Salmond’s party won’t break Sturgeon’s grip says John Curtice – Alba celebrates 6k members

Nicola Sturgeon should 'get on with it' says Alex Salmond

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While the party celebrates the milestone with the acquisition of a long-standing SNP member, Sir John revealed Alba will struggle to exert much pressure on the First Minister. The long-time polling expert also claimed Ms Sturgeon will be able to retain the nationalist vote as long as she continues to satisfy those who want to break up the UK. Asked by Express.co.uk if the Alba Party could pose a threat in the short-term, Sir John said: “This is a point of pressure visa-a-vis holding a referendum and they do act as a focal point for those members of the nationalist movement that feel Sturgeon is moving things too slowly.

“But given that they did not get very far in the Scottish Parliament election, and given that Sturgeon has a secure position in the wake of that election and Parliament as a whole, I’m not sure it’s a great deal of pressure that they’re able to exact.”

The only way Ms Sturgeon may feel pressure from the rival party is if she fails in bringing forward an independence referendum post the pandemic.

He added: “What is true is that if Sturgeon isn’t able to deliver a referendum, and if she doesn’t do something which satisfies people in the nationalist movement that she is still trying to pursue it, there might be a point of vulnerability there.

“Obviously, Sturgeon will be in those circumstances, trying to blame the UK Government.

“But, you know, obviously, if Sturgeon were in some sense, somebody that put out the white flag and said, ‘Well, that’s all terribly unfortunate, I can’t do anything about it’, then at that point, a party like Alba might be a point of attraction for frustrated nationalists.

“I doubt if that’s what she would do in the first place.

“And so long as she avoids getting herself into that position, then probably still not probably going to go very far.”

Mr Salmond welcomed Moira Brown as the party’s 6,000th member as the party opened registration for its conference in September.

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The Alba leader presented her with a customised Scotland trip as he spoke of the party conference which will be held in Greenock Town Hall, on September 11 and 12.

Mr Salmond said: “Moira Brown, with her 65 years of experience in the SNP, will be a great asset to the burgeoning ranks of Alba.

“We are proud to welcome her as member number 6,000.

“People like Moira are the heart and soul of the independence movement.


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“She has seen it grow from a tiny acorn to a mighty oak and now wants to see the realisation of her lifelong political dream.”

Ms Brown left the SNP to join Alba in order to expedite Scotland’s move to become an independent nation.

Despite being formed in order to push Scotland towards independence, the Alba Party failed to win a seat in the Scottish Parliament in the May election.

The party did manage to achieve two scalps from the SNP after Kenny MacAskill, MP for East Lothian and Neale Hanvey MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath defected to Alba. prior to May’s vote however. 

In March, 11 councillors also joined the party after having been selected as SNP candidates.

In contrast, the SNP won 64 seats in the Scottish Parliament in May, although Ms Sturgeon’s party fell just one seat short of an overall majority.

Ms Sturgeon also failed to win the outright constituency vote share in May with 47.7 percent, while three main rivals parties won a cumulative 50.9 percent.

Despite failing to reach those milestones, Ms Sturgeon has declared she will pursue another independence vote following the end of the pandemic.

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