the respective candidate descriptions ‘SNP, Scotland United for Independence’, ‘Green Party, Scotland United for Independence’, ‘ALBA Party, Scotland United for Independence’, etc.

“It might also be beneficial to contest a couple of seats with representatives of the non-parliamentary independence parties or non-political party affiliated prominent independence supporters, but I accept that is a matter for more detailed discussion.”

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Salmond added that the Supreme Court decision has “closed off” the route to independence “for the time being”.

He added that a referendum route to independence “might re-emerge under certain eventualities” but will not be achieved through campaigning at a General Election.

“Under these circumstances, the popular independence mandate required must be sought by other means and the available ballot box routes are each and every Westminster and Scottish election,” he wrote.

“In a Scottish election there is no real advantage in independence parties standing aside.

“In a first past the post poll there is a very substantial advantage.”

The call comes as polling showed support for independence higher than the SNP, something Salmond described as “unprecedented”.

“Most of you will have campaigned through the many, many years in which it was exactly the opposite,” he wrote.

“Of course this could change over the next few months in which case nothing is lost.

“But if it doesn’t change, then there is much to gain from this proposal for independence and for Scotland.

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“At a stroke, the entire dynamic of the election will change. The focus will no longer be on how many SNP seats will be lost to Labour but how many of the ten remaining Unionist seats will be lost to the Scotland United coalition.

“Election debate will be centred on independence and how to get it, and not on the record or current internal difficulties of Scotland’s major party.”

Salmond claimed he had data showing the the idea of independence parties working together ”carries overwhelming support” among organisations in the Yes movement, and asked MPs to give the plan “active consideration”.

The SNP has been contacted for comment.