Alex Salmond is not standing in this election because he has eyes on another prize

Alex Salmond is focusing on aiming to become an MSP in 2026 after ruling out running in next month’s general election.

Alex Salmond has confirmed he will not stand at the general election - but will have one more throw of the dice in 2026 to force a return to frontline politics.

The former first minister confirmed he will not stand as a candidate in next month’s general election - with the prospects of his Alba party winning any seats in a first past the post election all but impossible.

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Alba party leader Alex Salmond (Photo by Robert Perry/PA Wire)Alba party leader Alex Salmond (Photo by Robert Perry/PA Wire)
Alba party leader Alex Salmond (Photo by Robert Perry/PA Wire)

But the Alba leader has confirmed he will stand as a candidate in the Banffshire and Buchan Coast constituency at the Holyrood election in two years - and will almost certainly be on the regional list, the best chance of winning a seat.

Victory in 2026 would be a sensational return for Mr Salmond who failed to get elected on the regional list in 2021.

Alba currently has two MPs, who both defected from the SNP - Neale Hanvey and Kenny MacAskill - the latter of which is switching constituency from East Lothian to Alloa and Grangemouth, hoping his party’s “Save Grangemouth” platform will give him a bigger share of the vote.

Mr Salmond is pinning all his hope on Holyrood to finally make a spectacular return to frontline politics.

The Alba leader has insisted that in 2026, his party “will win 15 per cent of the list vote and 20 or more seats”. That is a bold claim from a party that has failed to get a single MSP or councillor elected in a Scottish election - and is only possible if the SNP dramatically plummets in the polls.

The SNP has hit a wall fostering a route to independence and the party’s reaction after next month’s election will be key to pushing the Yes campaign forward, and crucially, behind the SNP. But whatever the SNP faces ahead of the 2026 election, it is almost impossible it will shed voters to Alba at the scale Mr Salmond hopes.

The focus for Alba is already on 2026 - and could be a last shot at frontline politics for Mr Salmond and his party. If it fails to get any MSPs elected, as looks a real possibility as things stand, surely the project will be toast.

Mr Salmond has insisted that “the 2026 Scottish Parliament election will be a crucial election”, and he has already pledged his party will stand on each regional list.

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He added that Alba is “currently the only party with a plan to deliver independence for Scotland”.

He said: “I intend to lead Alba into an independence coalition government in that Scottish Parliament and for our party to be the backbone of the administration which takes our country to independence”

Mr Salmond is unlikely to find any allies from the SNP and the Greens, the established pro-independence parties, at Holyrood in 2026. If he manages to revive his political reputation, he will need to convince the Scottish public that he still has a place in Scottish politics. That might be a dream too far.



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