ALEX Salmond is set to go head-to-head with Danny Alexander in next year’s General Election as the outgoing First Minister plans to take the cabinet minister’s seat next year.
Sources within the SNP have told the Daily Mail that Mr Alexander’s seat in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey is being targeted by Mr Salmond, who wants to “scalp” a senior Westminster figure.
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Mr Salmond has not formally declared his intention to stand for Parliament, but is expected to do so after he steps down formally next week to hand over to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The Lib Dems hold a majority of 8,765 in Mr Alexander’s constituency, but with the Lib Dem vote expected to collapse it is thought the First Minister would have more than a fighting chance of winning the seat.
It is thought that Mr Salmond has other options - the most likely of which may be Gordon - but one SNP source said: “Alex wants a scalp. He won’t get that in Gordon and he has the pick of any seat.”
A Scottish Lib Dem spokesman responded to the possibility of Mr Salmond contesting Mr Alexander’s seat, saying: “If the man who installed the hated average speed cameras on the A9, abolished Northern Constabulary and stood by the routine arming of police wants to run for a seat nearly 100 miles from his home, we think he should bring it on. People in Inverness deserve better than being someone’s second choice.”
Asked last month if he would return to Westminster on BBC’s Question Time, Mr Salmond said: “The answer to your question David [Dimbleby], absolutely decisively I can tell you I haven’t made up my mind. So you’ll have to wait and see.
“But I tell you what, when I do make up my mind, invite me back on to Question Time and I’ll tell you why I did it.”
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