Alex Salmond has claimed the “peculiarities” of Holyrood’s election system were behind the party losing its majority in last week’s election.
The former first minister revealed that he wanted a different system – but was immediately accused of “sour grapes” by opponents.
Nicola Sturgeon was widely expected to seize a second successive majority for the SNP after Mr Salmond’s success in 2011. But the party fell two seats short despite its vote share holding up.
Mr Salmond told his LBC radio show yesterday: “The D’Hondt list system has lots of peculiarities and the peculiarity basically is that the list isn’t just topping up the first vote, the list rebalances the first vote.
“So you can get yourself into a situation if you cut it unlucky that you lose a range of list seats despite the fact you are topping the list vote by a very small margin in votes.”
Mr Salmond said he had suggested a national list but his was “ignored” by a committee which examined the issue.
But Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “This reeks of sour grapes. His first instinct is to move the goalposts instead of recognising the SNP were beaten hands down in seats like Edinburgh Western, depriving them of a majority.”