Alex Salmond has admitted the Conservative vote is “on the rise” as the Tories began to make inroads in the local election.
The former SNP leader predicted that the SNP would gain control of Glasgow and Aberdeen, but added that the Conservative vote was showing well in Aberdeenshire.
“Up here in the North East the SNP are running very strongly and we have got high hopes of taking control of the city (Aberdeen),” Mr Salmond told the BBC.
“In the shire the Conservative vote is very strong and we will have to do something about that in five weeks time.
“The Conservative vote is on the rise, but I think at the end of the day probably Scotland will be the only place where the Conservatives have been beaten. That is to say the objective of an election campaign is to win more seats than any other party and we are confident the SNP will do exactly that across Scotland.”
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Mr Salmond added: “When it comes to a General Election we want to reinforce this thread because after all there is one thing that is absolutely desperately needed and that is a real opposition to Theresa May and the SNP in Scotland intend to provide it.”
The MP for Gordon underlined the symbolic importance for the SNP of doing well in Scotland’s biggest city.
“The SNP are looking to take control of the city of Glasgow. It would be a major moment for the Scottish National Party,” Mr Salmond said.
“Here in the North East of Scotland we are hoping to take control of Aberdeen – the Northern Lights – which would also be a major moment. So these are two very important targets. But reports across the country count and we will be looking to become the largest party in terms of seats and votes after all the votes are counted today.”