Former First Minister Alex Salmond’s shock attempt to get back into Holyrood appears doomed to fail, according to poor early tallies for his new Alba Party.
The North East regional candidate was sitting on about 2% in regions after the first of two days of counting in the Scottish election.
Mr Salmond said: “Well, we’re still obviously hopeful because most of the votes are still to be counted on the list but in terms of what information we have we think we’re going to fall a bit short.
“We’ve some ballot boxes showing Alba at 10% but there are many others where we’re not registering anything like that.”
He claimed success for just getting the party started and for encouraging two MPs to defect from the SNP to sit as Alba members at Westminster.
Mr Salmond said there could still be a parliament in favour of independence, just like the last two had, when Greens are added to the SNP total.
The ex-SNP leader lamented “wasted” votes for his old party, which is on track for another win under Nicola Sturgeon.
Alba was at 2.1% in Aberdeen Donside, which is within the North East region.
Elsewhere, Alba sunk to around 1% across Orkney, Hamilton and Clydebank. It reached around 2% in Angus North and Mearns.
Re-elected SNP MSP David Torrance, the winner in Kirkcaldy, said Alba had little impact in his area despite the local MP defecting.
Neale Hanvey jumped to the new group with East Lothian MP Kenny MacAskill in March.
‘It wasn’t a threat’
Asked if Alba could split the SNP vote on the regional list, Mr Torrance said: “It was hardly registering with us at all in the Kirkcaldy constituency across all the five council wards. It wasn’t a threat we saw.”
Alba got less than 2% of the vote in that part of the Mid Scotland and Fife region.
Mr MacAskill, standing for Alba in the Lothian region, earlier claimed the election had come too soon and blamed the media.
“The fact is, we’ve only had five weeks, we’ve faced a media blackout, but we’ve got two MPs, 20-odd councillors, and 5,000 members,” he said.
“So it’s onwards and upwards even if we’re not getting the result that we perhaps hoped for.”