Alba members in the north and north east have pledged allegiance to the party post-election.
Three former SNP councillors in Aberdeenshire who left the party and joined Alba say they will continue as Alba councillors – and potentially stand for election under the former first minister’s party banner at next year’s local authority elections.
Mearns councillor Leigh Wilson, North Kincardine councillor Alastair Bews, and Fraserburgh and District member Brian Topping all joined Alex Salmond’s new party this year soon after it was founded in the run-up to the Holyrood election.
And an island councillor says he will continue under the banner.
Although Mr Salmond’s party failed to secure any Holyrood seats, the former first minister said this weekend that “Alba is here to stay”, and will “continue to make our voice heard loud and clear in the coming months”.
Mr Wilson and Mr Topping have both confirmed they will continue to serve as Alba councillors, and might run as Alba candidates in the local government elections in May 2022.
Although Mr Bews was unable to respond to calls today, his colleague Mr Wilson said he too will continue to serve as an Alba councillor.
Mr Wilson said: “I will be continuing as an Alba councillor.
“Alba has committed to fighting at the council elections next year.
“In terms of the election itself, I think we did remarkably well actually, all things considered.
“For a party that’s six weeks old to have a membership of more than 5,000, two MPs, and over 20 councillors, and a campaign with next to no media coverage, to gain more than 8,000 votes across the north-east, and more than 40,000 votes across Scotland, I think we did remarkably well.
“Until we arrived, independence wasn’t a focus in the election.
“I think Alba are needed as an essential part of the independence movement, and we can grow, and will grow.
“Speaking to members across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, there’s an enthusiasm to continue, and people are already asking me when we can have our branch meetings.
“Alba will have its first annual conference in either June or July and we’ll take things forward from there.”
Mr Wilson added: “I will probably be standing next year. I’m still weighting up my options, but probably inclined at this point to stand again, as it’s important Alba has representation across Scotland, and its local authorities.”
Mr Topping, who was recently hospitalised due to a severe illness but is now recovering, had been an SNP councillor for 37 years before leaving the party for Alba in March.
He said: “I will be carrying on, I’m a proper signed up Alba member.
“I’ve got my two colleagues Leigh Wilson and Alastair Bews who were SNP before as well, and we’re already an official group within Aberdeenshire Council.
“If I decide to stand, and I’ve not decided yet, it would be for Alba.”
Calum MacMillan, who represents the South Uist, Eriskay, Barra and Vatersay ward on Western Isles Council, quit the SNP to join Alex Salmond’s new political party in March.
He said he will stand in the next local election under the Alba banner: “In terms of the local elections I will stand on the Alba party ticket because we have to make the move from being a new party to an established party.”
Mr MacMillan said the SNP has taken the D’Hondt system “as far as they can take it” within the constitution rules which he said are designed to prevent a single party getting a majority.
“I had been going on for years that we should call the SNP the Alba party, but now the Alba party has set up on its own.
“On the list there are a huge number of votes that are there for the taking for another independence- minded party. That’s where the Alba party focus has to be.”